Sunbathing on tanning bed. Beautiful young woman lying on tanning bed and keeping eyes closed

Tanning Beds Return As a Deadly Trend

When deciding on whether or not to use a tanning bed to achieve a tan complexion, it is absolutely vital to take the risks into consideration. There are many alternatives to a tanning bed, or even sun tanning. Self tanners can provide you with the same level of tan, with much less risk!

Sunbeds represent the fastest way to get a beautiful artificial tan. However, before undergoing such a treatment, it would be useful to know the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure.

Tanning Beds Return As a Deadly Trend

When deciding on whether or not to use a tanning bed to achieve a tan complexion, it is absolutely vital to take the risks into consideration. There are many alternatives to a tanning bed, or even sun tanning. Self tanners can provide you with the same level of tan, with much less risk!

Sunbeds represent the fastest way to get a beautiful artificial tan. However, before undergoing such a treatment, it would be useful to know the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure.

  1. In early cultures, a therapeutic practice of sunbathing for health was called heliotherapy. 
  2. Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, believed the sun was a viable medical remedy for certain illnesses.
  3. When civilizations began to divide towards the ruling vs the working class, for hundreds of years, skin color became a symbol of class, differentiating servants from their masters. Whiter, lighter skin symbolized youth, purity, wealth, and social status when tan skin symbolized dirt, work, and poverty.
  4. 1920s. Coco Chanel of Chanel perfume is widely accredited for effectively influencing the upper classes worldwide for bronzing skin color.  Her tan was allegedly caused from a trip on a yacht and might have been an accident, which should have been considered an embarrassment. Instead, it took hold as a fashion statement and women everywhere started to wear less restrictive clothing to enjoy more outdoor activities and work.
  5. During the 40s-60s, self-tanners, tanning oils, and tanning lotions with SPF became popular.
  1. The first indoor tanning lamps were not intended for cosmetic purposes, but for the study of photobiology ( study of light ), which replicated sunlight indoors.
  2. In 1970, Friedrich Wolff, a European scientist (aka the father of indoor tanning), invented the first tanning device. 
  3. The indoor tanning industry came to America in the late 70s, boomed in the mid-80s. The first modern indoor tanning bed was introduced in the U.S. in 1978. While paler skin had once been the mark of privilege, tanned skin now signified that you had the time and money to leisurely darken your complexion.
  4. In the 80s & 90s, salons successfully combined other services with tanning such as selling clothing and accessories related to tanning, nail or hair services. 
  5. Today, the tanning industry is now accepted as a scientific mix of cosmetology. Indoor tanning advocates promote regulation, education and safety as key goals for the industry of “Smart” tanning

  1. Tanning is the process of darkening of skin with sun exposure.
  2. A tanning bed, also known as a sun-bed, is a machine used to produce an artificial tan by imitating the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
  3. Tanning beds, widely referred to as the “MODERN-DAY COFFINS” are exceptionally – hazardous to a person’s health
  4. A typical tanning bed emits 95% UVA and only 5% UVB, although some new models produce only UVA. Because UVB rays are considered carcinogenic, manufacturers have come up with a series of filters that seem to eliminate UVB rays and make the beds safer. 
  5. The UV radiations are produced with the help of bulbs or UV lamps. They lead to faster melanin production than what happens under the sun giving that golden colour to your skin.
  1. PROS
  1. Tanned Skin
    One of the only benefits of using a tanning bed is the tan skin that it gives you. The majority of people believe that tan skin is attractive. Having tan skin can help to hide any imperfections that you may have on your body, such as cellulite or freckles. A nice tan also helps you to blend in tan lines that you gained naturally from the sun.
  2. Relaxing

There is something oddly soothing about stripping down and getting into a tanning bed.

  1. Done on demand:

You can use tanning beds at any time of the day. You don’t have to wait to do a skin tan during sunny or warm weather. The procedure can be carried out any time you need to look great or when you want to have radiant skin for a party.

  1. Even tan: The tanning procedure is done in such a way that you don’t have any blotchy spots in your skin because of the ultraviolet radiation. A tanning professional will control the tanning bed to ensure the UV is equally distributed and you don’t have any patches or uneven tan.
  2. Cure for Psoriasis and dermatitis: People with skin conditions like dermatitis can use a medically supervised treatment using tanning beds. Though doctors don’t recommend a self-treatment for dermatitis at the commercial centers.
  3. Look more beautiful: Using a tan makes you feel good and more beautiful. Further, it can boost your self-confidence.
  4. The best remedy to sunburns: There are times people go to the beach to soak up the sun in their skin in other to change the complexion. This method commonly leads to sunburnt on the skin, but with a tanning bed, you wouldn’t experience this sunburns.
  5. Triggers the formation of Vitamin D in the body: Tanning bed triggers the formation of Vitamin D in the body as it is vital for a healthy living. Vitamin is kind of deficient in light persons who stay in cold regions and don’t get heat from the sun. So, with a tanning bed, there would be increased production of this Vitamin.???
  1. CONS
  1. Increased Risk Of Cancer
    It has been proven that people who tan in tanning beds are 75% more likely to develop skin cancer over someone who has never tanned indoors.
  2. Sunburn
    Just because tanning beds do not use the sun to deliver the rays, doesn’t mean that the skin cannot burn in the same way. 
  3. Dry Skin
    Tanning dries out the skin, which makes it much more prone to wrinkles and other cosmetic problems. It also causes the skin to itch and feel uncomfortable.
  4. Premature Aging
    Tanning causes damage to the skin cells. It causes the elasticity that naturally depletes over time, to diminish even faster. This is responsible for wrinkles on the skin, which age you much faster than you would normally age.
  5. Addiction: People who use tanning beds may develop an addiction that requires them to use tanning beds more often. Tanning beds are also associated with body dysmorphic disorder which is considered as a psychological disorder.
  6. Weakens the immune system: Of course, tanning bed when used for a while weakens the immune system of the body as a result of the ultraviolet light. This is bad as when the immune system becomes weak, the body becomes exposed to dangerous diseases.
  7. Results in eye damage: Tanning bed can result in eye damage which is just too fatal. This is also as a result of the ultraviolet light that is infused in your skin. In a short time, you may start experiencing eye diseases like; keratitis and conjunctivitis.
  8. Skin inflammation and irritation: A continuous lay on the tanning bed causes skin inflammation, which then leads to irritation and that makes, the whole complexion change process fruitless. So this isn’t that friendly with your skin.
  9. Blisters and itching: Most body skins do not react well with ultraviolet light as it instantly causes blisters and continuous itching. These are bad stuff that can happen with using the tanning bed as they would make you uncomfortable.

**Exposure to UV radiation is associated with skin aging, wrinkle production, liver spots, loss of skin elasticity, erythema (reddening of the skin), sunburn, photokeratitis (snow blindness),[16] ocular melanoma (eye cancer),[26] and infections.[15] Tanning beds can contain many microbes, some of which are pathogens that can cause skin infections and gastric distress. In one study in New York in 2009, the most common pathogens found on tanning beds were Pseudomonas spp. (aeruginosa and putida), Bacillus spp., Klebsiella pneumoniaeEnterococcus species, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterobacter cloacae.[89] Several prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including antidepressantsantibioticsantifungals and anti-diabetic medication, can cause photosensitivity, which makes burning the skin while tanning more likely. This risk is increased by a lack of staff training in tanning facilities.


    1. Visit a few salons and ask to see the beds. If you see any dirty build-up, like where the glass meets the edge of the bed, leave and never return. Shop around, compare salons, and choose the one you like most.
    2. One important thing to be open about is what kind of prescription medication you’re using. Some can affect the way your skin reacts to tanning beds in a very bad way.
    3. Any decent salon will make sure you have goggles. If they don’t insist, then they don’t care about your safety.
    4. Don’t get tyrosine-based tanning accelerators, lotion, tanning enhancers/tingles or pills.
    5. A good tanning salon employee will know better and will start you off with a “low dosage” and increase it gradually (depending on your skin responded) every time you return.
    6. Do not exceed the recommended time for tanning;
    7. Do not use cosmetics before tanning sessions;
    8. Do not expose to sunlight or ultraviolet rays within 48 hours after the tanning session;
    9. Use moisturizers after each exposure session.
  • You should not expose yourself to UV if:
    • you are under 18;
    • you have white skin, blond or red hair;
    • you have a large number of moles, precancerous skin lesions or suffer from infectious skin diseases (herpes, shingles) that can be aggravated by sun exposure;
    • you take medicines that contain photosensitizing substances: antidepressants, contraceptives, antifungals, antibiotics, antidiabetics;
    • you are pregnant or you are breastfeeding.


**Melanoma caused by tanning has increased 705% more in women between 18-39 years of age since 1970 – mayo clinic

**People who TAN and are UNDER the age of 35 have a 75% HIGHER RISK OF MELANOMA

** Teens face higher risks of skin complications. This is because their bodies are undergoing such accelerated growth rates that their cells are more prone to damage caused by excess UV exposure


LINKS: is the digital authority on everything skin. The public and insiders alike follow daily as SkinScoop covers the latest trends and developments in skin health and beauty.