General Question

emmy23's avatar

Is tanning in a tanning bed bad for you?

Asked by emmy23 (256points) April 15th, 2009

I have heard the horror stories about it. But are they true..??

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

casheroo's avatar

Well, what are you worried about?
Skin cancer is number one. You could also catch vaginal infections.
I used to work in a tanning salon, so I can always tell if it’s actually been cleaned or not. I do tend to tan naked, but I trust the place I go to.

Facade's avatar

Pretty much

Darwin's avatar

Tanning is not the best idea on the block, but then you probably know that already.

Funny – people with light skin want to be darker and people with dark skin want to be lighter. You’d think we could work something out, wouldn’t you?

Facade's avatar

@Darwin ehh, that’s not always true

Darwin's avatar

@Facade – Unfortunately, it seems to be the case in my family. My son wants to be white, and my nieces all want to get tanned (but don’t want to be officially Black).

He also wants his hair processed, and they want their hair curled. My daughter is the only happy one of the bunch (except she thinks her butt is too big. The boys at school don’t agree).

Snoopy's avatar

@Darwin Interestingly, some people w/ dark skin, actually tan to be darker.

A “tan” is your body’s response to an injury after it has occurred in an attempt to prevent further injury in the future.

There really is nothing redeeming about tanning beds. You are forcing an injury process on your body in an unnatural fashion.

Some decide that the transient look of the tan is appealing enough reason to do this….

Facade's avatar

@Darwin They’ll grow out of it

3or4monsters's avatar

A girl I know got scabies from a tanning bed. Scabies are tiny microscopic parasites that burrow in your skin and consume the skin cells, leaving little tunnels through your epidermal layers. They cause a lot of itching. Like earthworms, as they tunnel, they leave a trail of waste (poop) in the tunnel behind them. If you’re not worried about that, there’s always ringworm and staph infections.

Then there’s that cancer thing, if you make sure the tanning bed is wiped down properly.

Just don’t.

Facade's avatar

@3or4monsters isn’t there shit like that at beaches too?

dynamicduo's avatar

Tanning, whether it’s via the sun or via a machine, is in general bad for you. A tan is a defensive mechanism against sun damage. Sun damage on your skin increases the odds of developing skin cancer, amongst other effects. Most people would agree that skin cancer is in fact bad for you, thus I classify all tanning as being bad for you.

As with many things in life, we want what we don’t have. For instance, a tan is seen as desirable, perhaps partially because a tan sends a message that the person has the time or money to become tanned (whether this is via dedication, laying on the beach all day, etc). On the complete flip side, in India there is a huge market for skin whitening products, perhaps partially because white skin sends the message that the person has the time or money to stay out of the sun (implying they stay in a building versus doing hard work outside all day). But as a general observation, many people seem to want or desire what they don’t have. It’s “the grass is always greener” syndrome.

3or4monsters's avatar

@Facade: That’s a good question. I don’t really know the answer to that… the beaches in Washington are cold, rocky, cloudy/overcast and unfriendly, so I haven’t looked into it much. :)

Judi's avatar

My friends daughter tanned from Jr High on. I don’t know if it’s related but she got a very rare type of skin cancer that usually only old men get. She died last month. (she was 26 and had a daughter in 1st grade.)

Darwin's avatar

Although they didn’t tan deliberately, several friends of mine who work on or around ships have all been diagnosed with various forms of skin cancer relatively early in life (30s and 40s rather than 60s).

@Facade – I certainly hope they grow out of it. It is a real pain to have them sit around grousing about it, plus my nieces are so very pale that I worry about skin cancer, not to mention what those hair-straightening chemicals could do.

3or4monsters's avatar

@Judi that’s horrible. :( I dunno if it’s related… she may have had a genetic sensitivity to sun damage and susceptibility to skin cancer, and the tanning just accelerated it. That’s so unfortunate!

emmy23's avatar

wow this sucks. I really like to tan because I want to be darker and I think its really relaxing..but I dont want skin cancer. =(

jennamen83's avatar

If you really want a tan but are concerned about your skin or using a tanning bed, the best advice I can give (and yes, I used to tan religiously!) is to go slow when building your base tan. Ask an employee at the tanning facility who knows how strong the bulbs in the beds are how long you should lay in order to prevent burning. If you pace yourself and avoid burnt skin, your tan will last longer and look better.
Once you’ve established your base tan (a natural-looking tone that isn’t too dark to be believable) limit your tanning time to 40 minutes a week. Tanning every day for the maximum time is excessive, unnecessary, and dangerous.

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