Myth: A Base Tan Is Protective And Safe
We all know that one person who says that they just need to get a base tan each year and then the rest of summer will be smooth, sunburn-free sailing. While some folks aim to achieve their base tan in nature, others opt for a tanning bedespecially during winter. Unfortunately, according to Kikam, especially for those of color, there is no such thing as a safe base tan, and getting one most definitely doesnt offer full protection from future sunburns. It may give you a modest SPF of 3 to 4 which is certainly not the recommended SPF of at least 30 by the American Academy of Dermatology for adequate UVR protection, she says. A tan is your bodys response to UV radiation injury and an indication of skin cellular damage. Its your bodys attempt to protect itself from further injury but its not usually enough to shield you from further damage.
Instead: Skip The Base Tan
Commit this phrase to memory: there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Getting a “base tan” doesn’t prevent your risk of sunburn in later tanning sessions, nor does it improve your ability to tan. Again, laying out in the sun to get a base tan is inherently horrible for your skin and can lead to life-threatening consequences .
What Is The Relationship Between The Use Of Tanning Beds And Vitamin D Levels
Indoor tanning is a burgeoning and increasingly popular industry that has become more accessible to the general public during the last 30 years. Some estimates in recent years state that the indoor tanning business earns $5 billion per year, with more than 28 million customers annually and more than 50,000 tanning facilities in the United States. The major emission spectra of tanning lamps is in the UV-A range rather than in the UV-B range, the action spectrum of vitamin D biosynthesis.56
Although the use of tanning booths can cause increases in serum 25D levels, this may be confounded by higher overall duration of sun exposure in users.56 In recent years, strong evidence has indicated that the use of tanning beds is addictive and associated with the development of skin cancers, including melanoma.52,56-64 As previously mentioned, in 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer published a special report on human carcinogens and raised the classification of UV-emitting tanning devices to group 1 .52 The World Health Organization has recommended a complete ban on indoor tanning for minors younger than 18 years.52 On the basis of this evidence, there is no indication for the use of tanning beds to obtain adequate vitamin D status.
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Is Stand Up Tanning Beds Better
Stand-up booths are capable of giving you a deeper tan. The bulbs used in them give off stronger rays compared to a tanning bed. The higher intensity of the UV rays increases melanin production which results in a darker complexion. For those who want more than just a sun-kissed look, stand-up booths are better.
Vitamin D And Tanning Beds
Spending time in the sun can supply the body with vitamin D, which is essential in helping to defend against depression, heart disease, stroke, cancer and osteoporosis. Sometimes though, especially during the winter, some of us have difficulty squeezing even a few minutes of sunshine into our busy schedules. Or we live in the northern part of the United States where there is very little sun in the winter months. In winter months daylight hours are shortened and outdoor activities may be less enjoyable for those in colder climates.
When natural sunlight is hard to find, it might be tempting to replace time in the sun with a quick trip to a tanning bed. But do tanning booths provide the same healthy benefits as sunlight? Particularly, are tanning beds a safe source of vitamin D? Tanning salons might like you to believe they are, but dont be fooled. Tanning indoors is not a good way to get vitamin D, because of the harmful characteristics of ultraviolet light rays, and the effects they have on the body.
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What Are The Current Recommendations On Vitamin D Intake And Serum Levels
In November 2010, after a 2-year study, the IOM released its recommendations on vitamin D.10 The recommendations were made based on data on skeletal health only data on extraskeletal outcomes, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and autoimmune disorders, were considered inconsistent, inconclusive as to causality, and insufficient to inform nutritional requirements.10 In recognition of the wide variability of vitamin D synthesis secondary to sun exposure and the risks of skin cancer, the recommendations were made with an assumption of minimal or no sun exposure.1-12,57-64
Does Tanning Help The Body Produce Vitamin D
There is some controversy over whether or not tanning beds help the body produce Vitamin D. Some experts say that they do, while others say that the amount of UV rays emitted by tanning beds is not enough to trigger Vitamin D production. However, there is generally agreed-upon that moderate sun exposure is necessary for the body to produce this essential vitamin.
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How Tanning Beds Work
Tanning salons typically offer two ways to tan a bed, or a stand-up capsule. Both contain fluorescent bulbs that emit UVA and UVB rays to tan the skin. UVB light stimulates cells in the epidermis called melanocytes to produce the pigment melanin, according to online magazine Pink Fridge. The UVA light oxidizes the melanin, which darkens the skin by producing a yellowish or brownish color, depending on skin tone. It takes several sessions in a tanning bed to produce a darker skin tone, according to Pink Fridge.
Fable: Tanning Beds Assist With Seasonal Affective Dysfunction
Because of the intense gentle tanning beds emit, some individuals imagine that they will help with Seasonal Affective Dysfunction . On the converse, Kikam says that theres no definitive proof that UV rays have the identical profit as brilliant gentle . Its a recognized proven fact that lamps designed to deal with seasonal affective dysfunction filter out most UV gentle or emit as little UV gentle as potential, she provides, noting that tanning beds dont qualify as such.
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Will 5 Minutes In A Tanning Bed Do Anything
Tanning beds emit 3-6 times the amount of radiation given off by the sun. For most people, 5-10 minutes of unprotected sun 2-3 times a week is enough to help your skin make Vitamin D, which is essential for your health. Getting more sun won’t increase your Vitamin D level, but it will increase your risk of skin cancer.
Are Tanning Beds At Planet Fitness Safe
Tanning beds are known carcinogens, but some of the nation’s biggest gym chains, including Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness, offer tanning beds and booths in many of their locations. … And those gym-going tanners stood out: they tan more and they’re actually more likely to be tanning dependent, Pagoto says.
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Do People Residing In Areas With Sunny Climates Have Adequate Serum Vitamin D Levels
Authors of a study published in 2007 recruited 93 healthy, young, clinically tanned adults from the University of Hawaii and a Honolulu skateboard shop.37 These individuals had a mean of 29 hours of sun exposure per week during the 3 months preceding the study, and 40% of them reported never using sunscreen. The group’s mean 25D concentration was 32 ng/mL, and 51% of the study’s participants had serum 25D levels below 30 ng/mL, levels considered inadequate at the time of the study.37
Similarly, studies from Santiago , Kashmir , and East Asia reported that more than 50% of individuals living in areas with sunny climates had inadequate serum vitamin D levels .38-41 Possible explanations for these findings include photoprotection practices , older age and obesity , and inadequate dietary intake.1-9,42
A 2010 review of published serum 25D levels in the northern hemisphere, however, reported mean levels in the winter of 48.3 nmol/L and in the summer of 70.0 nmol/L .43 Considering the November 2010 IOM recommendation that adequate levels of 25D are 50 nmol/L or higher,10 this report strongly indicates that in the northern hemisphere inadequate vitamin D status in a population was most likely to occur only in those residing in high latitudes in the winter.43
How Does A Tanning Bed Work
Im sure many of you know about tanning beds and their mechanisms.
Tanning beds are great inventions that have revolutionized the tanning industry. For the people that cant make it into the strict routine of the sun or dont have the tolerance to face it directly, resort to tanning beds.
No wonder, its worth it.
A tanning bed works by producing artificial ultraviolet rays and throwing them onto the receivers body as UV light.
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Ask The Expert: Can A Tanning Bed Safely Provide Me With The Vitamin D I Need
Q: I dont think Im getting enough vitamin D. Can a tanning bed safely provide me with the vitamin D I need? Arent tanning beds a lot safer than tanning outdoors, since they emit a controlled dose of UV radiation?
No no no! A tanning bed will never provide you with the vitamin D that you need, nor is it safer than tanning outdoors. Not understanding the facts can literally mean the difference between life and death. Both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation cause cell damage that can lead to skin cancer. When you lie in an indoor tanning bed, you are exposed primarily to UVA, which penetrates deep into the surface of the skin, damaging the cells beneath and prematurely aging your skin. But it is UVB not UVA which helps the skin make vitamin D, so you are increasing your risk of skin cancer without receiving any benefit!
As for the claim that tanning beds emit a controlled dose of UV radiation, a controlled dose of UV radiation from a tanning bed is a dangerous dose: Frequent tanners using high-pressure sunlamps may receive as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from sun exposure. Its estimated that 10 minutes in a tanning bed matches the cancer-causing effects of 10 minutes in the Mediterranean summer sun.
About the Expert
Additional Benefits Of Tanning: Winter Mood And Stress Reduction
The main reasons I tan are:
Id love to hear your thoughts and comments!
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What Is 20 Minutes In A Tanning Bed Equivalent To
20 minutes in a tanning bed is equivalent to 20 minutes in the sun no big deal! 20 minutes of exposure in a tanning bed may equal up to two hours spent on the beach under the hot mid-day sun without protection. Artificial tanning bombards the skin with UVA which are three to six times more intense than sunlight.
Optimizing The Benefits Of Vitamin D
While its exciting to know that something as easy as spending time enjoying the sun can be beneficial, be careful not to underestimate the risk of overexposure. Approximately 1520 minutes of sunshine, three or four days per week will provide adequate UVB absorption for most fair-skinned people to optimize their vitamin D levels. People with darker skin colors require more exposure time. Another point to remember is that this natural method does not work equally well at all latitudes and seasons, or in all people.
If you are uncertain of the amount of sunshine you need, you can have your vitamin D levels tested. It might be worthwhile to consider supplementing your vitamin D3 intake. Most tanning booths, while offering a golden-brown hue, place you at high risk for unnecessary and excessive exposure to dangerous ultraviolet rays. They are not a good substitute for old-fashioned sunshine. Most of our patients need vitamin D supplementation so be sure to have your levels checked.
MarcellePick.com has formulated a high-quality vitamin D supplement to enhance your health click here to find out more.
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How Should We Advise Our Patients On Vitamin D
The IOM stated that a serum 25D level of 20 ng/mL is considered to cover the needs of 97.5% of the population.10 However, many studies performed before November 2010 used a cutoff level of greater than 30 ng/mL. Therefore, the interpretation of data from these studies needs to be put in the context of the recent IOM recommendation. On the basis of the evidence discussed in this article, the following recommendations are appropriate for our patients:
Tanning Beds Stimulate The Production Of Vitamin D
A new study indicates that tanning beds stimulate the production of vitamin D by the skin. The researchers compared dark-skinned people with Caucasians and found that tanning-bed sessions increased vitamin D levels almost identically in both ethnic groups. This may not seem like news to those who have known about tanning beds and vitamin D for years, but unfortunately, there are organizations that make a concerted effort to destroy the tanning industry by spreading lieslies that need to be exposed. One of those lies is that tanning beds do not cause an increase in vitamin D production. The Skin Cancer Foundation , for example, is one group that blatantly makes statements that contradict the actual research. They call the idea that tanning beds are a healthy option for boosting vitamin D levels a myth.
The SCF must have missed an excellent study that compared 50 people, who used tanning beds regularly, with 106 who did not. The tanning-bed group had 90% higher vitamin D levels and significantly higher bone density. And, whether from vitamin D production or from some other photoproduct of UV exposure, research has shown that women who use tanning beds have a reduced risk of endometrial cancer of 40-50%. There is a significantly lowered risk of venous thrombotic events among women who use tanning beds when compared with those who do not. Tanning-bed use is inversely correlated to breast-cancer risk.
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Tanning Beds And Vitamin D
The use and safety of tanning beds has been hotly debated for years, with strong opinions on both sides. The use of tanning beds to increase vitamin D is an even more controversial subject while some claim that proper levels of vitamin D are vital to a healthy immune system, others point to the dangerous UVA and UVB rays tanning beds emit.
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Do You Get Vitamin D From Tanning Beds 6 Tanning Myths Debunked
Tanning beds might seem like a good ideasomehow, someway, despite surely hearing plenty of reasons not to step foot inside of onebut, let us be clear: Theyre not safe. They do so by shouting myths from the rooftops, spreading misconceptions like: Theyll give you more vitamin D! Theyll whiten your teeth! Theyll cure your acne!
While all of these statements may sound pretty blissful, the reality is, theyre not accepted by the scientific community. And even if these benefits were true , they’d be meaningless when you weigh them against the significant increase of skin cancer risk that presents itself the second you step into a tanning bed.
To further make the case that you should never, ever step foot inside a tanning salon , we’re debunking some of the most common tanning bed mythsincluding whether or not they provide vitamin D.
Meet the Expert
- Dr. Michele Green is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in cosmetic dermatology.
- Dr. Lisa Creaven is a dentist and the co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care.
- Dr. Adeline Kikam is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of @brownskinderm, a platform dedicated to providing skin care education for all skin types.
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How Tanning Beds Actually Work:
Tanning beds include fluorescent bulbs that release UVA and UVB rays in order to tan our skin. The UVA light excites the melanin production in our body which is responsible for our skin darkening.
On the other hand, UVB light is responsible for stimulating cells in the melanocytes that also helps in the production of melanin.
You will need several tanning bed sessions to get the perfect dark tanning. While there are a lot of debates on the topic of tanning beds and vitamin d absorption, we are not yet 100% sure about the answer.