A trip to the tanning bed has been a normal part of the routine for many seeking beautiful tan skin — especially in the summer months when swimsuits become a mainstay!
But tanning beds are also a source of debate due to their potential health implications.
At the beginning of the year a Canadian law passed prohibiting those under the age of eighteen from using a tanning bed. The health risks associated with continued use was the source of the law, many claiming that minors should not be able to choose to use a product that might have a detrimental impact on their health in years to come.
The law, however, means putting businesses at risk for losing money. Plus, the tanning bed you love so much might have hidden health benefits that can help with a variety of ailments or act as a preventive measure for other diseases.
Here are a few benefits to keep in mind:
- Osteoporosis and Cancer Prevention. Vitamin D works in the body alongside Calcium to help maintain healthy and strong bones. Without adequate levels of Vitamin D, you run the risk of thin and brittle bones and developing osteoporosis, a disease that leads to the deterioration of bone tissue and decreased bone mass. The disease is prevalent in adults in the United States; around 40 million have it or are at risk. Those who suffer from osteoporosis have fragile bones that are more likely to suffer a break. In addition to osteoporosis, studies show that Vitamin D may help prevent a variety of cancers, including prostate, colon, and breast cancers. New research is also examining its preventative nature with diabetes. If you’re thinking Vitamin D sounds like a wonder vitamin, you might be right! So where does it come from? Mostly from exposure to the sun and UV rays. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements reports that there are few foods you can eat that naturally have Vitamin D, meaning supplements and sun exposure are the best ways to go. If aren’t able to get out into nature’s sun bed and hate the thought of adding pills into your health routine, the tanning bed is one of your best bets for getting your body to produce all of that awesome and needed Vitamin D.
- Treatment for some dermatological conditions. Tanning is a way for some to help clear up pesky skin conditions. The National Psoriasis Foundation discusses tanning as a good way to help clear up cases of the condition and that UVB rays from artificial bulbs can even clear it up faster than natural sunlight!
- Exposure to potential harmful rays is limited to a safe amount. How many times have you sat on the beach or around the pool, the sun beating down on you, and you find yourself drifting off to sleep? It may sound nice and relaxing, but once you fall asleep there’s no telling how long you might be out, leaving your body exposed to prolonged periods of UV ray exposure. When you visit the tanning bed, your time is limited, meaning there’s no accidental several-hour exposure. You can get the tan you want (and kick that Vitamin D exposure into high gear) without overdoing it.
- A little mood boost. Walking into the sunshine is often an immediate way to boost your mood. But on days of winter drear or storms, your mood might start drift toward down. Tanning beds can help provide a needed alternative to the sunshine and lift you out of that mood.