The truth behind cancer coffins

Disproving the myths of tanning

More stories from Autumn Young

Graduation 2016
May 15, 2015

Prom is just around the corner, and many girls have started tanning in indoor tanning beds to prepare for the memorable night.  Rumors are always floating around about tanning beds.  “Tanning beds give you cancer” ,or “tanning beds cause wrinkles”, and even “tanning beds fry your ovaries” are some of the most common rumors.  However, these can all be disproven.

Research has been done to see if there is a link between tanning beds and skin cancer.  A link has been made.  However, when following the directions, skin cancer is not common among people who tan in a tanning bed.  According to Dr. Melacola, “Less than three-tenths of 1 percent who tanned frequently developed melanoma [skin cancer] while less than two-tenths of 1 percent who didn’t tan developed melanoma.”  It is not very common for someone to get skin cancer by tanning in a tanning bed, especially for a couple months before prom.

The body needs Vitamin D, and this vitamin is obtained from sunlight, or ultraviolet B rays.  One’s diet cannot make up for this necessary vitamin.  Tanning can actually provide one with that necessary Vitamin D.  In the winter, people are usually Vitamin D deficient, and that is where indoor tanning can help.  No one wants to stand in the cold just to get some sunlight.  By tanning in tanning beds, the ultraviolet B rays can supply the body with the Vitamin D.

Another common misconception is that tanning beds can fry one’s insides.  This is completely untrue.  In a good tanning bed, the ultraviolet B rays cannot penetrate far enough to go through the skin.  No constant exposure to the ultraviolet B rays is good for you, but a little bit is very unlikely to cause skin cancer.

Tanning beds can cause wrinkles, but it is recommended to use lotion/moisturizer before and after tanning.  Most people just put it on before, and when they get out, their skin is dry.  The dryness is what causes wrinkles.  Most people who get wrinkles from the tanning beds spend a lot of time in them.  Excessive exposure can also cause the skin to wrinkle.  When following the directions, most people do not face terrible consequences.