Tanning beds are used all over the country by millions of people who want to look kissed by the sun. However, tanning bed use is associated with serious health risks, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A tanning bed is a machine that produces ultraviolet (UV) radiation to produce a tan on the skin of the user. Exposure to UV radiation in small doses is often beneficial. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), short exposure times of five to 15 minutes two times each week helps the body produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. However, most tanning beds produce UV radiation in large amounts that can be harmful to the user.
Tanning beds are associated with certain health risks such as sunburn, premature aging, skin cancer, eye damage, and immune system depression. According to the FDA, UV radiation is damaging to the skin whether it is from natural or artificial sources.
Tanning bed users should take certain precautions to avoid long-term health effects. Wear the goggles provided by the tanning center. Start with short exposure times, and avoid becoming burned because it increases the risk of melanoma. Once a tan has developed, tan no more than one time each week to reduce UV exposure.
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