Unfortunately, as each layer of skin sheds every 2 to 3, newer cells will revert to their usual level of melanin, leaving the skin once again vulnerable to ultraviolet light. The cycle repeats itself, resulting in damaged skin that has lost its elasticity (i.e. tough, leathery, and prematurely wrinkled), ‘liver spots’, and a range of skin cancer conditions from basal cell to carcinoma, to melanoma. The reality is alarming – one out of every five North Americans will develop skin cancer.
But to the usual tanner, the choice is simple….to go through life looking pasty-white, or to wear an enviable radiant brown coat of skin.
For a while, tanning beds, though expensive and time-consuming, seemed like an attractive alternative, and were touted as the healthy alternative to sun tanning. Unfortunately however, serious questions have now been raised as to the health risks associated with this method.
There are two types of ultraviolet rays that burn the skin – UVA and UVB. Of the two, UVB is the more harmful. Tanning beds claim to screen ultraviolet light. However this claim only applies to UVA. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that more than 23 minutes per year in a tanning bed does irreparable harm. The radiation from tanning beds is 5 times the intensity of the noontime sun at the equator. One of the common side effects of ‘bed tanning’ is the development of spider veins: as the blood in your veins actually boils, it damages vascular structure, and results in unsightly discolouration.
A serious study of the hazards of ultraviolet light would lead you to be extremely cautious regarding exposure to ultraviolet light.