Tan Safer With A Tanning Bed Timer
It is no secret that tanning, whether in natural sunlight or an indoor bed, may cause sunburn and lead to skin cancer. That risk, however, can be reduced by ensuring to proper operation of a tanning bed timer.
Tanning salon operators essentially control the tanning times but many leave it up to the individual to set the tanning bed timer. The exception being some of the larger, busier salons where they have software connected to each bed and the bed itself has only an on and off switch. Once the switch is activated, the computer software controls the tanning bed timer and the bed automatically shuts off at the end for the prescribed time.
The tanning bed timer can be an important ally in the fight against skin cancer. At the beginning of the tanning season, exposure to ultraviolet light should be regulated. Medical experts recommend starting out with about five minute sessions and building up from there.
Not all in the same day, either. Once-a-day sessions are better at developing a tan and keeping it looking healthy and even.
A suntan is a visible presence of melanin, which the body produces when exposed to ultraviolet light as a protection against burning. The body requires from three to five days to produce new melanin so trying to create a tan in a day or two will not work. Staying in a tanning bed longer can’t speed the natural process.
FDA Requires Tanning Bed Labeling
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulated tanning beds since 1979, establishing performance standards for the equipment. When the industry developed UVA-emitting bulbs, which are longer wave ultraviolet lamps, the tanning bed timer was adjusted to allow for longer exposure times.
While the FDA does not support the use of indoor tanning beds, believing that even one sunburn can aid the development of skin cancer, it notes that if a person must tan, care and use of a tanning bed timer is essential. The FDA also requires all tanning bed manufacturers to supply and the user post guidelines for the tanning bed timer regulating the time a person is exposed to the ultraviolet light.
In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology it was noted that persons tan not only because it develops a desirable appearance but also, due to the relaxing effects of ultraviolet light, may be addicting. They have suggested further study is necessary to further understand this activity.