Health Benefits of Tanning
Fact & Fiction About Indoor Tanning
FICTION: indoors is the same as tanning outdoors.
FACT: The key difference between indoor and outdoor sun exposure is that indoor tanning takes place in a highly controlled environment-the lamp's light spectrum produces a carefully balanced amount of ultraviolet light. In a tanning unit, the amount and characteristics of the energy you receive are consistent. Unlike outdoor sun, you always know how much ultraviolet light you receive.
The tanning process and the energy produced from indoor and outdoor tanning are be the same, but the light spectra are different. In most U.S. made equipment, indoor tanning relies on lamps that emulate a light spectrum similar to that of the sun.
Other benefits that differentiate indoor tanning from outdoor exposure are convenience, privacy, relaxation, and control of environment (i.e. elimination of the dust, chemicals, and other particles present in the outdoor air.) Indoor tanning eliminates variables such as season, time of day, reflection, and atmospheric conditions. Another difference between indoor and outdoor tanning is that indoor exposure programs can be tailored to individual needs with regard to skin type and previous exposure experience.
FICTION: There is no benefit to indoor tanning.
FACT: There are many benefits to indoor tanning. Many of the benefits to the consumer were revealed in an independent study conducted recently of 200 women who tan.
Seventy-eight percent agreed that indoor tanning is a stress-free way to relax. More than 75% agreed that tanning indoors is a more controlled way to maintain a tan than tanning outdoors. Seventy percent said they feel good after tanning indoors and that it is a responsible way to tan before intense exposure to the sun.
Sixty percent agreed that given all the risks that exist in the modern day environment, the benefits of indoor tanning make it a worthwhile experience. In addition, studies suggest that pigmentation also protects the skin against over-exposure, which can lead to skin cancer.
Indoor,exposure also has beneficial applications at another level. Non-cosmetic ultraviolet lamps with special light spectra are used by physicians in the treatment of psoriasis and other skin disorders. In addition, medical and scientific studies conducted worldwide corroborate that -sunlight typically stimulates the production of vitamin D3 in most normal skin. Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb dietary calcium and, therefore, build stronger bones.
Other studies currently in process hypothesize a positive effect of ultraviolet light on decreasing the incidence of breast and colon cancer, as well as the treatment of osteoporosis and certain immunological disorders.
FICTION: You have to tan every day for a great tan.
FACT: You should not tan every day. You should have at least a 48 hour time interval between indoor tanning sessions and also between outdoor exposures. It takes as long as 24 hours for pigmentation and any skin reddening to become fully visible, and the responsible tanner should observe his/her skin's reaction after exposure in order to determine if subsequent exposure are recommended to maintain a tan, unless of course you use sophisticated High Speed Tanning.
FICTION: Having a good tan requires a sunburn first.
Think there's no such thing as a safe tan? Did you know it may be more dangerous NOT to tan? Avoiding regular sun exposure may have greater risks than getting too much sun. New research links many forms of deadly cancers to sunlight deprivation. Many experts believe that moderate exposure is the best way to minimize the risks involved with either too much or too little sun exposure. Think about it.
Here's a copy of a press release from Smart Tan to the North American media: (Jan.23)...Millions of Americans do not receive enough Vitamin D from natural sources in the sunstarved wintertime and should consider patronizing indoor tanning salons as a form of light therapy, some scientific authorities say. Dr. Michael Holick, a Boston University light researcher, has coined the term "Vitamin D Winter" to warn millions of Americans in northern climates they are not receiving sufficient Vitamin D in the winter. Because sun exposure is the body's only natural source of Vitamin D, Holick is concerned that millions of Americans are placing themselves at risk.
"Exposure to sunlight in Boston during the months of November through February will not produce Vitamin D on a person's skin," Holick explains. "For children, if they are unable to get an adequate source of Vitamin D either from sunlight exposure or diet, they are at risk for developing the bone-deforming disease rickets. Adults who are not exposed to enough sunlight and do not get enough Vitamin D from their diet can develop the bone disease osteomalacia, which causes a softening of the bones. This is particularly important for the elderly, who also have osteoporosis."
Vitamin D deficiency in the elderly might be responsible for up to 40 percent of hip fractures, and sunlight might be the only source of Vitamin D for many people.
"Vitamin D is rare in foods. The major food that is fortified with Vitamin D is milk. However, recent studies have suggested that milk cannot be depended upon as the sole source of Vitamin D, since approximately 80 percent of milk samples tested in the United States and Canada did not contain (the recommended Vitamin D) Some low fat and skim samples contained little or no Vitamin D. What's more, many people are unable or unwilling to eat dairy products." That's why other bone specialist recomend regular, moderate exposure.
The International Smart Tan Network, base in Michigan, represents 27,000 professional indoor tanning facilities across North America. Smart Tan's objective is to teach tanners to avoid sunburn and overexposure while maximizing the benefits of smart, moderate tanning.
Fight sunburn with indoor tanning
A gradual tan attained in a professional indoor tanning facility is an important tool in the fight against sunburn for millions of Americans who take summer vacations. Smart tanning, indoors in a salon or outdoors under the sun, means preventing sunburn. Use sunscreens wisely outdoors and tan in moderation indoors. Indoor tans help protect travelers from dangerous sunburns!
While over exposure to the sun and burning are bad for you, medical studies demonstrate that in moderation, exposure to sunlight is crucial for the maintenance of good physical and psychological health. Besides making you feel good about how you look, numerous studies indicate that little or no exposure to the sun may be equally as bad, if not worse, to your overall health as too much sun.
Indoor tanning is smarter than you think!
The indoor tanning salon industry is leading the way in reducing the incidence of sunburn. Users of indoor tanning facilities are much less likely to sunburn outdoors than non-tanners—which may make moderate tanners less-likely candidates for permanent skin damage.
Surveys conducted in the tanning industry have shown that indoor tanners are up to 81% less likely to sunburn outdoors than non-tanners. That's because professional tanning facilities are teaching their 30 million clients how to avoid sunburn. That is the Golden Rule of Smart Tanning: Don't ever Sunburn.
Indoor tanning salons provide tanners an element of control not possible when tanning outdoors. The indoor tanning industry's claim is this: For people who want to tan, indoor tanning units give you control over the duration and frequency getting a damaging sunburn, in fact, moderate tanning is actually your skins natural albeit limited defense against sunburn.
Generally, people who work outdoors are more susceptible to sunburn than those who work outdoors. Outdoor workers also have a lower incidence of skin cancer. Tans help protect them against permanent skin damage.
By federal law, tanning salons cannot say that indoor tanning is "safe" or that it is "safer than the sun." But smart tan salons' can say with pride that they're the safest, smartest salons in town.
Tanning facilities are teaching this message everywhere. Surveys of indoor tanners show us that individuals who avoid sunlight are more likely to sunburn when they go outdoors than regular tanners. Instead of promoting the impractical message of sun abstinence, responsible professional tanning facilities like Coleman's believe in teaching the concepts of moderation and sunburn prevention.
The bottom line is what we call the Golden Rule of Smart Tanning: Don't EVER Sunburn. As a result, indoor tanning facilities have led the way in re-educating the public about smart sun practices. Just consider:
Surveys of indoor tanners have shown consistently that tanning salon customers, once they begin tanning, are up to 81% less likely to sunburn outdoors than non-tan-ners.
Sunburn incidence is increasing in the general population, but is declining among regular indoor tanners. That's because tanning facilities are effectively teaching people how to avoid sunburn when they go outdoors.
So it's clear that simply avoiding the sun isn't the solution: We believe following the Golden Rule of Smart Tanning is the solution. Consider: Four and half billion years of ongoing research have proven one thing quite clearly: we'd all be quite dead right now if the sun weren't shining!
Sunshine is the source of all life and energy on our planet. Through some pretty complex chemistry, every form of life on Earth can trace its beginnings to the energy transmitted every day in sunshine. Without it, our world would be nothing but a cold, barren rock in the sky.
How interesting, then, that so many people have been misguided into believing that the sun is not -our friend - that there is no such thing as a safe tan. The fact of the matter, we believe, is that tanning, for most people, is safer than avoiding the sun.
Unless you are one of the few people who absolutely-cannot tan without sunburning, your risks of contracting skin cancer are higher if you avoid the sun than if you are a regular tanner. People who avoid the sun are more likely to sunburn when they do go outside. And sunburn is what has been linked to permanent skin damage.
The benefits of regular sun exposure are many: It is our only reliable source of vitamin D. New research is uncovering how regular sun exposure and vitamin D levels are linked to lower rates of many forms of cancer, including breast, ovarian and colon cancers.
Add to that the psychological benefits of sunlight, which are not disputed, and you can easily see that indoor tanning may just be smart.