It is a fact that in the USA, nearly 30 million people use solarium on a regular basis, among which 2.3 million are teenagers. Supporters of the tanning salons around the world vote for a tanned skin because it is beautiful and elating. The opponents claim that the rays of the artificial sun are harmful and dangerous. So the question is: who is right?
What are Some Advantages of Using Solarium?
Promotes the synthesis of vitamin D: This vitamin is necessary for immunity, and also affects the work of nervous system, heart and blood clotting. Recent scientific studies show that a deficiency of vitamin D, especially in women, can lead to the premature aging: i.e. wrinkles appear early, the skin looks less healthy and menopause comes faster. Using a solarium twice a week for 5-7 minutes at each session may help compensate the deficiency of vitamin D.
Helps fight depression: According to the scientific researches the lack of sunlight, especially in autumn and winter leads to depression. To avoid this, it is recommended to spend more time in the sun. When exposed to ultraviolet rays your body produces endorphins, the so called “pleasure hormones”. This is especially true for residents of the northern regions, where winter is longer and days are shorter. In the Scandinavian countries, Siberia and the Arctic, doctors often prescribe light therapy and solarium as a depression prevention and treatment.
Prepares the skin to sunbathing on a beach: When you use a solarium, you can control the amount of ultraviolet rays and the body adapts to them gradually without stress. Over several sessions the skin becomes golden brown, and when you finally go to the beach, you have much less risk of burning your skin under the sun. Of course, this does not negate the need to use sunscreen on the beach.
Is useful in cases of skin disease: For example, in case of psoriasis a limited exposure to UV rays is very useful: just after few sessions, the skin often looks much cleaner. However, in this case, dermatologists recommend using not an ordinary solarium but rather, PUVA therapy. PUVA is a combined treatment with drugs and long-wave ultraviolet light (UVA). Once PUVA therapy is complete, you may add an ordinary solarium exposure as well. You can visit the solarium after the PUVA treatment to conceal the traces of psoriasis.
What are Some Disadvantages of Exposure to UV Rays?
Habit-forming: It is scientifically proven that using a solarium causes an addiction comparable to that of cigarette and alcohol. This phenomenon is called tanorexia. Characteristic signs of tanorexia: if a person misses a session, he/she starts getting nervous and angry. This disorder is particularly common in adolescents and young adults under 30 years of age. Doctors are convinced that tanorexia should be treated as a disease.
It is responsible for photo aging: The spectrum of rays in a solarium is different from the natural sunlight. In order to quickly achieve the effect of tanning, people often use ultraviolet type A (UVA) in high doses in tanning salons. UVA penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin than the radiation type B (UVB), and negatively affects the elastin and collagen, which are the major structural proteins of the skin that are responsible for skin’s health. This starts the process of premature aging, increases the risk of wrinkles and the formation of free radicals. Also UVA exposure increases the risk of allergic reactions.
It causes melanoma: After years of research, medical experts have concluded that the use of ultraviolet light increases the risk of melanoma. According to the latest scientific data, 75% of young people under the age of 30 who regularly visit a solarium have the highest risk of melanoma. In addition, scientists from the University of Albany came to the conclusion that the frequent visits to tanning salons lead to abnormalities in various body systems.
It causes pigmentation: If you are taking hormones, such as contraceptives and some antibiotics and diuretics, you should be especially careful with using a solarium. UVA rays exposure can cause the appearance of spots on the skin very quickly. The same goes for pregnant women: because of hormonal changes the probability of pigmentation can happen very often, the so-called pregnancy pigmentation.
It causes acne: Contrary to popular belief, the usage of solarium is prohibited in case of inflammation and rashes on the skin. At first it may seem that there is improvement after using solarium. Because under the influence of ultraviolet rays local immunity of the skin is decreased, which reduces its greasiness and inflammation disappear. But this is only a temporary effect. After a few sessions in solarium, the reverse reaction takes place, acne appears in more quantity and can hardly be treated. Solarium can be used only after a course of acne treatment to make acne scars less visible.
So Should You Use Solarium or Not?
Unfortunately, as it appears, a solarium has more disadvantages than advantages. But who cares if you have a long winter and dream for a bit of sun, even if it is artificial. It’s like with high heels everyone knows that they are harmful, but no one is going to give up on them. A reasonable way out is to minimize the risk. So here’s what you need to do:
First, follow the optimal schedule of solarium visits: once a week for 5-7 minutes.
Second, be sure to use pads on your nipples, and to cover birthmarks, scars or fresh wounds (including tattoos and piercings) with a plaster, as well as areas of the skin where there is pigmentation or vascular mesh.
Third, use sunbathing safety glasses, cover your hair and protect your lips with a moisturizing lip balm.
It is absolutely prohibited to use a solarium with mastitis, fibroids, polyps, cysts, thyroid gland disorders and numerous moles on the body.
About the author: Dana Stern is a blogger and content writer. Her blogs have many helpful materials on how to preserve your beauty and health for many years. Her recent beauty blog lists the best products for natural eyelash enhancement such as Idol Lash review. Visit her blog to learn the best methods to take care of your eyelashes.