Tanning is a good way to look cute, but there are various risks involved. If gone wrong, tanning can lead to serious skin damage and sometimes even death. In the case of sunbathing for a tan, cumulative skin damage by the UV rays can lead to many deformities like brown spots, skin cancer, and premature skin aging.
Those people who use tanning beds before the age of 40 are at a higher risk of suffering from melanoma (deadly skin cancer). Here are some of the dangers of tanning that you should know about.
a) Premature aging
Unproductive exposure to UV rays breaks down the elastin fibers in healthy young skin causing loosened folds. This may not show on your skin for the anytime soon since premature aging is a long term UV side effect. Frequent sunburns result to a permanent darkening of the skin and dark spots. You should avoid UV exposure in order to maintain a healthy skin.
b) Skin cancer
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer accounting for a lot of deaths each year. This cancer can be treated if detected in its early stages. Skin cancer can be hereditary but there is strong evidence that exposure to UV rays causes skin cancer. The UV rays damage the skin cell DNA causing the skin to grow abnormally. It also weakens the immune system thus the body’s defense mechanism is unable to fight against the aggressive cancer causing cells. Skin cancer occurs regardless your skin type. You should visit your doctor for frequent cancer checkups just to be on the safer side.
c) Solar keratoses
Solar keratosis can progress into cancer. These are the most common pre-malignant skin conditions and are considered as the earliest stage in skin cancer development. Many people think that by doing skin tanning they are enhancing their beauty but the truth is that they are exposing themselves to solar keratoses. Keratoses are treated by dermatologists by removing them using liquid nitrogen. Why the much hustle when you can avoid all this pain by accepting your natural look.
d) Tanning is addictive
Just like other cancer-causing activities tanning is addictive. Research has shown that tanning is addictive in that despite the many people being diagnosed with melanoma tanning is more popular than ever. A recent study states that some people who have been diagnosed with melanoma are still using indoor tanning beds.
e) Immune system suppression
The World Health Organization has stated that all people are vulnerable to the effect of immune suppression regardless of the skin color. Much exposure to UV radiation may suppress the proper functioning of the immune system increasing sensitivity to sunlight. This also causes the body reaction to certain medications. Overexposure to UV radiation weakens the immune system such that it can no longer keep some viruses like Herpes simplex virus under control. This leads to the reactivation of the infection risking your life
f) Eye damage
Overexposure to UVA rays can cause to eye damage which is cataracts and photokeratitis. Cataracts cause decreased vision and can eventually lead to total blindness. Research has shown that cataracts may increase with much exposure to UV rays. Photokeratitis is caused by intense UVB exposure of the eye. This can be explained as the sunburn of the cornea. You should consult your doctor for treatment and always wear sun protection gear such as sunglasses to protect against eye damage.
Tanning exposes our body to a lot of risks. There are so many health risks that are connected to tanning. All these life-threatening effects of tanning can be prevented by avoiding tanning as much as possible!