Benefits of Indoor Tanning
BY ELIZABETH DANISH | TANNING | RATING:
If you’ve ever seen someone who had stayed in a tanning booth for too long, you may be impossible to sway on your aversion to indoor tanning. In all fairness, people bake under the sun for too long all the time also – the effects are exactly the same. What most people don’t know though is that indoor tanning can actually yield great benefits to those who partake in the fifteen minutes of exposure to the UV blasting chambers. While being exposed to UV rays for any great amount of time comes with risks, those risks aren’t as dangerous as they’ve been rumored to be. In fact, the long laundry list of benefits to indoor tanning could outweigh the negatives once you’re well informed about what good tanning can do for the body and skin. First let’s clarify why tanning is a process through which your body can benefit. Exposure to either the sun’s or a tanning booth’s UV rays helps your body produce vitamin D. Vitamin D itself has been attributed to the prevention of plenty of diseases including colon cancer, depression, high blood pressure, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, prostate cancer, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), PMS, arthritis, psoriasis, diabetes and osteoporosis. While it may be hard to believe that ‘fake baking’ can help in the prevention of all of these diseases, it’s important to remember one thing: the only way that your body can produce vitamin D is by absorbing UV rays and converting them into this essential vitamin. It’s not uncommon to find debilitating, terminal illnesses and depression rampant in areas that stay very cloudy and rainy through most of the year. Maybe all that’s needed is a little fake sun from time to time! Ovary and kidney cancer are also linked to a lack of vitamin D according to Dr. Michale Holick, professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine. His plea is that brief amounts of sunshine or indoor tanning can ward off the aforementioned list of diseases as well as ovary cancer, kidney cancer, hypertension, bladder cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. While simply hearing that vitamin D has been proven to prevent some diseases is one thing, hearing it directly from the doctor’s mouth is quite another. Dr. Holick does say specifically that ‘limited’ amounts of sun or tanning is appropriate – when it’s boiled out, most indoor tanners would fit his definition better than sun tanners. Tanners fall asleep on the beach for hours claiming that the sun is natural and won’t hurt them whereas tanning facilities are on strict watch to ensure that their patrons don’t extend past the fifteen minute tanning session recommended by the indoor tanning companies and the FDA. The FDA actually regulates the indoor tanning industry and requires that precautions and warnings be explained prior to anyone getting into a tanning booth. These warnings include the recommended maximum exposure levels which some tanning booths take to heart and make their policy as well as requiring that detailed operating instructions for the tanning booths that customers will be lying in be provided prior to first use. These precautions are taken in order to prevent overexposure. Another unique fact is that most herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wart and Ginseng are not FDA approved or regulated. When it comes to government control, tanning booths are safer than most holistic remedies! Despite the great effects that vitamin D has on the body and putting aside the fact that indoor tanning is regulated by a strict government agency, let’s discuss how tanning itself can benefit a tanner simply on the basis of heat and UV rays being applied to the skin. Tanning is a great option for folks who’ve had cosmetic or invasive surgery of any kind. Through darkening of the skin it is entirely possible for a tanner’s scars to begin blending in with the rest of their body color. This same mechanic holds true for mothers with birthing stretch marks or awkward teens who’ve suffered bad cases of stretch marks during puberty. In addition to masking scars, tanning dries oils on the body. Guess where acne comes from – oils on the skin! If you’ve suffered from a bad case of acne and tried everything but indoor tanning, get to a booth because the solution may clear your face as well as get you a great looking tan. In addition to acne, the drying of one’s skin of oils has helpful effects for a few other skin conditions as well. Eczema, psoriasis (as mentioned before) and even jaundice can all be treated effectively by a regimen of controlled, indoor tanning. Jaundice is a condition where skin coloration becomes yellowed and unsightly: tanning of course will darken the skin over time and result in a more natural coloration for the affected patient. Eczema is an inflammation of the epidermis and regular indoor tanning has also been known to reduce flare-ups of itchy, dry and flaky skin associated with the illness. Aside from all of these great side-effects of tanning indoors, there is one reason to tan that could outshine all the rest. When you bake under ultra-violet light, your body undergoes a number of changes, but only one that occurs in the thyroid gland is of particular concern to most Americans, according to the World Health Organization. According to the WHO, obesity has become a surging problem not just in the United States (though most obesity cases worldwide are found in the US) but across the world. Surprisingly enough, regular exposure to UV light will stimulate the thyroid gland which is responsible for balancing the metabolism of the body. While most obese individuals hole themselves inside, being outdoors in the sun or in extreme cases of obesity having an at-home tanning booth custom made in their size, can actually increase metabolism which would in turn help in losing weight. Metabolism is the process by which the body turns food into energy. Those with high metabolisms are usually envied for their slim figures. In truth, the thyroid is the gland responsible for leaving large people large and skinny people skinny. With a solid schedule of indoor tanning it’s possible to tickle this gland into working overtime and increasing your body metabolism overall.