Are tanning beds safe

Are tanning beds safe? How do they work? Complete Guide

Achieving a glowing tanned look has become the desire for almost every person who wants to appear attractive. Using tanning beds for this purpose is one of the fake tanning methods. We’ll explore the mechanics of tanning beds and answer the crucial question: Are tanning beds genuinely safe? There is no such thing as safe tanning beds.

We can make educated decisions regarding our tanning alternatives by investigating their operations and possible hazards. We’ll traverse the complexity, presenting a complete overview of this popular tanning procedure, from the science underlying tanning beds to the potential risks they bring. So, let us begin this informative article to shed light on the appeal and dangers of tanning beds.

What is a tanning bed?  

What is a tanning bed? 

Tanning beds were introduced in the 1970s in different regions of the United States for artificial tanning purposes, also known as the tanning lamp. A tanning bed produces artificial UVA and UVB raises, which help tan the skin. Tanning beds initially gained popularity for people using them to treat the skin conditions like eczema but later on. People used them majorly for fake tanning purposes.

How does a tanning bed work?

Tanning beds are designed with light lamps, reflectors and filters to produce limited UVA and UVB rays. Light lamps in tanning bed work to emit Ultraviolent rays that interact with the skin to produce a darker colour. For directing the UV rays towards the users’ bodies, reflectors are used in the tanning beds. These are made of highly reflective materials such as aluminium to utilize most UV rays for a faster tan. To avoid potential harm, filters in the tanning bed control the number of rays emitting from the lamps.

Overexposure to the UVA and UVB rays from the tanning lamps can seriously damage the skin, so we use filters to control that. A tanning bed could be a standing booth or a simple bed in which a person lies down, and then UV rays penetrate the skin to make it darker.

Are tanning beds safe?

There is no such thing as safe tanning beds. People still ask if tanning beds are safe in moderation. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), tanning beds are responsible for melanoma, a serious skin cancer type. It is also said that tanning beds users have 2.5 per cent more chances of getting skin cancer than those who never used it. Also, people under 35 have a 57% increased risk of developing melanoma.

Other than skin cancer, tanning beds can give you premature aging, dark spots on the skin, and skin burns that can make you look bad in appearance. It can also give you damage the eye, such by causing contract and corneal burns.

You need to prioritize your safety over beauty and avoid tanning beds. You can use other quick self-tanning methods, such as spray tans and lotions, which are safer and quicker than tanning beds. However if you still want to use the tanning beds then it is important for you to follow the rules.

Dangers of Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are considered the unhealthiest way of tanning. There are serious Dangers of tanning beds that can even risk your health or life.

Let’s list down a few risks of tanning beds,

  1. Skin cancers (Melanoma), (Basal cell carcinoma) and (squamous cell carcinoma)
  2. Pre-Mature aging and Sunburns
  3. Eye Cancer
  4. Weak Immune System

Skin cancers 

UV rays from the tanning beds penetrate the skin to give it a tan but also damage and mute the skin cells, which is the major cause of skin cancers like Melanoma, Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. There are some early signs of skin cancers that you should always look for after you experience a tan, whether it is from the tanning bed or the sun. If you see a mole in your body that increases in size or changes colour, you should visit the doctor to consult about this or maybe a sunburn that worsens over time instead of healing.

Premature aging and Sunburns

Premature aging and sunburns are the most common damages from tanning beds. Your skin loses elasticity and looks dull. On the other hand, you get aging dark skin spots and wrinkles that make you look old and ugly. Now the sunburns are very painful and irritating, and your skin gets red and starts peeling, which makes you feel uncomfortable. You can use the aloe vera gel on the burning spot for an instant cure, but you need to take care of your skin by using sunscreen and staying hydrated.

Eye Cancer

UV rays from the tanning beds can damage the eye’s delicate tissues, which can later become cancerous. Unveal melanoma is a type of eye cancer that can be formed due to the tanning beds, UV rays can damage the mid layer of the eye (Unvea) that contains the blood vessels, and that damage, with time, develops into the unveal melanoma. To protect your eyes from this disease, you should always use sunglasses

Weak Immune System

Emitting UV radiations from the tanning bed can suppress the T and B cells which play a major role in developing our immune system. UV rays suppress the immune cells, and it causes issues in the immune system to develop strength and fight diseases in the body. You need to look out for your health and limit exposure to tanning beds to develop a strong immune system.

Tanning bed benefits

Tanning beds are thought to be the most unsafe tanning methods, but still, some temporary benefits to tanning beds can make you feel good.

Tanning beds Benifits

Efficient Skin tanning

For people who face difficulty while tanning naturally, tanning beds are very efficient for them because while tanning in the sun, sometimes people get burned due to excessive exposure to the sun, or sometimes, they don’t get tan at all due to insufficient exposure. But in the tanning bed, we have the controlling filters; with those filters, we can control the number of rays required to get a tan. So we can get a sufficient tan in minimal time.

Boost Mood

Tanning beds release UV rays, which can help the brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates mood, and UV rays can increase its production, so you may feel happy after getting tanned in the tanning bed. It’s the same neurotransmitter that boosts your mood after exercise.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks can appear on your body the constant stretching, which tears the collagen and elastic fibres of the body. Using a tanning bed can camouflage those stretch marks by producing melanin in your body, the pigment that makes your skin dark. Getting tanned from the bed will temporarily hide the stretch marks under the tanning effect, but the stretch marks can reappear when it fades.


Using tanning beds can be affordable compared to natural tanning, as you usually have to go to beaches. If the beach is not nearby, it can cost you very costly, but on the other hand, tanning beds are normally available in grooming centres, spas or tanning salons. One session of a tanning bed can cost you around $10 to $50 per the facilities you will utilize. Make sure you use a tanning bed under the supervision of a professional to avoid damage to your skin.

can you get vitamin D from tanning beds?

Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D for the body, but for tanning, some artificial methods like tanning beds have been introduced in the market, so people wonder if they can still get vitamin D from tanning beds.

The scientific community does not acknowledge tanning beds as safe for the human body. Tanning beds won’t fulfil the Vitamin D deficiency for your body, but the risk of skin cancer would increase massively. So, it is advised that you don’t use tanning beds for vitamin D as it’s totally unhealthy.

How to use a tanning bed safely?

Tanning beds are the most unsafe methods for fake tanning, but still, if you want to use them, you can take some precautions before stepping into them. You must limit your exposure time and take very short sessions in the tanning bed, and never use it so frequently.

If you are pregnant, using a tanning bed is a big no. You should totally avoid it. Use a high-SPF sunscreen before your session to minimize the damage of UV rays to your skin. Tanning beds also cause eye cancer, so you must use proper eye protection to save your eyes from the rays. Your skin gets more sensitive if you are using any steroid medication or some antibiotics, so make sure that you check your medications before using the tanning bed. Also, if you recently got a tattoo please avoid using tanning bed until its fully healed. People also use cocktail tanning method which is Tanning bed and spray tanning combined.


Tanning beds are the unhealthiest method of fake tanning. It produces UVA and UVB rays from the lighting lamps. These rays penetrate the body to produce melanin, making our skin dark. Are tanning beds safe? No! the dangers of tanning beds are Skin cancer, Premature ageing, sunburns, Eye cancer and a weak immune system. You have to avoid frequent sessions, and whenever you go for the sessions, use safety precautions like eye protection and high SPF sunscreens to avoid damage.