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The Dangers of Tanning Beds

If you think that lying in a tanning bed is safer than lying in the sun, think again. Fake-baking is dangerous cuz the skin damage slowly creeps up on you. So before you jump into a tanning bed, take a look at why you shouldn't step foot in a tanning salon.

UVA vs. UVB

Before getting into the dangers of tanning beds, we need to cover the basics of sunlight, which has two types of ultraviolet (UV) light:

  • UVA rays, or "tanning rays," have long wavelengths that penetrate deep into your skin. They tan your skin, but don't burn you. Overexposure to UVA rays can lead to long-term skin damage.
  • UVB rays have shorter wavelengths that affect the outermost layer of skin. They're known as the "burning rays" cuz they're responsible for burning your skin. UVB is considered much more dangerous than UVA.

Although UVB is the more harmful type of radiation, UVA is linked with immune system damage and malignant melanoma. Melanoma is now the most common and deadliest form of skin cancer in women aged 25-29. Researchers also say that since UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, they destroy skin fibers and damage elasticity, causing premature aging, wrinkles and leathery skin.

Rethink Your Exposure

Tan-happy teens have hopped onto the indoor tanning bandwagon cuz they think it's the healthy and easy way to get a tan. Just think about it - you jump into a glowing bed for just 20 minutes and emerge as a bronzed god or goddess. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a healthy tan unless you're getting it out of a bottle.

Peeps who work in the tanning bed industry argue that it's safe cuz it filters out most of the UVB rays and emits mainly UVA, so you're less likely to burn and more likely to tan. However, this UVA radiation is three times the amount of radiation given off by the sun! Scary. So there you have it! Indoor tanning is just as dangerous as exposing yourself to the outdoor sun cuz both cause wrinkles and cancer down the road. When you're older and your skin is still smooth and supple, you'll be thankful that you avoided tanning beds and slathered on sunscreen with SPF 30!

Remember, the best and safest way to get a tan is to fake it - use a self-tanning lotion for your face and body, and apply bronzer to your cheeks and forehead for a warm, summery look.

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How Often Do You Use Tanning Beds?

  • Three times a week - I never want my tan to fade.
  • A few times a month.
  • I used a tanning bed once just to check out what it's like.
  • Never! They're more dangerous than lying in the sun!

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

rainbowpoptart
Goodness... I see where your mother is coming from: if you eat too much, no matter how healthy the food is, and don't work off the calories, you're going to gain weight. But she's being very obsessive and dramatic about it. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza or a cookie every now and then, and there's nothing wrong with relaxing from time to time either. As long as you aren't constantly eating junk and not burning the calories, then you do not have a problem. Eating unhealthy things every now and then does not make you fat. EATING every now and then does not make you fat. Try explaining this to her, calmly and patiently. Tell her that you don't want to be forced to do all of this exercising - being forced to exercise makes it a lot less interesting. Do not take "This is for your own good" for an answer; if you do not want to do it, it is NOT for your good. (This, of course, would be a different story if you were actually fat.) ALSO tell her that exercising too much and not satiating your cravings is JUST AS UNHEALTHY AS BEING FAT IS. If you were to not eat healthful meals and not snack every now and then, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is, plus exercise so frequently, you would not be healthy.  Eating is good for you, even if the food isn't. Eating too little and eating too much is not healthy. Exercise is good for you. Not exercising enough and exercising too much is not good for you. If you talking to her doesn't help, try telling another adult how you feel, and maybe they can help get it through to her. Regardless of what happens, take care of yourself. Moderate how much you eat, but don't limit yourself to less than you feel you need. Exercise, but don't do something you don't want to; working out should be fun. Good luck with everything. I'm really sorry that she makes you feel so badly about this.
reply about 11 hours
jake495
jake495 posted in Family Issues:
Make sure she knows its your body not hers In a respectful way of course
reply about 12 hours
ThePaleWalker636
I'm perfectly happy with myself. I'm around 5'6" and somewhere between 140-150 pounds, and I don't feel fat. But my mom is constantly telling me that I am, or, at least, that I'm going to be. She forces me to go to exercise classes because I don't like many sports, tries making me go on diets, but I don't want to. She tells me that if I continue the way I am, having an extra cookie once in a while and only eating cereal for breakfast, that I'll end up fat, and she makes sure to emphasize how horrible that is for a person to live with. She rolls her eyes and sighs whenever she sees me getting a snack, and just in general makes me feel awful for eating the things I like and for relaxing. I've told her that I don't want to do these things and that she makes me feel bad when she says things like that, but she swears it's for my own good and that I should never want to be fat, that it ruins people's lives. How should I deal with this?
reply about 12 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
"NS12" wrote: I meet this guy at a festival and we have been talking for the whole week and my mum has noticed I keep texting someone and I know I need to tell her but I don t know how I am going to tell her, I doubt she ll get angry or anything but he lives about 4/5 hours away from me. I know I need to tell her as I don t like keeping secrets from her. I know this was a bit ago, but I truly hope that you were able to be open with your mother. If you feel as if they won't get mad at you, then chances are that your guardian will not. Honesty is the best policy, and if you feel guilt keeping a secret, then it is one you probably shouldn't be keeping.
reply 1 day
drowning
I agree with @rainbowpoptart. You really shouldn't worry about relationships that much given your age. I promise, they're better things to worry about than boys and more secure romances occur later on in life anyways. But, given the situation, you shouldn't worry about either. The boy is unfaithful and so is your friend. If your best friend really valued your friendship, she would not have put it in a position that could end it. Don't waste your time on those who will not put you first just as you do for them; better people will come into your life and they are the ones who you should really worry about.
reply 1 day