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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

PerksBeingABookworm
Dear Dish-It:  I recently became friends with an upperclassman guy, Tom*, from my high school. We started hanging out about a month or so ago. To be honest, I thought the relationship was platonic: we've never flirted although we've bantered, I don't use flirty emojis with him and although I spend a lot of time with him, he has always said how much I remind him of my brother (who is the same age as me), and he's never stolen glances at me or given me the impression that he was into me that way. I rationalized that he saw me as a little sister the same way as I viewed him as an older brother, since he constantly made references to my brother and never attempted to flirt nor gave off any of the typical visual signals of attraction. I also don't see myself as someone who'd be attractive or crush-worthy from the perspective of a high school junior, since I'm a freshman in high school and definitely not modelesque, and we pretty much stuck to group outings. So when he asked me out 2 weeks ago, needless to say it came as a surprise. We decided to remain friends, but I'm having trouble establishing boundaries, especially since my sister informed me that one of his friends told her that Tom "wasn't going to give up on me" and that Tom was going to adhere to the "Three Strikes Rule": apparently, he can wait and ask me out 2 more times before giving up on pursuing me.  Dish-It, how do I remain friends with this guy without this becoming awkward? What do I do? Just this past weekend he wanted to s**pe call me and kept s.n.a.p.ch*tting me. I literally feigned accidentally sleeping in yesterday to avoid meeting up with him (he invited my siblings and I to go play tennis at our high school), and I haven't talked to him since Saturday (we do track together so it was kind of unavoidable). I need space, and I want to remain friends, but he's really making me feel uncomfortable.  Thanks, -Perks. P.S.: This is the second junior who has asked me out this year (and the second guy I've rejected). Maybe I'm just really naive and oblivious, but I genuinely don't see myself as attractive to guys...how do I stop accidentally leading them on? Because I'm not trying to, really-I'm not flirty or anything. I have no idea why they like me, I don't think I'm being overly nice and I'm not answering texts right away or anything. This guy didn't get my phone information from me, he got it from another person on our coed sports team and he originally texted me 2 months ago to tell me that he was worried about my brother so I didn't think he was making a move on me. *Names have been changed for privacy reasons. (Also: the chat filter keeps unnecessarily censoring my writing).
reply about 1 hour
Shadeleaf
Shadeleaf posted in Friends:
I'm actually already being made fun of for my interests in Undertale. i kinda don't see how playing DnD can be that bad... it's fine. Thx .
reply 4 days
Shadeleaf
"al######ote: i am in love with a boy ..and planning to marry him ..  [s:p/zwq] [s:p/oaq] [s:p/1koh] [s:p/1jn8] [s:p/1jks] Congrats! just hope he doesn't abandon you like mine terrible attempts at a relationship. You may be even luckier than me :3
reply 4 days
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
"Shadeleaf" wrote: I've been wondering. I got the  books and all i need would be extra graph paper and character sheets....  Anyways my dad gave me this idea on Friday and I was thinking of it today. Maybe find a few nerds like me... who knows. My dad told me people would make fun of me, but i don't care.... You will face a little making fun of, but as long as you can get past that and ignore others, I think you'll be just fine. If you're already aware of any others like you throughout the school, maybe you should look into making a group! Slip them a note or talk to them yourself, see if they're interested. Good luck!
reply 4 days
drowning
###### wrote: i am in love with a boy ..and planning to marry him ..  [s:p/zwq] [s:p/oaq] [s:p/1koh] [s:p/1jn8] [s:p/1jks] I realize that I got engaged young as well, but 10 is a tad different. :^)
reply 4 days