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.


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.

Related Stories



latest videos


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!

related stories

Your questions about sunscreen and sun protection are answered on Kidzworld. Have fun and stay s...
One minute you're lying on the beach, the next you're red as a lobster! Sunburns are uncomfortabl...
The sun is finally out but the bright white glare from your legs still makes you feel like it's a...
If you're spending most of your summer vacation outdoors, you'd better know how to play it safe w...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Hmmm....Then she mustn't be necessarily "using" you, if she is not getting something in return ( As far as we know of). However, It does sound like she is being extremely unfair. That just might be how she is. Not exactly loyal to anyone. Well, try to talk to her about it and tell her how you feel. And, if it doesn't work out, then she might not be a great friend to hang around with, and maybe you will find someone else who enjoys your company. I hope this helps, and good luck :)
reply about 22 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
No not really. Like I said, one minute she's all smiley and then she doesn't even look at me. Most of the time I see her with Daniela and Andrea. Today she was asking me if I was going to hang out with her, Daniela, Andrea and Luisa during recess. When I told her that I was 'going to have to think' she was like, "Whatever." and ran off to catch up with the Threesome. Thanks. :)
reply about 22 hours
EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Is she asking you to do things for her? Like help with homework, carry her books and so on?
reply about 22 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
This is gonna be long:   I have this 'friend' Amelia. She and I bonded really fast last year and we've become inseparable.   But lately she's blowing me off and my other best friend Belen told me: Amelia is actually using you. She does this to new kids at school, especially from foreign countries. She thinks because you're Chinese and the Chinese teacher's daughter, you'll help her. She's also using you as a backup friend - a substitute. There's this new girl Daniela, who Amelia thinks is her new best friend. She thinks that when Daniela stop hanging out with her, she'll have you.   The thing is, Daniela is pretty nice and she probably doesn't know all the trouble she's causing. Belen's old 'best friend' Andrea is doing the same to her.   I also learned that Amelia is seemingly the 'most popular girl in school' because she's mean to everyone. She always passes by the little kids' classrooms and hugs them & stuff. They seem to love her, but now I know it's because they think if they're nice they won't get bullied.   Maybe she WAS using me but I dunno. Belen says that each kid in the entire school has a bad story about Amelia and something she did to them. I said, "Then how was she so nice to me last year?" Then Belen was all like, "She was using you."   I don't know if she's telling the truth. She and Amelia are deadly enemies and she might be making up the whole Amelia story just to get back at her. Although Amelia has been dropping a few signs that she IS using me as a substitute friend.   Sometimes when I walk in, she'll be like "OOOOHHH! CASSANDRA! HI! HOW ARE YOU! C'MON, LOOK AT THIS! WE'RE GONNA HAVE SOOOO MUCH FUN TOGETHER ..."   And other times I'm like, "Hey, Amelia!" and she says, "Oh. Huh? Yeah, hi ..."  Once during PE we had to sit down and on the way to the gym, she was chatting with me in a BBBBFFFF way. But then when we had to partner up she said with Andrea, Daniela and someone else who I forgot.   I don't know what to do. It's just so weird. Even though now I know she MIGHT be using me (I'm not sure if she really is) it just seems WEIRD. Even for a supposed ##### she was my possibly fake best friend for the whole of last year. It's WEIRD to suddenly switch.   I don't even know if this should be happening. We've only just started 5th grade. Doesn't this WEIRD #### start happening around middle school? Thank you, everyone who will help in advance. P.S. Please include flirting advice. - A Girl Who Might Just Lose Her Possibly Fake Best Friend
reply about 23 hours
Okay I have school today and my hair is not sitting how I want it to. But my mum says it is sitting fine WHEN ITS NOT! SHE IS NOT LISTENING what do i do?
reply about 24 hours

play online games