Tanning beds? Harmful or not?

Taylor Freitas, Journalism Student

Everybody has an ideal image of looking perfect and when it comes to skin, people often think – tan.

Adults and teenagers everywhere are using tanning beds for the desired golden skin color. Most people believe that indoor tanning is much worse than going in the sun but in small amounts it isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.

In order to get a tan, you need to absorb the UV radiation, whether that be from the sun or a tanning bed. But everybody makes a huge deal about tanning beds. It’s never a big deal when the beach is filled with people tanning throughout the whole summer, but sit in a tanning bed for ten minutes and it’s the end of the world for you.

The sun emits two kinds of ultra violet rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays go deep into the skin while UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn because they have a shorter wave length. Tanning beds typically don’t include the UVB rays, which prevent sunburn.

Bethel High School nurse, Lisa Davenport thinks that a tanning bed, “doesn’t protect you from the harmful rays of the sun and it increases your risks of skin cancer.” She recommends, “spray tans may be a better idea than tanning at all.”

Katherine Filler, a junior at Bethel High School, is not as concerned about the effects of tanning. She says, “I go tanning once a week because it’s something I enjoy doing. Sure, I know the effects it can have but my mom, aunt, and brother have been doing it since I can remember and they’re perfectly fine. It gives me the color I want without burning and it relaxes me.”

I say, using tanning beds smartly in moderation reduces chances of dangerous effects and can give people the perfect skin they desire.

(The opinion expressed does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Wildcat Word.)