SUNBED USAGE – Getting that winter tan safely

| 02/01/2016 | 0 Comments More


How many time per week can I sensibly use a sun bed?
People with skin type 1, children under 16 and people on certain medication that may cause photosensitivity should NOT use sunbeds at all.
Moderate usage of 2 to 3 sessions per week is fine for everyone else. But make sure you rest the skin for 24hrs between sessions, and at least 48hrs for skin type 2. The European standard advises no more than 60 sessions per year.

Why do the session times vary on sunbeds?
The power of the UV output varies considerably between sunbeds. All professional sunbeds operators will advise you on the correct session length dependent on your skin type, the sunbed being used and your stage of tanning.

Why does my skin tan?
Our natural skin colour is caused by a skin pigment called melanin. Initially, melanin is pale-coloured but UV turns it brown as it rises to the skins surface.

What are the benefits of using a sunbed?
The bottom line is that sunbeds are a controlled way to tan. Tanning in sunlight means the body can be subjected to different levels of UV rays, depending on the time of day and your location in the world. With a sunbed tanning programme you can avoid over exposure.

Is there a link between UV exposure & skin cancer?
There are two types of skin cancer, non-melanoma, which can usually be easily treated and malignant which if not treated early enough can prove fatal. Some evidence points to sunburn and over exposure to UV being one of the possible risk factors in contracting skin cancer. Controlled exposure to UV, either in sunlight or on a sunbed, is important to avoid over-exposure and sunburn.

Can I use a sunbed?
Most people are able to use a sunbed but there are exceptions, if you answer yes to any questions below you should not use a sunbed…
Are you under 16yrs old?
Do you burn in natural sunlight?
Do you have a medical condition that becomes worse in sunlight?
Do you have an excessive amount of moles and/or freckles?
Do you have a history of sunburn, particularly from childhood?
Do you have skin cancer or does any member of your immediate family have or have had skin cancer?
Also, if you are on any medication or drugs, please check with GP or pharmacist before using a sunbed.

There are six basic skin types. See if you can identify your skin type using the information below or ask a tanning professional.

Very fair skin. Usually lots of freckles, red or sandy hair, blue or grey eyes. High burn risk, skin turns red and peels. Advise not to tan in sunlight. DO NOT use a sunbed.

Fair skin. Possibly with freckles, blonde to brown hair, blue, green and grey eyes. High burn risk. Tanning tends to be light. Great care should be taken in tanning.

Fair to light brown skin. No freckles, dark blonde or brown hair. Grey or green eyes. Capable of building up a moderate tan. Medium risk of burning.

Light brown skin. Dark brown hair and eyes. Tanning is rapid and deep. Burning is rare.

Deep brown skin. Dark hair and eyes. Burning is seldom. Tanning is rapid and deep. This type of skin has its own natural protection.

Very dark skin. Black hair and dark eyes. Never burns in natural sunlight.

NB: Skin types 4,5 & 6… Initial exposure should not be moderate if living in the UK as natural skin protection factor is depleted through lack of regular exposure to sunlight. Take care when you first go into the sun.

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Category: goodHEALTH

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