Many people love the way they look when they are tan.
There’s something about a bronzed body that just looks healthy and attractive.
While tanning has been popular for a long time, the risks associated with tanning are now well-known and can be serious.
Both indoor and outdoor tanning can be dangerous, and anyone who plans on doing any type of tanning should understand these risks and be prepared to take precautions to avoid them.
When Did Tanning Become Popular?
Tanning became a popular trend around the 1920s when tanned or bronzed skin was considered a sign of wealth.
If people had time to be outside tanning, it meant they could afford to take time off work or were wealthy enough that they didn’t need to work.
Around this time, doctors were also learning more about the benefits of the sun and how it affects Vitamin D production.
Many were treating patients with light therapy, which tanned them in the process.
As more and more people began to associate sunshine and tanning with a better mood and better wellbeing, the trend caught on and became a fashion statement for the times.
Around the same time, clothing became less restrictive for women, and swimsuits became more common.
This allowed women to tan at home and on vacation more easily and made it possible for more skin to be exposed for a better tan.
Why Do People Tan?
People tan for a variety of different reasons.
Some people do it for cosmetic reasons and others do it for medical reasons.
While tanning can be dangerous if done in excess, it can also be beneficial in many ways.
1. Associated With Good Health
A healthy glow is often associated with good health.
When people are tan or bronze, they tend to look younger, happier, and full of energy.
When people are pale, they tend to look sickly.
Some people have a naturally pale appearance and choose to tan to boost their appearance and get that healthy glow.
2. Improves Look
Some people feel like they look their best when they are tan.
Tan skin tends to bring out certain features and highlight them.
Some people also feel that being tan makes them look slimmer or thinner.
How others see people who are tan as opposed to those who are not can vary, but most people tan for their own personal preference of how their body looks.
3. Boosts Mood
Being in the sun and tanning can boost your mood and make you feel happier.
People who suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders may feel a lot better after spending a few hours in the sun.
In fact, many doctors recommend their patients spend some time in the sun each day to boost their mood naturally.
4. Detoxifies The Body
When you are out in the sunshine and tanning, your body sweats.
This makes it possible for the body to remove any impurities and toxins in the skin.
The more you sweat, the more you detoxify.
Of course, you should drink plenty of water to replace the fluid you lose while sweating.
The detox process can help you lose weight, make you feel better, and make your skin appear more youthful and vibrant.
5. Increase Vitamin D Production
Vitamin D is important for bone health, and it can affect your mood.
Your body produces Vitamin D naturally, but the sunshine can help boost this production to ensure your body is getting enough to absorb properly.
The more time you spend outside in the sun, the more Vitamin D your body produces.
Many people like to tan because it is relaxing.
There’s something about the warmth of the sun that just helps you kick back and forget about all the stressful things in your life.
The sun and warmth also relax your muscles so you won’t feel tense or suffer from muscle cramps.
Some people find that they can fall asleep more easily after they have been out in the sun or on a tanning bed.
7. Sun Protection
While tanning can lead to sunburns and early signs of aging, a nice base tan can actually protect your body from the sun.
When your skin is tan, you are less likely to burn.
Spending a few minutes in the sun each day can allow you to slowly develop a base tan so you can start to spend more time in the sun and won’t have to worry about burning.
When Did People Start Tanning Indoors?
The first indoor tanning lamps were invented to study light and the effects it has on the body.
When these lights proved to actually tan people, a European scientist named Friedrich Wolff decided to use them as inspiration to develop the first tanning devices.
The first tanning beds hit the market in the 1970s in Europe.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, the devices made their way to America and became just as popular.
The tanning industry is still huge in Europe and the United States.
In addition to tanning beds, the tanning industry also consists of clothing, lotions, oils, and beauty supplies.
How Does The Skin Tan?
The process of tanning is something most people don’t think about, but it’s very interesting.
A tan is your body’s reaction to the UV rays that penetrate the skin.
When the rays penetrate the skin, they start breaking down your body’s DNA.
As a way to protect the body, you start to produce melanin that helps block the rays.
The longer you stay in the sun, the more melanin your body produces.
The more melanin your body produces, the darker your skin will be and the longer you can stay out in the sun without the risk of sunburn.
It’s best to allow the melanin in your body to build up slowly over time so your body doesn’t have to produce a lot of melanin at one time, and you will gradually build a base tan that protects your skin.
When Were The Risks Of Tanning Discovered?
Skin cancer was discovered in the 1800s, but it wasn’t called melanoma until the late 1960s.
By the late ’80s, scientists were starting to relate tanning and skin cancer risk.
In the ’90s, warnings started to surface telling tanners about these risks and advising them to limit their tanning sessions to protect themselves from the sun.
Sunscreens were promoted more often and people began talking about skin cancer more often.
This did little to sway those who love to tan, however.
Today, many states have restrictions for indoor tanning beds and require tanning salons to limit the time a person can spend in a tanning bed and even how many tanning sessions they go to in a week.
What Are The Risks Of Tanning?
While many people love to tan and do so regularly, there are risks associated with indoor and outdoor tanning.
Proper precautions can reduce a person’s risk of developing any of these problems, but you should always limit your exposure to protect your body completely.
Sunburn is the most common risk and problem associated with tanning.
When the body doesn’t have time to produce enough melanin to protect the skin from UV damage, the skin will become red and burned.
It may also blister and peel.
Severe sunburns can even make a person sick.
They may experience fever, chills, and vomiting.
The more severe sunburn you experience, the higher your risk of developing skin cancer or other skin disorders.
Premature aging is another common risk associated with tanning.
UV rays can damage the skin, and when this happens, it can take on a leathery appearance.
It can also make fine lines and wrinkles more obvious.
Even young people who have spent a lot of time in the sun can look much older if their skin has been damaged by the sun.
Actinic or Solar Keratoses is a common condition that is considered to be precancerous.
It affects more than five million people and appears as raised, rough, scaly patches on the skin.
Many cases will turn cancerous and can be painful and cosmetically unappealing.
Tanning carries a huge risk of skin cancer.
People who have suffered severe sunburns are much more likely to develop skin cancer than those who stay out of the sun.
Even tanning without a sunburn can put you at risk for skin cancer.
Sunscreen can help prevent sunburns and provide some protection from the sun, but it can’t prevent skin cancer completely.
Is Indoor Tanning More Popular Than Outdoor Tanning?
Indoor tanning is more popular than outdoor tanning.
There are many reasons for this.
Indoor tanning allows you to ensure consistent UV exposure all over the body to get a better tan.
This results in less time being spent exposed to the UV rays, which reduces the chance of sunburn and other skin problems.
Indoor tanning is also more convenient because it can be done any time of year, even in the winter when the weather is bad and you can’t get outside to tan in the sun.
Is Indoor Tanning More Dangerous Than Outdoor Tanning?
Indoor tanning is more dangerous than outdoor tanning.
The tanning bulbs used in tanning beds have UV rays that are up to 15 times stronger than the rays of the sun.
The rays are also much closer to the body, which means a higher percentage of these rays are absorbed.
The rays also cover the entire body, so areas that would not necessarily be exposed during outdoor tanning are exposed with indoor tanning.
Indoor tanning has many other risks aside from sunburn.
People who tan inside can easily become dehydrated or may stay in the bed too long.
Tanning beds can also be difficult to clean, so there are hygiene issues to consider as well.
Is It Possible To Use A Tanning Bed Safely?
There is no safe way to tan indoors, but there are some things you can do to decrease the risk of developing skin cancer and other skin disorders associated with skin damage.
The most important thing you should do when tanning indoors is to limit the time of your tanning sessions.
If you are fair-skinned and have no base tan, you should start by only going for about 10 minutes.
After a few sessions, you can add more time.
You shouldn’t tan any longer than 15 minutes at a time.
It’s also not a good idea to go tanning every day.
You should go every other day at first and then spread your sessions further apart once you have achieved the tan you want.
Wear sunscreen anytime you tan.
You can still tan if you wear sunscreen, but it will protect you from getting burned.
Apply your favorite sunscreen each time you get in the tanning bed.
It may take you longer to get your tan, but it is the safest way to tan.
Eye protection is also something to consider when tanning indoors.
Your eyes are very close to the bulbs in a tanning bed, and UV rays can cause serious eye damage.
Bring your own tanning goggles or borrow them from the tanning salon so you won’t damage your eyes if you happen to open them while you are tanning in the tanning bed.
Is It Possible To Tan Outdoors Safely?
Even though outdoor tanning is safer than indoor tanning, it’s still not a safe activity.
Any time you are exposed to the sun, you take a risk of damaging your skin.
Some people have to be outside for work or other activities, so there are some things you can do to protect yourself while you are outside in the sun.
Avoid tanning during the hottest part of the day.
This is usually midafternoon when the sun is at its highest point.
Tanning during the hottest time of the day means your skin will burn faster, and you will be more likely to suffer from skin damage.
Use sunscreen when you are outdoors to help prevent sunburns.
Even if you aren’t planning on tanning but will be outside for any amount of time, you should apply sunscreen to help protect your skin.
If you are sweating or outside in the water, you will need to reapply the sunscreen as directed on the bottle.
Stay hydrated when you are tanning outdoors.
It’s easy to get distracted by the things you are doing outside and forget to drink water.
Tanning or being outside in the sun can pull the fluids out of your body quickly and cause you to overheat and get very sick.
Drink water and avoid sugary drinks or alcohol, as these things can dehydrate you even faster.
If you must be outside and don’t want to tan or be exposed to the sun, wear protective clothing that has an SPF rating.
You should also wear sunglasses and hats to help protect your eyes and face from the rays of the sun.
Although you may not want to wear a lot of clothing outside on a hot summer day, wearing long sleeves and pants can prevent the sun’s UV rays from penetrating your skin and causing problems.
Are There Any Safe Alternatives To Tanning?
If you love the look of a tan but are concerned about the risks involved with tanning, spray tans or sunless tanning lotions are great options.
These can be purchased online or in stores.
You can apply these sprays and lotions yourself or have someone else do it.
You can also find tanning salons with professionals who will apply it for you to ensure it is even and looks great.
It can take several applications of these products to get the tan you desire.
Sunless tanning is much safer than traditional tanning, and it can look natural and last for a long time.
There is no real risk associated with sunless tanning or spray tans aside from minor skin reactions to the products used in the tanning process.