Answers to our frequently asked questions
Can tanning indoor cause cancer?
This wide-spread misconception deserves a clear answer. There is still a lot to know about skin cancer, but what is known is that is follows a long-term skin irritation. Cancer is the final phase in the evolution of this disease. The condition (1) starts by an IRRITATION. Skin tissues react against this irritation by inflammation of the skin. If the irritation occurs often, the following phase is ULCERATION. In other words, the tissue is literally attacked by an irritating agent (the sun). (2) The following phase is SCLEROSIS, or INDURATION. The tissue is trying to protect itself by forming a shell. At the same time, it loses its vitality. (3) The next phase is TUMEFACTION. Tumours are nothing but an effort to envelop (form a cyst) irritating residue. (4) Lastly, in the last phase of the diseaseís evolution, CANCERIZATION, the skin tissue loses all control over the multiplication of its cells. All these phases originate from the irritation process.
Evidently, UVB rays can cause some irritation (sunburns). But the skin has its own defence mechanism, which increases the level of melanin in the skin in order to neutralize the rays.
That is why one should never get sunburned during a session. Thus, if there is no excessive exposure to UV rays, the irritation is neither intense or permanent. It is not sufficient to cause cancer.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED FROM SKIN CANCER SHOULD NOT EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO THE SUN, INDOORS OR OUTDOORS. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO ALLOW THESE PEOPLE TO TAN INDOORS.
Why does my skin get a tignling feeling at the beginning of a session?
Exposure can indeed cause a tingling feeling at the beginning of the first two or three sessions. This proves that the skin is not used to solar exposure, and reacts by an increase in blood circulation, which in turns causes the tingling feeling. This phenomenon is not dangerous, and completely normal. It does demonstrate, however, the importance of applying a “after-sun” lotion, to moisturize the skin.
Is reddening of the kin a sign of danger?
Not necessarily. It means that the skin has received enough UV rays. However, if the skin is abnormally red and remains red the following day, it means that the tanning session was too long. Wait until the skin is no longer red, and decrease the length of exposure of your next session.
Do UV Rays cause premature ageing of the skin?
Yes, if the frequency of exposures is exaggerated. The skin’s elastin fibres and collagen requires a certain time to regain their initial shape, i.e. 48 hours. Moderate exposure and adequate moisturization, before and after tanning, eliminate the ageing problem.
Should I tan if I have rosacea prone skin?
Rosacea (also called acne rosacea or couperose) is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation and redness of the face. The areas around the cheeks and nose are the first to take on a purplish tint, followed by the forehead and the chin. The cause of rosacea is not known, but what is known is that certain factors tend to increase or promote its symptoms: overexposure to the sun or tanning lamps, heat, sudden changes in temperature, exposure to extreme weather conditions and the consumption of hot beverages, spicy foods or alcoholic beverages. FACIALS SHOULD BE AVOIDED.
I just returned from a vacation down south and my skin is peeling. Can I still tan?
Peeling causes a loss of melanin in the skin, making it more sensitive. Let the skin rest and heal. Once the peeling has stopped, sessions should resume very slowly and carefully. Burnt skin becomes sensitive, and should be treated like skin that has never tanned.
I have small red pimples on the bust. What do I do?
These small pimples are often called heat pimples and are simply caused by heat and humidity. Let the skin rest by skipping a session and they will disappear. If the pimples appear after each session, change the cream or lotion you are using. You may be allergic to one of the ingredients; otherwise, consult a physician.
I have white spots. Is it dangerous? What can I do?
No, this is not dangerous. These white spots are usually fungus activated by moisture. Make sure that the germicide used is efficient, and that the tanning equipment is well cleaned. Skin fungus can be destroyed with Selsun Blue shampoo: empty the bottle in a tub of lukewarm water and soak in it for 20 minutes. For spots not immersed in water, apply the shampoo directly and let dry. The spots will tan in the following sessions.
If the spots are located on the face, the chest or the arms, they could be caused by face or body creams that contain perfume. People with a “sweet tooth”, or who drink a lot of alcohol also have a tendency to develop these spots. Once the origin is identified, the problem is rapidly solved.
I have white spots on my shoulder blades and buttocks. What causes them?
These spots, the size of a two-dollar coin, are located on the areas that rest over the acrylic. Since the weight of the body is concentrated on these areas, there is no oxygen passing through. Without oxygen, there is no tanning. Move slightly your body regularly during the tanning session.
Why do I itch between sessions. and mostly after a session?
It is a sign of dehydration. Tanning without cream dries up the skin and cause itching. It is important to use a moisturizing tanning lotion before tanning, and a “after-sun” cream after the session to hydrate the skin at all times and avoid itchiness.
Is the pigmentation generation by the sun the same as the one obtained by using a tanning bed?
Yes. The only difference is the exposure time, which is controlled in a tanning salon and not outdoors.
Can pregnant women practice indoor tanning?
Yes. There is no scientific or biological reason they should not tan, whether it is indoors or outdoors. In fact, some scientists believe that the vitamin D generated by UVB rays may be beneficial to the mother and the fetus. However, for reasons of liability, it is better for pregnant women to consult their physician beforehand. They could be affected by the heat, which could make them feel weak or even faint. Sometimes, pregnant women can develop chloasma (increased pigmentation on the face); this can be avoided through the use of a good sunscreen.
Why is it important to develop a base tan?
Moderate exposure to UV rays builds a natural barrier that protects against excessive exposure. The UVB stimulate the production of melanin, which protects the skin. This substance absorbs radiation and thickens the epidermis, thus limiting the amount of UVA that penetrates the dermis (second layer of the skin). If this photo-protection (base tan) is not developed and a sunscreen is not used, sunburn can occur, reaching the DNA and damaging the skin cells. Damaged skin cells degenerate, and can lead to skin cancer. Thus the importance of protecting the skin with an approved sunscreen.
Is protective eyewear really necessary?
Yes. More and more scientists confirm that exposure to UVB and UVA rays can cause damage to your vision. Short-term, UVB can burn the eyes. Long-term effects of UVB exposure are not yet completely identified. Consequently, UV protective eyewear should always be worn. Sunglasses are not appropriate for indoor tanning.
Can indoor tanning help in the treatment of psoriasis?
Phototherapy (UV treatments) is only used to control psoriasis or its symptoms, no to cure the condition.
Can indoor tanning help arthritis sufferers?
There is no proof that phototherapy is efficient in treating arthritis. It does, however, alleviate arthritic pain.
Can I keep my contact lenses when I tan?
Wearing contact lenses while tanning is not dangerous, but may dry out the eyes and cause discomfort.
Does indoor tanning help in the treatment of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is the degeneration of bones due to a lack of calcium. Vitamin D is produced by UVB rays. Some studies have demonstrated that indoor tanning increases the photosynthesis of vitamin D which, in turn, contributes to the absorption of calcium and phosphor. Thus, UV rays are the best natural source of vitamin D, and are a form of protection against rickets and osteoporosis.
Does indoor tanning heal acne?
No, but UVB treatments (phototherapy) decrease acne breakouts. People under acne medication containing tetracycline or retin-A should not tan at all, since these drugs are photosensitizers.