How Tanned Is Too Tanned?

Plastic Surgeon serving Lutherville Timonium, Baltimore & Columbia areas of Maryland

A Frequent misconception about indoor tanning being more safe than tanning by outdoors with the sun. However, there are studies that have came to to the conclusion this is not accurate. The average of twenty minutes spent in a tanning bed will produce the same effect as four hours in the sun. Tanning beds expose you to just as much deadly UVA and UVB rays as the sun, giving you the equivalent risks as the sun.

Still yet, over 30 million Americans are visiting tanning salons with the desire to have that beautiful golden skin that so many thing is healthy and sexy. Are you one of those Americans that visits tanning salons? How much is too much when it comes to tanning?

It may seem impossible, but there are those who just "have to" tan, they can't get through a week without hitting the tanning salon at least once. For some people, it is an obsession to get as dark as possible. They disregard any and all medical evidence and recommendation that advise excessive tanning could be dangerous to their health. For those people, the Tanorexia has came to be a word to describe these people. This word describes people who feel they can't get tanned enough.

It is the opinion of many experts that tanning can be addictive because of the relaxation it brings about. As it releases endorphins, the person tanning gets a comfortable, fuzzy and warm feeling. For some people, if they aren't tanning can even experience a withdrawal.

There are two types of radiation: UVA and UVB. It's the UVA radiation that creates your tan by getting through to your lower layers of your skin. As it reaches those lower layers, melanocrytes are released, which produces the brown pigment than makes your skin tan without burning. The UVB radiation is the culprit that creates the top layer to burn. Fair skinned people have less melanin than dark skin people and therefore burn easier.

The side effects of radiation exposure has other side effects besides tanning your skin. Skin cancer is the most common and most dangerous of all side effects. Over exposure of radiation also creates age spots, fine lines leather feeling skin and wrinkles. It can also affect your vision reduce your immune system. While it may take skin cancer years to show up, the premature aging comes quickly. Again, darker skinned people won't get the aging effect as quick as light skinned people.

That healthy, sexy golden glow that so many want can be achieved safer than laying in the sun or using tanning beds. One option you may want to consider is an sunless tanning lotion you can purchase over the counter at your local drug store. The tan they provide will last two to seven days for the average person. Excessive washing or exfoliating may shorten the time of your golden glow. With regular application, that healthy, golden tan can be yours without putting your health in danger.

The products on the market today have improved over the years when sunless tanning lotions first came out. It is recommended to test the product on a small area that isn't visible first. Results are different for everyone, so you may need to try more than brand to find best one for you. Take extreme care and protect your eyes while applying these lotions. The majority of sunless tanning products on the market are regarded safe with one downfall possible. Some brands leave an orange tint. Again, everyone is different and just because your friend had that experience, doesn't mean you will.

So how much is too much when it comes to tanning? Consider any and all risks and dangers when you spend excessive amounts of time either in the sun or in a tanning bed. Make sure you aren't becoming Tanorexia. If you have spent too much time tanning in the years past and have the age spots and wrinkles left behind, give us a call today at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland. Schedule a consultation* with Dr. Adam Basner and review the options that can give you back a few years to your skin.