Why is there such a Stigma around Sunbeds, and are they THAT bad for you?
Simply put- yes!
We are all guilty of being a sucker for that gorgeous golden glow that comes with a full day in the sun over summer, but the health implications and risks are huge that come with tanning on sunbeds.
The other thing to note, is how incredibly damaging sunbeds can be to the skin after cosmetic treatments and facials. If you are someone who has made the financial commitment and investment in looking after your skin with regular facials, peels, treatments etc, essentially you are quite literally reversing the benefits of these treatments and undoing all of the progress that your skin is making.
What a lot of people don’t know, is that when our skin tans- the change in colour is actually an allergic reaction that is occurring. This reaction is histamine cells forcing the melanocytes to produce excess pigment. The ab-normal and rapid growth of these cells causes mutations, which in turn lead to the development of cancerous cell growth.
The reaction and growth of these cells is triggered by the exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays- and as we know, Sunbeds are a far higher concentrate and intensity of this particular ray within a controlled environment.
The risks are actually far more severe in younger people, usually under the age of 25, and even more so for younger people who sunburn.
This is why it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use sunbeds.
Not only are sunbeds and the UV rays damaging on the skin, but they also impose a huge risk to the eyes. Mild to severe irritation can occur, conjunctivitis and even age-related cataracts can be triggered.
People who are at the highest risk of complications associated with sunbed use include:
- Someone who burns easily, who tans slowly or who has fair skin
- Someone with a history of sunburn during childhood, as well as an adult
- Someone with red hair or naturally very fair hair
- Someone with a lot of moles throughout the body
- Someone taking medication that causes the skin to become sensitive easily, or sensitive to light.
- Someone who suffers from vitiligo, , any long term skin conditions that are caused by a reduced amount of melanin in the skin
- Someone who has previously suffered from skin cancer or has a family history of skin cancer.
- Someone who has badly sun damaged skin
Of course its so important to take pre-existing health and skin conditions into consideration when we look at the risks and dangers on Sunbeds, but it is also so important to pay attention to the aftercare guidelines given after certain skincare and cosmetic treatments.
The impact that tanning can have on the skin imminently after particular treatments can be detrimental to the short term and long term structure, function and appearance of the skin.
Here is a list of a just some of the skin treatments that require a huge caution when considering sun bedding before or after:
- Chemical Skin Peels
- PDO Threads
- Semi-Permanent Makeup
- PRP / Vampire facials
- BB Glow
- Scalp micropigmentation
- MCA Scar treatment
There are many reasons as to why avoiding sunbeds before or after these treatments is crucial- for some of these listed, as long as up to 4 weeks is advised.
Pigmentation is a common side effect from over exposure to the sun- but when using Sunbeds, the acceleration of this is hugely magnified, and in many instances- the damage is permanent, particularly in treatments which involves the breaking of the epidermis (the surface layer of the skin).
For treatments that require ink pigment being inserted into the skin i.e., Microblading, SPMU, BB Glow etc, not only is the healing of the broken skin affected, but the healing and colour retention of the ink pigment can be affected. The UV rays can change pigments to a shade that the client was not initially desiring, leaving (for example) SPMU Eyebrows looking a more grey, ashier tone. The ink drying and healing will be sped up at a rate that is quicker than what should normally occur which consequently can cause unwanted scaring, pigment loss or shape adjustment.
For treatments that involve scrubs or deep exfoliation – the surface layers of dead skin cells are quite literally being stripped, leaving nothing but brand new and vulnerable skin. Using sunbeds within a month of one of these treatments are guaranteed to leave your skin extremely burnt, and with permanent, painful damage to the newer skin cells.
With all of this in mind, and many more reasons and risks not mentioned – it is unquestionable that Sunbeds pose a huge risk to your long-term skin appearance, but also your long-term health.
Our recommendation- pop down to your local Superdrug store and buy a bottle of Fake tan!