While most people know that UV light from tanning can be harmful to the skin, some people simply prefer to be tan. While there may be limited options to help lessen your risk of skin cancer due to UV exposure if you choose to use a tanning bed, you can take care of your skin in ways to help improve its appearance and texture.
So, if your idea of a good night out is to hit a tanning booth, here are some tips for taking care of your skin during and after the process.
Invest in the Right Lotions
The best tanning bed lotion can provide benefits beyond a darker tan. Many contain a variety of moisturizers designed to keep skin soft and supple, helping to improve both the look and feel of your skin after tanning.
While these lotions don’t offer any protection from damaging UV rays, and won’t lessen your risk of skin cancer, they can help prevent or repair dry, cracked skin while you tan.
Limit Your Time
Some people don’t realize that the UV light emitted by tanning beds can actually cause sunburns, just like being out in the sun. And, having even five sunburns over the course of your life can increase your risk of developing deadly skin cancer by 80 percent.
If you are going to go tanning, make sure you keep the time you spend in a bed as limited as possible. While the UV light can still cause damage, and up your risk of developing cancer, it is worse if you get a sunburn in the process.
Disinfect the Bed Before Tanning
A lesser known risk of using a tanning bed is the chance to develop a skin infection. Most customers to a tanning salon tan nude to avoid tan lines and that can lead to bacteria on the bodies being transferred to the tanning bed itself.
Bacteria like staph can be found on tanning beds that aren’t properly disinfected, as well as fecal matter from the previous customers. Exposure to any such bacteria can increase your risk of developing an infection, some of which can even turn deadly. So, before you decide to lay down, make sure the surfaces are well disinfected.
Use Antibacterial Soap After Tanning
Even if you do your best to disinfect the surfaces prior to tanning, you may still be exposed to bacteria if you miss any spot. After you finish tanning, consider taking a shower and washing with antibacterial soap. This can help kill any bacteria you incidentally came in contact with and may lower your chance of developing an infection.
After your shower, make sure to put on clean clothes. Otherwise, bacteria that transferred from your skin to the fabric may end up back on your skin if you simply get dressed in the clothes you wore after tanning.
Monitor Your Skin
Even if you never develop a burn from a tanning bed, being exposed to UV light increases your risk of developing skin cancer. This makes it wise to regularly check your skin for suspicious moles or rashes that could indicate you have cancer. Additionally, consider scheduling regular appointments with a dermatologist who is qualified to monitor your skin for changes, especially for areas of the body that are hard for you to see, like your back or under your hair.
If you insist on tanning, make sure to take care of your skin. Otherwise, you may find yourself in worse trouble than if you took additional care steps earlier on.