Sun and sunbeds
Our skin – the largest sense organ of our body.
Tanned skin is the best sun protection. The advantage of sunbeds is the fact, that they offer controlled and exactly-dosed tanning for each skin type, because, in contrast to the natural sun, an individual skin type tanning is possible.
Even very small quantities of UVB or very intense UVA exposures promote the formation of new pigments (melanogenesis) in the pigmentrich cells, the so-called melanozytes. In about two to five days, these newly-formed pigments move up to the skin surface where they undergo a lasting darkening process with the help of UVA rays and blood oxygen. The result of this process is a naturallooking, fresh tan. By regular exposure the tan gets more and more intensive and the upper skin layer (epidermis) gets thicker and forms the so-called light callus. The skin develops its own natural sun protection which can vary between the factors of four and eight.
In some cases, careful pretanning may reduce an existing sun allergy or even avoid it completely. But nonetheless, you should always consult a doctor concerning this treatment.
Biopositive effects of UV light
Especially in our times characterised by stress and hectic, a neat appearance and a slightly tanned complexion are regarded as desirable ideals. But nowadays, a sunbed is more than a tanning apparatus. We need the sun, be it natural or artificial, because it has a life-prolonging effect on our organism, on our nerves, our skin, our blood and the formation of our bone structure.
- simply to relax, to forget about everything and to recharge energy
- to strengthen the immune system
- to prevent osteoporosis
- Herz und Kreislauf aktiv stärken
- to actively strengthen heart and circulation
- for more vitality
- for a positive radiance
- against winter depression
- to reduce the risk of cancer (breast, colon, prostate)
The risk of osteoporosis starts to increase from the age of 40. 6 to 8 million German citizens already suffer from this disease, which makes their bones fragile and causes severe pain. Even younger people have already been affected by it. First steps to prevent osteoporosis should be taken as early as possible.
With progressive age, the bone substance begins to degenerate, i.e. the density of the bones decreases. This can lead to an instability of the bones which increases the risk of bone fractures.
This is what your bone structure needs:
- vitamin D and a calcium-rich diet
- regular sunlight exposure for the formation of vitamin D3
- sufficient physical exercise
Bones consists mainly of calcium. In our skeletons, we have a total of about 1 kg of it. This is why regular calcium supplies are important for the formation of bones. But the absorption of calcium by the bone tissue only works with the help of vitamin D3.
Normally, our bodies absorb calcium and vitamin D from our food. Regular exposure to sunlight helps our bodies to form additional vitamin D3. After consulting their doctors, patients suffering from osteoporosis are advised to tan at reasonable doses.
For elderly people, a strong heart and a stable circulation are the most important things. Stress, fear and worries do not only affect the nerves, they also make the blood pressure rise and have a longterm weakening effect on the heart due to the increased adrenalin production in such situations.
A lack of vitamin D is one of the most important reasons for heart insufficiency. This is what scientists from the University of Bonn in cooperation with the heart centre of Bad Oeynhausen have found out. 54 patients with a weak heart and 34 healthy test persons took part in the first worldwide study of this kind.
The scientists determined the concentration of two different vitamin D variants in the blood of the test persons and found out that their values were up to 50% lower for people with heart insufficiency than for the other test group. The ANP level (atrial natriuretic peptide value) for these patients was more than twice as high. The seriousness of their disease correlated with the extent of the lack of vitamin D. “This is strong evidence for the fact that insufficient vitamin D supply might play a role in the development of chronic heart diseases”, says Dr. Zittermann. At the moment, the scientists are carrying out an additional study where they give vitamin D to their heart patients to check if their state improves with it.
How to balance your life:
- well-dosed sunlight
- keep fit
- avoid stress
- reduce excess weight
- low-salt diets
- moderate alcohol consumption
- no smoking
Some scientists assume that about one out of four cases of breast cancer is caused by lack of sunlight. The increased formation of VItamin D as a result of solar exposure reduces this risk.
UV light as a supporting factor. An analysis of the first epidemiological study worldwide on the correlation between UV light and breast cancer confirms the hypothesis, that vitamin D can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Tests carried out at the Northern California Cancer Center in Union City on 5,000 white women showed, that in the north more women die of breast cancer than in the south. With an increasing level of sun radiation, this rate decreases.
A survey carried out by English scientists of 210 patients with prostate cancer and 155 patients with benign prostate hyperplasia showed that regular holidays in warmer spheres as well as frequent sunbaths reduce the risk of cancer by 60%. According to a scientific article in the magazine “The Lancet”, sunbath fans developed only very late, if at all, at an average age of 72 (vs. 68), malign prostate cancer.
Sun tips for everyone
Always keep to the tanning times recommended to you according to your skin type. Step by step, you will get a gentle and – if desired – deep tan.
Remove make-up and any kind of cosmetics several hours before tanning, if possible.
Use the sunbed only once a day and refrain from an additional sunbath on the same day.
If you have a lot of moles ask your doctor for information on how to deal with sun and sunbeds.
Always wear protective goggles or protect your eyes in another comparable way, e.g. with eye shells.
Have a tanning break of at least 4 weeks per year.
Be careful when taking medicaments! Some of them may increase the UV sensitiveness of your skin and as a consequence can lead to abnormal reactions of the skin. If you are not sure, please see your doctor first.
Don’t forget to take off any pieces of jewellery. This will help to prevent possible allergic reactions and unpleasant stripes.
What is important for the effect of a tanning session are the lamps, that the sunbed is equipped with. Low UV radiation power usually means longer tanning times and, 9 logically, high UV radiation power shorter tanning times.
All about health
In order to protect the sensitive skin round your eyes you should always wear UV-resistant goggles when tanning. These are available in your tanning studio. For patients who have had a lens operation it is essential to wear goggles. Closed eyes in combination with a sun clip make it impossible for the UV light to reach the eyes or the lenses. Nonetheless, we recommend taking off contact lenses before tanning. The drying effect caused by the warmth may lead to sensitive eyes and as a consequence even to reactions.
Yes, you can. During a normal pregnancy you don’t need to have any reservations. Depending on the stage of pregnancy, you should, however, try to avoid stress in general for your body due to extensive tanning times (ask your doctor if you have any doubts).
Some medicaments may cause a photoallergic reaction (i.e. negative reactions of the skin such as skin reddening). Among these, the best-known medicaments are psychiatric drugs, antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, but also vegetable substances such as St. Johnswort. But you should always see your doctor before tanning.
In contrast to many wrong assumptions, sunbed tanning is not advisable with an infection, e.g. flu. The total stress for the body or for the circulation might become too high and the effects on the immune system – which are normally positive – might have a negative influence on the course of the illness.
A number of skin diseases, such as psoriasis, neurodermitis or acne may possibly be alleviated by UV light. In some cases, an improvement of the skin appearance can be recognized. However, you should always see a doctor for a therapy.
Some people simply need more light than others in order to “work properly”. Tanning in the sun or in a sunbed stimulates the formation of endorphins, the so-called “happiness hormones”. People are living in bright light often feel happier and full of joie de vivre. But as we already said before, always see a doctor for the treatment.
As a basic rule, people with skin type I and children are not allowed to tan in a sunbed. Due to the fact that the resistance of children’s skin to UV light is not fully developed, they should not start tanning before adolescence at the earliest and only after having been instructed in a comprehensive and professional way. However, we recommend people younger than 18 not to tan at all.
For elderly people, getting a tan is often no longer of primary importance. They rather want to enjoy the positive effects of UV light, e.g. on rheumatic aches and pains or to increase the factor of wellbeing or the production of vitamin D3, which helps to avoid osteoporosis (fragile bones). Therefore, this question can be answered with a clear Yes.
Correct and healthy tanning
The recommendation given by the radiation commission is a maximum of 50 sunbaths per year in the sun or in sunbeds. The time between the individual tanning sessions should be a minimum of 48 hours. Sunburn may become visible only after 6 to 24 hours. More than one tanning sessions within 24 hours may lead to unintended skin reddening.
For example, moderate UV tanning can help the skin to form a protective barrier against excessive UV light. UVB rays, which go into the skin, stimulate the development of melanin, which then covers the cell core and protects the DNS. In addition, UVB rays make the upper skin layer (epidermis or exterior skin layer) thicker, which has the effect that UV light cannot penetrate in unlimited quantities into the lower skin layers. Tanning in a sunbed is a reasonable measure to prepare your skin for a summer holiday. But take it slowly! Always without sunburn! You will need about 3-4 weeks to build a sun protection factor of 4 to 8. The number of recommended tanning sessions in this time is one or two per week.
Basically, yes. However, you should always make sure that the total stress (e.g. for the circulation) is not too high.
Correct tanning should be done in moderate steps, the best way is to keep to a tanning plan. It is important to know your skin type and not to exceed the recommended tanning time and dosis. Various institutions (such as the Bundesgesundheitsamt -German federal health centre, among others) recommend tanning breaks of at least 48 hours. Skin reddening or sunburn can only be recognized after about 6 – 24 hours. Two tanning sessions within 24 hours might therefore lead to unintended skin reddening. With a total of 8 – 10 UV tanning sessions you can usually achieve a perfect tanning result.
Yes, you have to. After a longer tanning session break you should at any rate keep to the recommended tanning maximum for the first session. Subsequent tanning sessions should only be taken after 48 hours at the earliest.
Skin and skin tan
Pigmentation of the skin takes place in the extreme skin layer, the so-called epidermis. Every 28 to 30 days, all the cells of this layer are renewed. The cells located in the interior of the upper skin layer split and move to the surface where they necrotize step by step and then fall off. Repeated tanning sessions with UV light help to keep the tan.
Above all genetic factors determine if we tan more quickly or not, because we are all born with a certain colour of the skin. The capacity of the pigment-forming cells to produce much or not so much pigment substances depends on these factors.
There are some parts of the body, which have less tanning cells than others, such as the inside of the arms. Other parts of the body, e.g. the face, have a thicker horn layer and therefore tan more slowly. Due to the fact that over the whole year the face is more or less exposed to the sun, this horn layer serves as a protection against UV light.
In most cases, these spots can be found on the shoulder blades or above the buttocks and they can be explained by the pressure which is caused when lying on the sunbed. The pressure affects the blood circulation in these areas. In other words, these parts of the body cannot tan because the blood does not transport oxygen which is, however, indispensable for tanning.
Turn around and lie face down after the first half of the tanning session and you will see that these parts will tan as well.
For sunbed tanning, a spectrum is used which is similar to the sun. But in contrast to the natural sun, a sunbed provides the possibility of time-controlled and skin type oriented tanning in a controlled tanning environment. This means, the composition of the light always remains the same. In the natural sun, the tanning intensity constantly changes.
Remove any type of cosmetics, i.e. make-up and perfumes, in good time before tanning. Sun tan lotions are not suitable for sunbeds. For perfect skin care after tanning use an After Sun Lotion.
Unfortunately, the popular fallacy still exists which says, that you have to wait up to two hours after the tanning session before you can have a shower. In case you are afraid you might wash away your tan, we can ease your mind. That definitely won’t happen! Therefore, having a shower after tanning is no problem.
Sunbeds and hygiene
By using disinfectants which have been developed especially for sunbeds and which effectively reduce the number of germs within very short time. The sunbed is usually cleaned by the studio staff. But if you want to be sure you can clean it yourself once again before tanning.
Diseases which are passed on by sexual intercourse are only contagious when body liquids are exchanged. This exchange does not take place when tanning in a sunbed.
Two criteria are used to classify people into “skin types”, i.e. their tendency to sunburn and their natural tan. Most sunbed users are skin type II, III or IV.
Skin types cannot be influenced or changed by external influences, they are hereditary.