It's that time of year again when many vacationers hit the tanning beds to get a head start on a nice bronze glow. But medical experts are warning you to be aware that you can catch a lot more in tanning beds than just a few rays.
If you think about what a tanning bed really is, you realize that essentially you are laying with little- to no clothing on a hot surface, after many others have done the same.
So what happens if the bed isn’t properly cleaned?
Dermatologist Dr. Dawn Davis has seen plenty of infections from tanning beds.
Like a patient who contracted warts from a tanning bed that wasn’t properly disinfected.
"I started off with 300 warts. It freaked me out, grossed me out."
But now, four years and many treatments later, the warts are almost gone.
"Last time it was 15 -- very good progress.”
Warts caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPF, are just one of the health risks doctors say are associated with tanning bed use.
Dr. Davis says, "It's very dangerous. I've seen people come to my office who've gotten severe burns and scarring from tanning beds and lots of infections."
Rashes, skin ulcerations, and cellulites are just a few.
UVA and UVB rays can also cause cataracts and damage your retina, if you don’t use the proper protective eyewear.
Dr. Davis says, "The other thing I like to warn people against with tanning beds is that you increase your risk for melanoma approximately eight times over your lifetime."
So, before you stretch out on a tanning bed, experts suggest you take a few extra precautions, and simply consider the risks.
Dr. Davis says if you are still bound and determined to get a tan, use sunless tanners, or go to a salon and get a spray tan.
For more information visit MayoClinic.org.
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