Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Now you know how it works, you can enjoy your tanning experience!

It’s a great way to get people to listen – just use terminology they are not familiar with; carefully select words or phrases that you know to be incorrect, but sound as if they are correct and you are half way there. Work on the principle ‘who is going to check anyway’ and hey bingo, you have a whole new set of followers thinking you are very clever. This may well be the case for some people, but not one we care to follow thank you very much!

You see, for years there has been a bogus argument floating around – that sunbeds are more dangerous than natural sunshine. To give more ‘supposed sway’ to this argument, the word intensity has been added. It also gives a bit of extra weight behind the idea – and why? Because most people wouldn’t have a clue what ‘more intense than sunlight’ actually means! So the dermatologists, lobbyists and the anti-tanning brigade are banking on the fact that most of you won’t know the answer and just believe whatever you are told. The fact that we absolutely need to differentiate between dosage and intensity is not likely to enter the head of most people. However, there is a crucial difference and one that needs to be understood if you want to know the real truth.

Generally speaking, the majority of modern, professional, indoor tanning equipment emits around the same UVA and UVB as the noontime sun. With this in mind, trained, certified operators can base their incremental exposure times of a patron on their skin type (which will have been established during the consultation and detailed form filling stage at the first visit) and the emissions of their equipment to build up non-burning dosages to slowly and gradually build a tan.

To state that indoors tanning equipment is more intense than sunlight is both misleading and inaccurate since the total output is measured thus: Total UV Output = UV Intensity x Duration of Exposure. So, if tanning equipment were to be say, two or three times more intense than summer sunshine, the duration of exposure will be controlled – (in the case of megaSun beds this is from 1-18 mins lying down and 1-12 mins vertically). The total UV output is always controlled to minimise any risk of sunburn. The more intense the output, the shorter the session will always be.

Research has not demonstrated that intensity of sunbeds is the issue; the number of photons delivered to the skin and how fast they are delivered is the key. To support their bogus claims, some anti-tanning lobby groups claim that it is possible that intensity could be an issue.

So the big question is this: if intensity really is the issue, why oh why hasn't dermatology BANNED all of its dermatologists from using their ‘phototherapy’ devices? Bearing in mind, these machines are more intense than sunbeds – and they are used to treat ‘cosmetic skin conditions’ – yes psoriasis is classed as a cosmetic skin condition. So if intensity is such a danger, why is dermatologists equipment still being used to ‘treat’ these purely cosmetic skin conditions with what is effectively burning doses of UV light – and breaching the Hippocratic Oath of ne’er do harm?

Would you like the answer? Here it is in a nutshell. The answer is MONEY!!!

In America alone, more than 1.5 million people use sunbeds (and they have not all been killed off), to informally treat ‘cosmetic skin conditions’ of their own volition at very little cost. Now, If the same people were to use the dermatologists office for the same condition, they would be paying the normal average cost of $100 per visit.
If intensity were such a big, genuine issue, then this kind of treatment would have been banned 16 years ago by dermatologists, when they first suggested that commercial sunbeds should be banned.

So you see how clear this all is – it is about the money not about the science!