It’s wise to avoid tanning as much a possible and to avoid tanning beds entirely, experts say. Instead of intentionally trying to tan, it’s vitally important to limit your exposure to UV rays regularly wearing sunscreen while outdoors and avoiding tanning beds entirely.
While the sun also exposes you to harmful UV rays, the intensity varies by time of day, season and cloud cover. Tanning beds, on the other hand, dial your UV exposure to multiples of what you might receive while outside.
“The threat tanning beds pose to your health is very real,” Dr. Epperson says. “Some people may dismiss the risk because it’s not immediate, but it’s not that much different from smoking tobacco. You may not notice the damage in the short term, but the cost to your long-term health is very real.”