​​​​What is tanning?

Tanning is meant exposing the body to the sun, or otherwise, to get a tan, and make the skin darker.

Tanning types:
  • Outdoor (sun) tanning; 
  • Indoor tanning, by using tanning beds, or self-tanning by using lotions, etc; 
Sun Tanning
Tanning Bed
How it works?
​When exposed to the sun, the body produces melanin to protect the skin. This causes the skin color to become darker.
It is a bed-like device, on which the user stretches out to get a tan. It surrounded by lamps emitting the ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause the skin to turn darker.
Lotions (some types of creams, etc.) are used. They contain a color that turns the skin darker without exposure to the sun. Such a tan is temporary, lasting for less than one week, if not reused during this period.
Potential Risks 
Exposure to the sun, ​without applying an appropriate sunscreen and taking the other necessary precautions may lead to:

​- Fast skin-aging;

- Affecting the eyes, especially when not putting on sunglasses; and

-   Risk of skin cancer.​

It may cause skin allergy.
​-  Apply a sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher).​

​-  Not to be used by persons under 18 years old.​

​-  Ensure that the lotion is licensed by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), 

Who should avoid tanning?
  • Sun allergy sufferers;
  • Skin cancer patients; and 
  • Pregnant women; since the skin becomes more sensitive during pregnancy. Sun tanning and tanning beds, in such a case, can cause burns to the pregnant woman, and affect her fetus. 

  • What is safer: sun tanning, or indoor tanning by using a tanning bed? 
Both affect the skin. However, the tanning bed is thought to expose the body to a higher level of the UV-rays responsible for the onset of skin-aging symptoms. 
  • Does the use of a tanning bed reduce the risk of sunburns?
No, using a tanning bed does not reduce the risk of sunburns. 

Myths & Realities:
  • Myth: To get vitamin D from the sun, you need to be exposed to the sun without a sunscreen.
    • Reality: Using a sunscreen is necessary when exposed to the sun. As for vitamin D, you can get it by following a healthy diet. In case you don't get a sufficient intake of vitamin D, you should consider taking Vitamin D supplement.
  • Myth: A tan every now and then would not be so harmful.
    • Reality: Tanning affects the skin, even when not so frequent. 
  • Myth: Tanning protects the skin from burns.
    • Reality: Tanning does not protect the skin from burns, nor from any other risks. 

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