Public Health
Tanning
 

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; 
Type​
Sun Tanning
Tanning Bed
Self-Tanning
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.
Precautions
​-  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. 

FAQs:
  • 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. 






Content Evaluation
Reading times
Last Update 14 November 2019 12:29 PM
Do you find this content useful? Yes No Suggest
Satisfaction of visitorsA sign of happiness
Satisfaction of visitors Completely satisfied Satisfied Neutral Not Satisfied Completely dissatisfied
This site can be viewed on all screen tones and all smart devices and supports all kinds of browsers
All Rights Reserved – Ministry of Health – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ©