Sunbeds may be horizontal or vertical. Vertical sunbeds are known as tanning booths. Sunbeds produce a tan by emitting ultraviolet radiation. Their strength varies depending on the age and strength of the bulbs/tubes used.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When using a tanning booth you will be asked how long you want to use it for. This is usually a maximum of 10 minutes. The receptionist will normally suggest an initial time of between 4 and 6 minutes for a first use depending on your skin type. The Fitzpatrick scale divides skin types into categories that are most likely to suffer sunburn. Depending on your skin type and recent sun exposure, a time erring on the side of safety is set. The booth is private and will contain make up remover. The client undresses and puts on the googles provided. The goggles prevent a condition known as snow blindness or Photo keratitis.
BENEFITS OF TANNING
Sunbeds provide a regulated all-year-round tan. They may provide vitamin D and a respite from Seasonal Affective Disorder. They are often used to provide a base tan before travelling abroad to prevent the effects of sudden sun exposure.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE OF SUNBEDS
Sunbeds are associated with the development of skin cancers - particularly in those with fairer skin.