I am seriously trying to get off the indoor tanning thing as it wasn’t intended to be the main message on this blog. However, there are some important things that surround indoor tanning or just tanning in general that I think I need to talk about.
Here is an article from Smart Tan called, “More Doctors Pro-Sun Today: Poll“: I like the message in here as it isn’t the old doom and gloom message about the sun we have been so used to hearing in the last several years. I am alarmed that once again money is a driving factor towards the discouragement of the use of sun to aid skin conditions. I can relate to why people would choose a tanning salon over a photoderm clinic. The closest clinic to my home is about a 50 minute drive whereas the tanning salon is about 3 minutes. The money I save on gas not going to the clinic pays for my minutes at the salon making the economics of my decision very easy. In the article it does say physicians referred people for therapeutic reasons, I am thinking that many of those people may be using the tanning bed for mental health improvement as well (the vitamin D is a great bonus!).
I just wanted to point out that besides Dr. Y all of the medical professionals I see support my use of UV tanning as a control measure for my eczema. These include my family doctor, naturopath, allergist, midwife (when I was under her care) and of course Dr. G (the dermatologist at the photoderm clinic). I have seen all of these professionals in the last year and none of them have said anything but encouraging words about what I have been doing, of course it does help that they (and I) can see the results.
After I started tanning one of my co-workers opened up about her psorasis and said that she had just gone to the dermatologist who actually told her to “get some sun on that!”. So I guess normal derms do actually recommend sun.
A very telling quote from the above article:
“Professional tanning facilities are trained to deliver non-burning dosages of UV light to create a cosmetic tan, but a side effect is that people are treating all sorts of conditions informally and effectively. What we’re really seeing is dermatology’s anger for the loss of billions of dollars in phototherapy treatments in their offices, as consumers choose a more economical and convenient method of self-care.”
I believe only good things will come from people realizing that a controlled tanning environment may actually help your skin (especially if it has a photo-responsive skin condition). Living with eczema has its trade offs.