Even seniors are not immune to having a glowing tan during the summer. Tanning has many benefits to it, but there are also downsides that need to be taken into account. Regardless if elderly adults want to get a tan naturally or in a tanning salon, they need to consider both the risks and benefits. Here are the pros and cons of tanning for older adults.
Pros and Cons of Tanning
Con: Damaged Eyes
It has been proven that eye problems, such as cataracts and photo conjunctivitis, can be caused by UV rays from the sun or tanning bed. Eyesight in the elderly weakens with age, so they shouldn’t further aggravate it through tanning.
Pro: Improved Self-Confidence
The most significant reason why many seniors go to tanning salons is to be exposed to the sun because tanned skin looks good. Even seniors who are far past their prime love to go outside and show their bronze skin.
Con: Accelerated Aging
With age comes wrinkles, and old ladies hate them, but they could worsen this state if they get exposed to the sun. Cellular DNA gets damaged by UV rays. These rays also weaken elastin fibers and reduce collagen production, all of which are beneficial for the elasticity and thickness of the skin. UV rays can also cause ‘age spots’ which are skin discolorations that manifest when skin gets burned by the sun.
Pro: Provides Nutrients
Like we mentioned, tanning has its health benefits. Through the sun, our body gets vitamin D, which helps our organs to absorb iron, calcium, and other minerals better. The deficiency of vitamin D can lead to cancer, softened bones, and various cardiovascular diseases, so a bit of tanning can help.
Con: Increased Cancer Risk
Too much exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer, which can be lethal. Almost half of seniors older than 65 already have one skin cancer. Further increasing chances of developing more is not wise. Seniors should limit their exposure to the sun to 20 minutes a day.
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