Why We Prefer Tanning Booths For Public Use

At one time or another since 1987 and our involvement in the indoor tanning industry, we have considered adding a tanning bed. We realize that offering customers a choice between a bed or our booths would certainly guarantee an increase in business. But, sanitation and other health concerns always lead us to choose against it. Because of these concerns, we prefer to offer tanning booths for public use.

Those who have come to enjoy a relaxing 20-30 minutes in a tanning bed may be surprised to learn that they may be sharing their session with microscopic organisms from the eggs of lice or other parasites, to fungi, bacteria, and possibly even viruses. While some organisms will die quickly from exposure to UV light, others can survive since some bacteria have a protein coating that protects them. Even those organisms susceptible to UV exposure may require longer, or more intense exposure than the bed provides, allowing them to live long enough to potentially infect the next customer.

Disinfectants with specific properties are required for use on tanning beds, although many salons are still using regular household cleaners that may make the bed shine but will not kill germs. Others use germicides that will kill germs but not viruses or fungi. Germicides have also been known to cause photoallergic skin reactions or contact dermatitis. If the disinfectant has to be mixed and is not done so according to directions, it becomes ineffective, no matter how much is sprayed on.

Cracks in bed pillows and scratches in the bed's acrylic may harbor disease-causing organisms that even the proper disinfectant can't get to. Cloth pillows should not be used, since they can't be disinfected. To reduce the risk of potential infections, salons should use approved sanitizing products, use them correctly, and replace cracked pillows and acrylic surfaces when needed.

We feel that tanning booths are more sanitary since your body doesn't come in contact with the tanning surface. You can also judge the distance from the tanning bulbs for a more even tan and with less chance of burning. Some tanning bed users experience white spots on their backs as a result of a lack of oxygen to pressure points that come in contact with bed surfaces. This cannot occur from tanning in a booth. VHO(168 watt lamp) tanning booths require shorter sessions (10-15 min.), provided lamps are changed on schedule.

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