The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


Tanning beds: risks and benefits

Examining the effects of tanning beds on health, appearance and confidence.
Avery Sigg
Digital illustration of a tanning bed.

Tanning beds. They’ve been around since the 70’s; since then, they’ve been used, enhanced and regulated. Tanning beds use UV rays to penetrate the skin and stimulate melanin, producing a tan over the course of a few sessions. However, UV rays come with their own risks.

Dermatologist Elizabeth Fite said that she believes there is no actual benefit to tanning beds. She said a lot of harm and destruction is associated with them. 

“There’s more skin cancer cases in the world due to indoor tanning, then there are lung cancer cases due to smoking,” Fite said. 

However, despite these risks, people continue to use tanning beds for personal interests.

Sophia Bond, who works at Solarium tanning salon in Olathe, has had a lot of experience with tanning beds. She explained how they have good and bad sides to them. 

“I think a lot of people don’t think really about the long term effects because of the instant gratification tanning gives you,” Bond said. 

It is Bond’s job to clean tanning beds, check customers into their appointments and sell lotions and other products. She said that most people use tanning beds to get tan, but there are other reasons as well. 

In Bond’s case, she said she doesn’t use tanning beds solely to get tan; she uses them mainly to help her with her acne.

“I use it mostly for the purpose of clearing up my acne because it seemed to be the only thing that really kept it under control,” Bond said. “I tried a ton of different medications and things like that, and the tanning beds were the thing that were the most effective at keeping my flare-ups under control.”

Similarly, Fite also said she thought that tanning helped with her acne growing up. However, looking back she said she’s not sure that it actually did.

“The sunlight itself may be a little anti-inflammatory, as far as helping with sorts of inflammatory conditions, which acne is. But that’s never been a proven treatment. It actually can flare some forms of acne,”  Fite said.

Despite this, Bond said that the risk of using a tanning bed was worth it to her. She said having bad acne is something that is hard to go through as a teenage girl.

“It makes you feel super insecure. You want to hide your face,” Bond said. “For me, it was really a freeing experience.”

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About the Contributors
Maggie Dahl
Maggie Dahl, Writer
Maggie is a sophomore and a first year staff member for “The Express”. Outside of newspaper, she will be involved in Girls Swim & Dive this spring. In her free time she swims for the Kansas City Blazers. Maggie also enjoys baking and reading. She is excited to see what her first year with “The Express” has in store for her!
Sara Scheibel
Sara Scheibel, Writer
Sara Scheibel is a junior and writer for “The Express”. This is her first year on staff. Sara is involved in girls tennis, BVNW Ambassadors, and AVID. Outside of school, Sara loves to spend time with friends and family.
Avery Sigg
Avery Sigg, Design Editor
​​Avery Sigg is a senior and Design Editor for “The Express.” This is her third year on staff as a designer. Outside of newspaper, Avery is involved in girl’s soccer, NHS and Quill & Scroll. In her free time she spends time with her family and friends, playing soccer, watching movies and traveling. Avery is excited to take on the role of being an Design Editor and enjoy her senior year!

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