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Tanning Bed Ick: Germs May Be Lurking

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

As the temperature rises, so does the volume of people going to tanning salons.

"Generally the beginning of the year is the time most folks are preparing for vacations, Caribbean vacations, tropical vacations going on spring break and heading to the beach, and a lot of folks want to acquire a base tan before going so they are less likely to burn," said Wolff Tan owner Shelly Griffin.

With the price of a golden bronze comes some danger, especially if you dare to bare all.

"When people go in tanning beds for various amounts of time, they sweat, bacteria and viruses such as staff infections or herpes virus could theoretically go from one person to the next if the bed wasn't cleaned adequately in between," said dermatologist Armand Cognetta.

But picking up an infection off a tanning bed is rare. The state health department, which regulates tanning salons, says that's because it’s an industry that has made sanitation and cleanliness a top priority.

"That's one basic thing that tanners should home in on when they go into facilities is to make sure that the bed is clean and not to go in right after a customer has left," said Vakesha Brown with the State of Florida Health Department.

Brown says also make sure the salon has a permit and satisfactory inspection report from the Health Department. If so, your sun kissed look won't have to be kissed goodbye.


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