Sun Lamps Buying Guide
Don't jump to conclusions. Just because you see the word sun lamps doesn't mean you'll be burned to a crisp, or even worse, one step closer to skin cancer. In fact, when you buy a good model and use it properly, sun lamps can have the opposite affect, loading you with vitamin D to help ward off some common diseases and keep your bones strong. And if you're in an environment where you receive little sun--which can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder--sun lamps can help you feel more energized. And of course, these sunny devices are also pretty useful if you want to get a good tan before you go on that off-season cruise or that fancy wedding .
UV-A Versus UV-B
Sun lamps that emit more UV-A light are primarily used for tanning, as UV-A light is most responsible for darkening skin pigments. Sun lamps that emit more UV-B wavelengths can make your body produce more vitamin D, but also may make you more susceptible to burning. A good sunlamp, however, will be "true spectrum," which means that they emit 99.99% of the same radiation wavelengths that natural sunlight does--both UV-A and UV-B. The key to its use, however, is moderation. Even though vitamin D is often a helpful element for the human body, you can get too much of it. And as for tanning , the best method is slowly building a tan over a couple of weeks so that you don't burn or overdo it. And if it's your first time using a sun lamp, you should speak to your doctor before starting a tanning regimen.
- Therapy Lamps . These models have stronger bulbs that emit more than what natural sunlight can at any given time. This can help patients with skin disorders like psoriasis.
- Vitamin D Lamps . These lamps are best for those with vitamin D deficiencies. They usually come with 5 or 10 minute timers so that you do not get over-exposed and subsequently burn.
These lamps can come as table top or floor stand models, and can have either manual or digital controls.