"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What are 'calorium' sunbeds? Here's why it’s best to stay away.

Recently there have been reports that solariums, or sunbeds – have been widely banned in Australia because they Increased risk Skin cancer – occurring Re-branded Such as “colleum” sunbeds (“col” is brief for collagen).

Commercial tanning and wonder salons in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria are marketing collyriums, with manufacturers and operators claiming they supply a long-lasting tan and stimulate collagen production, amongst other purported advantages.

A calorium sunbed emits each UV radiation and a combination of visible wavelength colours to provide pink or red light. Like an old-school sunbed, the user lays in it for ten to 20-minute sessions to get a fast tan.

But as many experts Arguedproviders' claims about safety and effectiveness don't stack up.

Why were sunbeds banned?

There have been business sunbeds. illegal From 2016 all of Australia (except the Northern Territory) under state-based radiation protection laws. It continues to be legal to sell and own a sunbed for personal use.

Their dangers were highlighted by Young Australians including Claire Oliver who developed melanoma after using sunbeds; Featured in Oliver. No tan is worth dying for a campaign. And died of melanoma in 2007 on the age of 26.

Sunbeds cause tanning by emitting UV radiation – as much as Six times The amount of UV we're exposed to from the summer sun. When the skin detects Substantial DNA damage, it increases the production of melanin, the brown pigment that provides you a tanned look, to attempt to filter out some UV before it hits DNA. This is simply partially successful, providing the equivalent of Two to four SPF.

Basically, in case your body is producing tan, it has detected a. A significant amount DNA damage in your skin.

Research shows that individuals who've used a sunbed a minimum of once 41 percent increased risk. from developing melanoma, while ten or more sunbed sessions led to a 100% increased risk.

In 2008, Australian researchers Each yr, sunburns are estimated to cause 281 cases of melanoma, 2,572 cases of squamous cell carcinoma (one other common form of skin cancer) and $3 million in health care costs, mostly to Medicare.

How are collyrium sunbeds considered different?

Australian sellers of Collerium sunbeds state that they're secure, but their machine description notes the usage of UV radiation, specifically UVA.

UVA is an element of the spectrum. UV radiation. It penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB. While UVB promotes cancer-causing mutations by releasing energy directly into DNA strands, UVA undoes the damage by creating reactive oxygen species, that are unstable compounds that damage many varieties of cell structures and molecules. They react easily with one another. They damage cell membranes, protein structures and DNA.

The evidence shows. All types Sunbeds increase the danger of melanoma, including people who use only UVA.

Some manufacturers and clinics suggest that the machine's light spectrum increases UV compatibility, however it's not clear what which means. Adding red or pink light to the combination won't negate UV damage. If you're getting a tan, you may have a major amount DNA damage.

Collagen claims

One particularly strange claim about collyrium sunbeds is that they stimulate collagen.

Collagen Our skin is the foremost supporting tissue. It provides flexibility and strength, and a youthful appearance. Collagen is consistently synthesized and broken down, and when the balance between production and recycling is out of balance, skin loses its strength and wrinkles develop. Collagen bundles change into thinner and fragmented. This is a natural a part of aging, but is accelerated by UV exposure.

The skin of sun-protected skin (top) has thick bands of pink collagen (arrows), as seen on microscopic examination. Chronically sun-damaged skin (below) has very thin collagen bands.
Katie Lee / UK

Reactive oxygen species are produced by UVA light damage. Existing collagen Structures and kick-offs a Molecular chain of events which decreases collagen-producing enzymes and increases collagen-destroying enzymes. Over time, the buildup of degraded collagen fragments within the skin promotes much more destruction.

While the evidence is mounting. Red light therapy While alone could also be effective in wound healing and skin rejuvenation, the UV radiation in collyrium sunbeds is more likely to negate any profit from red light.

What about phototherapy?

There is Medical treatment which use controlled doses of UV radiation to treat chronic inflammatory skin diseases. Psoriasis.

The anti-collagen effects of UVA can be used to treat thickened scars. keloids. Adverse effects UV phototherapy could cause tanning, itching, dryness, reactivation of the cold sore virus, and particularly premature aging of the skin.

These treatments use the minimum exposure mandatory to treat the condition, and are often limited to the affected area of ​​the body to scale back the danger of future cancer. They are administered under medical supervision and usually are not really helpful for people who find themselves already at high risk of skin cancer, equivalent to Atypical moles.

So what happens now?

Many calariums appear to be just sunbeds rebranded with red lighting. Queensland Health Currently Investigating Are these salons violating the state? Radiation Safety Actand operators can face hefty fines.

As 2024 Australian of the Year – melanoma treatment pioneers Georgina Long and Richard Schooler – highlighted of their acceptance speech, “There is nothing healthy about a tan”, and we want to stop glamorising tanning.

However, for those who are desperate for a tanned look, there's a secure and straightforward method to achieve it – Out of a bottle Or going to the salon for a sprig tan.