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My Tanning Bed Nightmare

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In the 90s, I, like many others, enjoyed the use of indoor tanning beds and booths. Always very fair skinned, my body would hold a warm glow when I tanned. Living in Michigan, I found it extremely relaxing to walk into a warm tanning salon on a cold and rainy Midwest night. And of course, I enjoyed the golden colored skin. I can almost remember the smell of the accelerating lotions and scents of the salon that I inhaled as I entered the front door. But that is not the final memory that I have of indoor tanning.

About nine years ago was the very last time I used a tanning bed. I was getting ready for my wedding and wanted everything to be perfect, especially for me to have a tan to show off my dream dress. I decided to tan at the health club that I belonged to and bought an unlimited pass. I was happy and excited as an employee behind the front desk handed me a towel and a small packet of Hemp Accelerator lotion. I moved into my room, undressed, applied the lotion all over my skin and proceeded to lie on the tanning bed. Within minutes of the bulbs heating up, I felt like my skin was on fire. I quickly got up and looked in the full length mirror. My skin seemed to be transforming to burnt shade of pink. I immediately got dressed and tried to figure out what happened.

It didn’t make any sense to me. I had been tanning many times before and never had a reaction like this. I hadn’t even been in there that long. Even out of the bed, my skin still felt like it was burning. I walked back up to the front desk and told them that there was a problem. The staff seemed confused and as I explained, I began to feel very light headed. I asked for some water and somewhere that I could sit down. Before anyone could answer me, I passed out and dropped to the floor. When I awoke, I found health club staff crowding around me.

Passing out is a frightening thing and it is worse to have happen in public. I was brought a cold, wet towel for my forehead and a glass of water to drink. My hand shook uncontrollably as I lifted the plastic cup to my mouth. The club staff helped me move to their cozy back office and insisted that I stay for a bit.

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What a horrific thing! So sorry that happened, but like you said, it had a positive result in you never wanting to tan again. I too am "blessed" with fair, super-sensitive skin. I have to be careful for lotions that will cause me to break out all over. I also have a strange thing where I will break out in prickly-heat-type bumps on my arms if I'm in the sun without SPF. It definitely helps to know "how you are" so you can act accordingly, and work to protect your boys from any inherited reactions as well. Thanks for sharing your uncomfortable and scary fainting experience.

July 16, 2010 - 9:48am
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