Beta Carotene Supplements for Tanning
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment
Tanning is one of the common issues during summers that often comes with various unpleasant long-term side effects such as hyperpigmentation, premature wrinkles, and even may lead to different forms of skin cancer. Beta carotene supplements have been found highly beneficial for tanning to protect the skin.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know regarding the benefits of beta carotene supplements for tanning along with other important factors. But, we’ll start with the basics of tanning first. So, let's get started.
Table of contents
- What is tanning?
- Symptoms of tanning
- Causes of tanning
- Risk factors of tanning
- Complications of tanning
- What is beta carotene?
- Benefits of beta carotene supplements for tanning
- How to use beta carotene supplements
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is tanning?
Tanning, also known as sun tanning, is a process in the skin where the color is tanned or darkened. It’s often a result of too much exposure to UV (ultraviolet) radiation from sunlight. Other sources like indoor tanning lamps used in tanning beds may also cause a tanned skin in the body.
Symptoms of tanning
Signs and symptoms of tanning may vary depending on the severity of the damage and skin type. Common symptoms may include:
- Darkened, red, sometimes painful, and swollen skin with a burning sensation
- Small blisters
- Itching when affected parts such as arms, face, and neck are exposed to the sunlight
- In severe cases tanning may cause skin burns associated with fever, nausea, vomiting, fainting, and chills
Causes of tanning
When the skin is exposed to too much ultraviolet rays, it enhances its melanin production so that the extra melanins can protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays as a natural defense mechanism of the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its original color. The increased production of melanin may cause a darkened skin tone within the next 48 hours.
Risk factors of tanning
Risk factors of tanning may include:
- Light skin tone
- Working outdoors especially in high altitude areas
- Vacationing or living somewhere warm and sunny
- Exposing the skin without protection to UV rays from sunlight or any artificial sources like a tanning bed
Complications of tanning
Repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation that causes skin tan increases the risk of developing certain skin conditions. Some of the most common complications of tanning may include:
- Premature skin aging
- Skin burns
- Precancerous lesions in the skin
- Skin cancer
What is beta carotene?
Beta carotene is a natural red-orange pigment found in colorful vegetables and fruits especially carrots, peas, and spinach. It acts as a precursor to vitamin A and shows multiple benefits in the body for the skin, organ health, cell renewal, and the eyes.
Benefits of beta carotene supplements for tanning
Beta carotene has tremendous antioxidant properties. It has an incredible capacity to increase the synthesis of melanin in the skin, making it highly beneficial for tanning and protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation.
A 2012 review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that beta carotene and other carotenoids that have significant antioxidant properties can increase dermal defense against ultraviolet radiation and provide the skin long-term protection which is essential for maintaining a good skin health and appearance.
How to use beta carotene supplements
The real dose of beta carotene supplements will be different for different people depending on the skin type and other associated conditions. Always ask your natural medicine practitioner to determine the right dose of this supplement for your specific condition.
Average doses of beta carotene supplement for tanning may range from 1.5 mg to 15 mg per day. But you may need higher doses to treat certain specific conditions.
Precautions and side effects
According to international organizations including the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), there’re no major side effects linked with beta carotene supplements even with large doses of 20 to 30 mg per day.
Supplementing with excess doses of beta carotene may turn the skin into a yellowish color, which is a harmless skin condition known as carotenodermia.
Besides, studies have found that multivitamins and supplements that supply more than required daily amounts of vitamin A may increase the risk of developing lung cancers in people who smoke. Therefore, people who smoke shouldn’t take beta carotene or vitamin A supplements.
Finally, the antioxidant properties of beta carotene may affect the absorption process of other vital nutrients that may lead to various health issues. Like with all medications and supplements, it’s always recommended to consult with your nutritionist or healthcare provider prior to using beta carotene supplements.
Beta carotene is a vital dietary supplement that acts as a precursor to vitamin A in the body. Research has supported the beneficial effects of beta carotene supplements for tanning along with various other health benefits.
Beta carotene can increase the production of melanin in the skin and help protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation from sunlight or other artificial sources like tanning lamps used in tanning beds. Therefore, beta carotene plays a vital role in protecting and maintaining skin health and its appearance.
Beta carotene has been found safe and well-tolerated even with higher doses. The most common side effect of beta carotene overdoses is carotenodermia, a condition that turns the skin into yellow without any serious harm.
Always consult with your naturopathic doctor before taking beta carotene supplements especially if you are a smoker, pregnant, or nursing woman.
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