These days, tanning salons may seem like a dime a dozen. If you live in a metropolitan area like New York City, you may often find yourself bumping into people handing out coupons or flyers for local tanning salons. While it's always best to visit salons that have been referred to you, sometimes you may find yourself checking out a salon with no prior information. There are a few important things to keep in mind when visiting a salon for the first time.

Cleanliness

Tanning salons should follow and implement a strict cleaning policy that involves disinfecting and wiping down all equipment after they have been used. One of the worst things that can happen to you on your first trip to a tanning salon is to walk into a tanning bed or a booth only to find dead skin or other residue from the person before you. Unclean tanning beds can irritate your skin, or worse, may cause infections.

Know Your Skin Type

Be sure that the tanning salon asks you to fill out a form for your skin type. This is necessary for the tanning salon personnel to properly set the machine and prevent any possible complications during the tanning process.

Medication

If you're on any type of prescription medication, let the tanning salon personnel know. Some medications are known to affect the skin's sensitivity to radiation. Complications like allergic reactions may also occur depending on the medication you're taking, so make sure to check with a doctor and the salon personnel before going for an indoor tan.

Goggles

Make sure that the salon offers tanning goggles to protect your eyes from the UV radiation. Just as looking at the sun can be extremely damaging to the eyes, having too much UV radiation is equally harmful. If possible, purchase your own goggles, as this will prevent possible infection from previous users. Be safe and protect them!

Too Much UV

One of the great benefits of indoor tanning salons is the ability to control exposure to UV radiation. However, this control relies heavily on the personnel handling the equipment. It's important to make sure that the salon personnel are capable and careful people who will not set the machine incorrectly. Make sure to check the settings of the tanning bed or booth that you will be using prior to beginning your tan. Overexposure to UV rays should not be taken lightly. Remember to ask the staff operating the machine about the settings and the equipment. If they sound unknowledgeable, then it's best to leave or ask for someone else to operate the machine than risk the dangers of overexposure.

Broken Bulbs

This is a real danger that can occur in tanning salons. With the numerous lights that tanning beds use, it's not uncommon for a bulb to break while in the tanning machine. Make sure there is some type of precaution, such as a transparent barrier, that will protect you in case of a broken bulb accident. Ask the tanning salon staff what precautions they take to ensure that broken bulbs and other equipment malfunctions don't occur.

Going to the tanning salon can be a safe and fun experience, but it's important to take the necessary precautions and make the necessary checks to minimize the risk of complications. Do your research before deciding on a salon, this way you will know which places to avoid and which are worth investing your time, money and skin in. Happy Tanning!