JUST IN: Your Tanning Bed Might Give You Herpes

woman in a tanning bed

Summer is on its way so you might be tempted to make an appointment with your favorite tanning salon, but it's time to rethink that. Because not only is your desire for the perfect bronze glow harmful for your skin, it also puts you at risk of contracting a burning case of ... genital herpes.

Um, enough said. No more tanning for us.

Dawn Marie Davies is Mayo Clinic's associate professor of dermatology, and according to her you might be seriously putting your sexual health at risk by using tanning beds. Herpes can live outside of the body and therefore can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Davies has personally seen people fall victim to the infection transmitted through tanning beds.

"I've seen acquired bacterial infections, warts, and herpes infections from tanning beds. Ultraviolet light can, theoretically, kill germs but it's not enough to kill germs on the tanning bed," Davies tells Yahoo.

"When you use the ultraviolet light over and over again — and the tanning bed lights are on for multiple hours a day — if the bacteria or virus is exposed to some antiseptic but not enough to kill it, or some light but not enough to kill it, it can grow stronger and then it becomes resistant," explains Davies. Where's the closest spray-tan booth?

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!