Tanning Salons and Equipment: FSA Eligibility
What are tanning salons and equipment?
Tanning salons are businesses that specialize in cosmetic tanning done through sunbed or tanning bed sessions. These beds are specially constructed with fluorescent lamps that have unique phosphor blends that help them replicate the ultraviolet (UV) rays in a spectrum that is as close as possible to the light waves that tan the skin. In most cases, tanning beds will emit ultraviolet radiation that constitutes 95 percent UVA rays, and 5 percent UVB rays, the latter of which are the primary wavelength that causes tanning and sunburn over time.
While tanning salons and equipment are proven for their ability to help individuals tan and improve their physical appearance, the World Health Organization strongly discourages individuals from using these devices. Overexposure to UV radiation can contribute to the formation of skin cancer, premature skin aging, cataracts and can even interfere with the proper function of the user's immune system. Because of these significant risks and its use exclusively for cosmetic purposes, expenses from tanning salons and equipment do not treat or prevent a legitimate medical condition, and therefore would not be eligible for reimbursement through consumer-directed healthcare accounts.