Tanning Bed Rashes[The Reality]

tanning bed rashes

Having a beautiful, golden tan is the sign of a healthy body.
You can get this hue the hard way, that is outdoor tanning, or the easy way – using a tanning bed. But a tanning bed comes with its shortcomings. The prominent one is the tanning bed rash.

I’ve been managing a beauty salon for the past seven or eight years, and I have seen my share of tanning bed rashes and the complaints associated with it. In this article, I have explained what a tanning bed rash is, what causes it, and how to prevent it. Do read on, and let me know your opinion.

What is a Tanning Bed Rash?

By definition, a tanning bed rash is a rash that develops on your skin after using a tanning bed. It will be red, itchy, bumpy, unattractive, and oftentimes, painful.

Causes of a Tanning Bed Rash

A Tanning Bed Rash may be an outcome of a number of reasons. Some major ones are discussed below:

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation: Most often, you get a rash because you were exposed to a high amount of UV radiation, most probably because you spent a lot of time in the tanning bed. 

When your skin receives more UV radiation than it can handle, it causes an overdose on the skin, as your skin won’t be able to absorb the radiation fast enough, causing the excess to appear as a rash.

tanning bed rash

Dry Skin: The heat from the tanning bed can dry out your skin very easily. The rash is very itchy and dry skin is yet another common cause of rashes that you get because of a tanning bed.

Light Sensitivity Disorder: This is something that you can’t do anything about. If you have light sensitivity disorder, keep away from the tanning bed. It will not only give you rashes but also affect your vision. 

Honestly, a tanning bed is not worth it if it affects your vision.

How To Get Rid Of The Rash?

You can get rid of the Tanning Rashes by following the steps which are discussed under the following heads:

Stop tanning for a few days: As you might have gleaned from the sections above, one of the main reasons for a rash caused by a tanning bed is an overdose of UV radiation. To get better, you should give yourself the time and chance to heal.

The best possible way to do this is to stay away from exposing yourself to further UV radiation. At the very least, wait until your rash is cured. Although this is not the only method to clear your rash, staying away from the tanning bed for a few days until the rash is cured, would almost always cure the rash. After the rash is gone, the skin has absorbed the last bits radiation, you can resume using the tanning bed.

Take medication: Chances are high, the rash might become itchy. When this happens, the best thing you can do is to consult your dermatologist and get antihistamines. Antihistamines will reduce the itchiness and the symptoms of an allergic reaction. I am suggesting to consult your dermatologist so that you will get to know the precise reason for your rash.

tanning bed

In most cases, antihistamines are prescribed if your rash is caused by an allergic reaction to the tanning bed or tanning products that you have used.  If you don’t have any itchiness, it is okay to skip this step.

Wash: You can wash your rash to ease the irritation and cleanse it. Use lukewarm water. Not hot, not cold. Lukewarm water and antibacterial soap specially made for sensitive skin. Hot water will increase your irritation, and the same is the case with cold water.

Do not show your rash under running water, instead splash the water gently on to your rash. Please don’t rub your rash, pat it dry. Be very gentle throughout the whole process, lest you irritate your rash and hurt yourself more.

Use aloe vera gel: Use aloe vera gel on your rash. This will soothe your irritated skin and will help moisturize it. 

Maintain hygiene: Make sure to keep your rash clean to prevent bacterial action on it. If your rash has signs of cracking or flaking, actively wash your rash twice daily. Do not rub or scratch your rash. To prevent yourself from doing this, wrap your rash with a wet bandage. Wear soft and loose clothes so that it doesn’t snag on the rash.  You can also use hypoallergenic gauze pads to bandage your rash.

Anti-bacterial Ointment: You can use an antibacterial ointment to keep the rash clean and moisturized. It will also prevent the growth of bacteria.  Apply the ointment to the bandage and put it on your rash, or apply the ointment on the rash and then put the bandage on.

How To Prevent Tanning Bed Rashes?

Tanning Bed Rashes can be prevented by following a number of precautionary measures which can be discussed under the following heads:

Hygiene: Always go for a tanning salon that keeps its premises clean and tidy. As a safe bet, go to a reputable tanning salon. They take care to clean the tanning bed in between patrons and maintain hygiene in the salon.  They also take care to provide you with the high-quality tanning experience you so deserve.

Hypoallergenic wipes: Prevention is always better than cure. There is nothing easier than taking a batch of hypoallergenic wipes with you and then wiping the germs off the tanning bed. Always better to be safe than being sorry.

Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen before entering the bed. This will protect your skin from exposure to UV rays. But be careful, even sunscreen won’t be able to help you if you don’t time your tanning session. 

Aloe vera Gel: Apply aloe vera gel after tanning. This will soothe your skin and prevent rashes from being formed. 

tanning bed rashess

Change products: If you have a history of developing rashes by using a particular product, do not use it again. Take care when you are choosing a new tanning spray or gel. Also, remember to get a tanning lotion along with sunscreen and to moisturize your skin thoroughly after each tanning session.

Take breaks: Like I said before, prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays causes rashes. Take breaks in between your tanning sessions.

No one wants to deal with a rash It is uncomfortable, irritating, and embarrassing. I always believe that prevention is better than cure. So, if you see that your skin is developing a rash after using a tanning bed, stay away from tanning – indoors or outdoors. 

As always, take it easy with tanning. Take care of yourself.

Thanks for Reading :)

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Tanning Bed Rashes[The Reality]

by Prachi Tripathi time to read: 5 min