There are pros and cons of tanning while pregnant, and you should be aware of them before you go out in the Sun or put on a fake tan. The major pro is that you tan faster while you are pregnant. The major con is that it is not safe for your sensitive skin.
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Pros of Tanning While Pregnant
- Tanning may help to relieve stretch marks and other pregnancy symptoms.
- You tan much faster.
- Fake tans are a good option.
- Sun tanning is good for vitamin D production.
- Tanned skin can reduce the appearance of cellulite and other skin imperfections.
- Sun tanning or spending time in the sun can help reduce depression.
Cons of Tanning While Pregnant
- Your skin is more sensitive while pregnant, so you can burn faster.
- Risk of melanoma.
- Uknown risks of spray tans.
- Risk of an allergic reaction.
- Liver damage
- Retina damage
The Risks of Tanning While Pregnant
Tanning while pregnant is not recommended. This is because of the potential dangers associated with UV exposure.
Studies show that tanning increases your risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Also, including melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer).
Melanoma is responsible for 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths, representing only one per cent of all diagnosed cases. Although we need more research to determine whether tanning causes melanoma, you probably don’t want to take any chances.
In addition to the risk of skin cancer, tanning also offers additional risks during pregnancy like the following;
A Risk of Sunburn
Sunburn can be a painful side effect of prolonged sun exposure that we all deal with every now and then. Pregnant women are especially prone to sunburn when spending time outdoors because pregnancy can make the skin more sensitive.
A light sunburn probably won’t do much harm to a pregnant woman or her baby, however, an extreme sunburn that forms blisters or peeling skin can cause a fever which could be harmful during pregnancy.
A Risk of Sunstroke and Overheating
When you spend a lot of time in the sun, your body temperature increases. Your body can quickly become dehydrated and may cause the fetus to start overheating. Overheating during pregnancy can cause several long-term effects. Infants can suffer brain damage and overheating can result in early labor or miscarriage.
To avoid overheating on a hot day or while sunbathing, keep direct UV exposure to a minimum and drink plenty of water. If you start to feel dizzy or nauseous, you could have sunstroke and need to get out of the heat as soon as possible.
Keep reading if you want to find out more about why you tan better when pregnant.
Can Tanning While Pregnant Harm the Baby?
There is still not 100% proof that all tanning methods harm the baby. So far, some research suggests that UV radiation can harm the fetus. They say that increased UV radiation can break down folic acid.
Whether women should use tanning beds when pregnant is less clear. There is no specific evidence that suggests using tanning beds during pregnancy would harm your baby. Still, some experts still advise against it.
Can Self-Tanning Products Harm the Baby?
Most do not contain harmful ultraviolet rays. Plus, they weren’t linked to congenital disabilities or other pregnancy complications. For example, some countries banned tanning pills due to their harmful ingredients.
On the other hand, lotions and sprays are still under the radar. So far, there is no sign that they can affect the fetus.
Why do you tan better when pregnant?
This is due to the hormone change in your body. As a result, your body produces more melanin, and your blood volume expands.
It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to develop a deep, dark tan. It’s not the result of summer vacation on the beach, but it’s often called “the mask of pregnancy.” The tan is caused by hormones that increase pigmentation, particularly around the eyes, nose and chin.
Pro tip: It may be good to wear sunscreen when pregnant and in the Sun.
Overall, ” pregnant glow” is real in tanning. Yet, you should consider the downsides of tanning in tanning beds or outside before your rush to your next tanning session.
Does tanning while pregnant cause stretch marks?
The link between tanning while a pregnant and increased risk of stretch marks is not definitive. There is not enough proof to claim this.
Why do you get stretch marks?
Stretch marks are a form of scar tissue that develops due to overstretching of the skin. They are most common during pregnancy when the weight gained causes stretching of the belly area. They are often referred to as “pregnancy stripes”. Stretch marks may also affect breasts, buttocks and thighs.
The cause of stretch marks is largely genetic, though there have been some claims that tanning while pregnant can make them worse. Due to these stretch marks appearing on the surface of the skin and tanning making the skin darker, these dark streaks soon become clear.
Some tanning salons offer “sunless” spray tanning, which avoids UV rays but still offers a darker shade if that’s what you want.
Is tanning lotion safe for pregnant women?
Using tanning lotion is generally safe for pregnant women because they are a safer alternative to sunbathing. Also, using tanning lotion can help with the itchiness and dryness of pregnancy.
Always choose products that are free of added fragrances or extra ingredients. Also, dermatologists or obstetricians should test them. Before using any tanning product, consult your doctor. Especially if you have any preexisting health conditions.
Pregnant women should always consult their doctors before using any products. Still, tanning lotions are generally safe to use during pregnancy.
My top 3 favourite lotions while you are pregnant are:
- Kora Organics Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion
- The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan
You can choose any of them and ensure that they are 100% safe to use if your doctor suggests it. I think that tanning lotions are the way to go if you are pregnant but still want a tan.
Conclusion- Pros and cons of tanning while pregnant
There are no concrete studies on tanning and pregnancy. Yet, tanning during pregnancy is not recommended when pregnant as it puts the fetus at risk for potential impairment.
So, even though tanning can be a lot of fun, it’s important to consider what effects tanning may have on your baby.
Sunless tanning products are the best options for pregnant women. There are no health risks to you or your fetus while using these tanning products, so they’re ideal for mothers who want that golden glow. Sunless tanning products also help your skin maintain elasticity, reducing wrinkles and age spots.
We believe that there will be more studies focused on pregnant women and tanning in the future so that we can have more discussions. If you have any questions feel free to write them down in the comment section below.