Pregnancy and Tanning Beds

Pregnant women also want to look and feel healthy while expecting. Some make decisions to use tanning beds or tanning lights for a tropical tan-like appearance. Many beauty clinics now require a doctor's note from a pregnant woman before allowing her to use tanning equipment. Points to be aware of include:

  • Tanning beds and UV rays
  • Negative impacts of tanning beds on pregnancy
  • Health benefits of tanning beds or booths

Tanning beds and UV rays

Tanning beds either emit UVA or UVB wavelengths that are increased to 315-400 nm as opposed to naturally occurring sun UV that may be  280 to 315 nm. Meaning that UV from sun beds, tanning booths or lights are almost three time stronger than that of the sun. Because UVB was identified as causing more burning, most tanning locations now use UVA beds.

Negative impacts of tanning beds on pregnancy

As a result in this increase of UV concentration, tanning beds can severely impact pregnant women who have higher sensitivity due to skin and biological changes as a result of conception. The negative effects of tanning with beds that have increased UV wavelength concentrations while pregnant far outweigh the aesthetic emphasis on beauty for the following reasons:

  • UV rays reduces folic acid function needed by the foetus for neurological development
  • UV rays increases body temperature, such as overheating, in the expectant mother
  • Restricted movement in the tanning bed restricts blood flow that can either raise or drop blood pressure
  • UV rays increase chloasma patches on the skin
  • UV rays can cause burning and blistering to the skin resulting in infection
  • UV rays increase likelihood of skin cancer
  • Tanning beds may be unclean, breeding bacteria and germs
  • UV exposure increases likelihood of developing photosensitivity and sun poisoning

These negative effects of tanning beds on pregnancy are considered to far outweigh some of the benefits.

Health benefits of tanning beds or booths

  • use of sun beds aids relaxation and reduces anxiety
  • exposure to the UV increases vitamin D synthesis
  • UV devices are medical and successfully treat skin conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis
  • tanning beds build a tan that protects from sunburn

Although these benefits have value, relaxation and anxiety reduction can be provided through other less harmful means. In addition, only in cases of severe vitamin D deficiency or such skin conditions may use of a medical device emitting UV be used under controlled conditions. Tanning by sun bed is not thought to protect from sunburn. Sun screens with high protection factors should always be used in the sun by all people.

Tanning and Pregnancy:

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved