Is tanning safe during pregnancy?

(September 3, 2012)

People all over the world spend hours in the hot sun, trying to acquire the perfect sun-kissed look. For various reasons, many of us also use tanning booths, beds, lamps and sprays, to get the skin tone we desire. However, do you think you can continue sporting a bronzed look even when you get pregnant?

Pregnancy can bring about several changes in your skin. If you're lucky, you may experience a natural "mother's glow". However, there are many women who suffer from skin problems like oily skin, acne and blemishes when they get pregnant. The last thing you probably want at this time is to look pale.

Tanning during pregnancy?

Unfortunately, tanning is not a safe exercise whether or not you are pregnant. You should avoid getting a tan, natural or artificial, especially during the course of pregnancy.

Excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can do more harm than good to your skin. Too much sunlight and ultraviolet radiation can cause your skin to age prematurely. Apart from causing wrinkles and age spots, excess sunlight could also increase your risks of developing melanoma, one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. Melanoma in pregnant women can be disastrous, as this type of cancer can spread to the placenta.

Melanoma and other serious skin condition do not just occur because of excessive exposure to sunlight. The ultraviolet rays emitted by a tanning booth or a bed could be more hazardous to your skin. Visiting a tanning booth or bed up to 10 times a year could double your risks of developing melanoma. Therefore, it is best to avoid tanning booths and beds, especially when you are pregnant.

Tanning for a long period of time usually causes your core body temperature to rise. If your body temperature goes over 102 degrees F (hyperthermia), it could increase risks of miscarriage or serious birth defects in your baby.

You may come across certain tanning sprays and lotions in the market, which claim to be safe even during pregnancy. However, these products contain a dye that stays on your skin and could cause you to experience allergies or other skin problems.

Pregnancy is a time when you should take good care of your skin, just like you take care of your body. Make it a point to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun as well as tanning booths, lamps and beds. Speak to your doctor in case you notice darkening of the skin during pregnancy.

Submitted by P T on September 3, 2012 at 05:07

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