Tanning beds or a “fake bake” are often thought to be a safe
way to get a tan. And, when medications you take to treat your
Pedi IBD recommend that you stay out of the sun, tanning beds
can look like a good option.
Problem is, even though tanning beds are technically “safer”
than direct sunlight, they can still be very harmful if your
medications make you photosensitive. The UVA and UVB
rays that cause you to get a sunburn from sunlight are also
used in tanning beds. This means that a tanning bed can cause
a serious sunburn or rash if used while on medications that
make you more sensitive to sunlight.
Tanning creams or bronzers are a UV ray-free way to get color.
These products stain the skin temporarily and can usually be
removed with soap and water. They contain a color additive
called DHA. It can take a few tries before you
get the hang of applying a tanning cream correctly. Applying
the cream can sometimes be tricky and you can have uneven areas
of color. Because the color additive can stain your hands,
it can be helpful to use non-latex rubber gloves to apply.
Some tanning creams have sunscreen added. Be sure to check
the label to find out the SPF.
Tanning sprays are another UV ray-free way to tan. These
also use the color additive DHA. Because DHA is approved for
external use only, it cannot be used on the lips, entire eye
area or inside of the nose or mouth. Therefore, it’s important
to make sure that the spray tanning salon gives you special
covers for your eyes, nose, and mouth before you begin your
session. If the spray tanning salon does not have special covers
for these areas, you may want to go somewhere else.
When you want to cover smaller areas like your face and neck,
bronzing powders are a quick and easy way to brush on some
UV ray-free color. This is temporary color that usually
washes off with soap and water. It is important to remember
that you may need to use sunscreen with these products as they
don’t usually come with sun protection.
There are no safe tanning pills. If you see these advertised
on the internet or in magazine, remember that they are not
safe and can cause serious health problems.
As always, it is good idea to discuss your tanning options
with your doctor before deciding to try one.