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tanning bedTanning

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 creamTanning 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.

makeupWhen 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.