Tanning while Pregnant

As more and more women opt for indoor tanning methods such as using tanning beds or sunbeds for getting that golden honey kissed look, various issues and side effects related to tanning have cropped up in the recent years. Tanning is the process wherein the skin is exposed to the rays of the sun. This in turn stimulates the melanin production in the skin and darkens your skin tone.

While the traditional method of tanning involved sitting out in the sun for hours, the use of tanning beds have also become quite popular in recent years. In addition people use self tanning products like sprays, lotions and creams for getting a fake tan.

The exposure to the harsh UV rays of the sun and the tanning beds can cause skin damage and increase the risk of melanoma. In case of pregnant woman, the dangers are even more aggravated.

One of the key reasons why tanning in pregnancy should be strictly avoided is because it can cause a depletion of the folic acid levels in the body. Maintaining the folic acid levels in the body is vital as it enhances the spinal chord and brain development in the fetus. Moreover neural tube defects such as spina bifida can be avoided with optimum intake of folic acid in pregnancy.

Lying out in the sun or in a tanning bed can also increase the body temperature and cause hyperthermia. An increased body temperature especially in your pregnancy’s first trimester has been known to cause spinal malformations and even result in miscarriages.

Pregnant women with sensitive skin who expose themselves to the sun’s rays frequently are prone to chloasma. This is a skin condition wherein brown and yellowish skin pigmentation can occur on the arms and the face. Moreover getting tanned on a regular basis increases the risk of skin cancer which can be fatal for you and the baby.

To ensure that your baby is safe and sound, it is thus best to avoid getting tanned when you are pregnant. However if you cannot resist getting that beautiful tanned look, then you need to ensure that you take certain precautions.

To avoid overheating of the body in the early stages of pregnancy use the tanning beds for short periods of time. So after five minutes, if you start feeling warm then it is best to take a break of some time before resuming. Drinking lots of water and other fluids keeps your body hydrated while you are getting tanned. Use a sunscreen with high SPF to prevent sunburns and blisters caused by long periods of exposure to the sun.