Rashes From Tanning Beds – How to Get Rid Off and Prevent

tanning bed

Tanning beds have managed to become a go-to choice for many tanning enthusiasts. They are convenient, affordable, and offer a natural-looking tan within minutes. Despite the benefits of using an indoor tanning bed, they also come with a wide range of side effects.

One of the prominent side effects is rashes from tanning beds. While this bumpy red rash often develops within the first few hours of using tanning beds, sometimes it can pop up even after days.    

Are you wondering how to get rid of rashes from tanning beds or what you can do to prevent them? Dive right in to learn everything about managing tanning bed rashes. 

What Is a Tanning Bed Rash?

If you have tried tanning beds, there are high chances that you have noticed a red bump appear on your skin. It is a red, itchy, gross bump that appears all over your body from using a tanning bed.

The rash from tanning beds can either be a cluster or a small patch of painful bumps on your skin. Sometimes, the tanning bed rashes pictures can also resemble a cluster of an allergic reaction. These rashes can appear on any body part and most likely can be found on arms and legs. 

What Are the Symptoms of Rash?

People who are prone to skin issues can often find it difficult to ascertain when they have a rash from tanning beds. Keeping an eye out on the symptoms can help find that out. Here are some symptoms:

·       Raised white or red bump on the skin

·       Itching (for dealing with an itch check here – how to prevent tanning bed itch)

·       Inflammation

·       Dryness on the skin

What Causes a Tanning Bed Rash?

Rashes are quite frequent for those who tan indoors by using sunbeds. If you often develop rashes, it is natural to wonder why the rashes occur. Here are a few precise reasons that might be leading to the tanning bed rash on your skin:

Insufficient Cleaning of Bed:

Much like any other equipment, a tanning bed also needs to be cleaned regularly. Whether the bed is in a tanning salon or your home, it must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before and after use.

A badly cleaned tanning bed can become the cause of rashes and other infections. It is even more prevalent in places where the user needs to clean the bed.

Since indoor tanning is done without any clothes or with minimal clothing, it can lead to body sweat from the UV lamps. When coupled with tanning oil or lotion, there is an increased risk of infections present on the bed.

Therefore, it becomes imperative to cleanse the tanning bed using high-quality cleaning products to prevent rashes before use.  

UV Overexposure:

While using tanning beds, you expose your skin to artificial UV radiation produced by the lamps or bulbs inside the bed. This radiation is quite different from the one you get from sunlight. The bulbs in the tanning give a mix of UVA and UVB radiation, making it more powerful.

According to Sunsmart, the radiation from a tanning bed is approximately 6 times more powerful than that of the sun. It is quite powerful and can cause severe harm to your skin.

Overexposure to radiation from tanning beds can often cause rashes on the body. It occurs commonly in people who are not used to such exposure or haven’t used the tanning bed in a long while.  

It is essential to start slow with tanning beds and limit the time of exposure to radiation to prevent rashes after tanning. 

Heat Rash:

Heat rash, also known as Miliaria, is different from a usual rash from tanning beds. It is caused when sweat gets trapped between the skin layers and leads to redness and discomfort.

People often get this rash whenever they are active or in a hot environment, regardless of the fact that they are tanning or not. Heat rash can be painful, itchy, and cause discomfort when clothes rub against it.

You can partially reduce the effect of radiation and mitigate the chances of heat rash by tanning nude. Also, reduce the time of your tanning sessions to avoid it.  

Dry Skin:

Another common reason for rashes from tanning beds is dry skin. Overexposure to UV radiation, heat, and tanning oils can dry out your skin and lead to the appearance of red and itchy bumps. Using a nourishing moisturizer might help keep your skin hydrated and ensure you don’t get rashes.  

How Can You Treat a Rash From a Tanning Bed?

A rash from the tanning bed is temporary and will disappear in a few days. While it will heal, you might feel immense discomfort and pain while it lasts. You can use the following measures to treat the rash at home:

Avoid Tanning:

In case you feel you are developing red splotches after tanning, the first thing you must do is stop getting tanned. You must take a break from both indoor and outdoor tanning.

It will ensure your skin gets enough time to heal and get back to normal. If you continue tanning, it will only make the rash worse and make it appear in other places as well. Avoid scheduling the next tanning session until your skin gets better. 

Use Warm Water:

When you notice a rash on your skin, you can use warm water to wash the affected area. Use an antibacterial soap and lukewarm water to wash the area carefully and thoroughly. After that, gently pat the area to dry it.

Avoid using running water, hot water, and harsh soaps as it might further aggravate the problem.  

Take an Oatmeal Bath:

Oatmeal has a lot of benefits as a snack, but it can also work wonders for your skin. Oat contains avenanthramides that offer anti-inflammatory properties that can kill bacteria and normalize your skin.

You can give yourself an oatmeal bath to help with the rash. To do so, you must fill your bathtub with cold water and add a few cups of oatmeal to it. Sit in the bathtub for around 1 to 1.5 hours.

Make sure all the affected areas are entirely submerged in the oatmeal water. You can do the remedy once every day to get better days. In case you have an allergy to oats, it is wise to avoid this remedy.  

Clear the Area:

If you have developed a rash after a tanning session, the most vital thing to do is to keep the infected area clean. You must choose the right cleaning product and a hypoallergenic moisturizer for your skin.

Wash the area where you have rashes two times a day to keep it clean. It will prevent the skin from flaking, cracking, or getting infected with bacteria. Ensure you don’t rub the skin or wear tight clothes so it doesn’t cause further irritation. 

Use Cold Compress:

Another way to deal with hives from tanning is using a cold compress. It is not necessary for a cold compress to be something impressive, but it can be simply a cloth dipped in cold water. Avoid using a cloth can make your skin dry and irritated.

You can hold the cold compress over your rashes to help reduce the irritation and pain. It will keep your skin calm while it heals from within. Apply it after every 20 minutes until it heals completely. 

Apply Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera is an ideal remedy for most skin troubles. It is abundant with antibacterial properties that can help recover from any problem. You can apply natural aloe vera gel over the rashes gently to soothe the allergic reaction and heal your skin. 

Use Antibacterial Cream:

If you want immediate relief, you can opt for an anti-bacterial cream. It will not only keep your skin moisturized but also prevent further growth of bacteria, thus reducing the chances of severe infection.

Clean the rash with warm water, apply the anti-bacterial cream, and cover it right away with a bandage for best results. 

Other Home Remedies:

Besides these remedies, you can do a few other home treatments, like:

·       Use olive oil to keep the area hydrated and prevent further cracking of the skin.

·       A paste of baking soda can improve the pH level of your skin and heal any tanning bed burn or rash.

·   Cucumber has hydrating properties, which might also help deal with skin rashes caused by tanning beds.

·       Another great vegetable that can relieve pain and inflammation is the potato.

·       Use an antihistamine cream to treat the allergic reaction. 

How to Prevent Rashes From Tanning Beds?

After you have dealt with an annoying rash, you must want to get back to tanning beds to get that dark, glowing skin. But, the chances of developing it again might hinder you. So, what can you do to ensure you don’t get rashes from tanning beds again? Follow these precautions while using tanning beds to stay safe:

Choose a Reputable Tanning Salon:

The first and also essential thing you can do is look for a reputable tanning salon. If they are popular and reputed, there are chances that cleanliness and hygiene will be maintained. The staff must be careful about keeping the floors and equipment clean and sanitized to ensure your safety.

The tanning bed must also be thoroughly cleaned with high-grade disinfectants. You can also inquire about the practices used by the salon to be sure and make an informed decision.  

Opt For a Standing Tanning Bed:

A majority of top tanning salons today offer both stand-up beds and lay-down tanning beds. While laying down is a more convenient and comfortable option, it has increased contact with the tanning bed.

On the other hand, standing tanning beds minimize contact as you don’t touch the bed. There are low chances of developing a rash with this type of bed. 

Carry Hypoallergenic Wipes Along:

Even if you are visiting a good tanning salon, you can never be too sure about their cleaning practices. You must carry hypoallergenic wipes with you for every tanning appointment.

Before you go in the tanning bed, use the wipe to clean the tanning bed thoroughly. Just be careful while wiping so that you do not cause any damage to the tanning bed.

Change Tanning Products:

Once you have selected a renowned tanning salon and ensured the tanning bed is clean, if you still get rashes, the chances are that it might be because of the products. If you are using a tanning oil or lotion, you might want to switch it. Invest in an organic and high-quality product for your next tanning appointment. 

Take It Slow:

While you might want to tan quickly and spend a long time in the tanning bed to achieve that, it is wise not to go overboard. Start slow with small sessions of 10 minutes maximum and then gradually increase the time as your skin gets familiar with the exposure to UV radiation. 

Keep Your Skin Moisturized:

Dry skin is more prone to rashes. It is wise for you to keep your skin moisturized to reduce the chances of getting a rash. Make sure you apply a hydrating lotion until the day of the tanning appointment.

Exposure to radiation can also make your skin dry and flaky. Apply an organic lotion after the session to keep your skin nourished and prevent rashes from tanning beds.   

Use Sunscreen:

Even if you are using a tanning lotion before going into a tanning bed, you might not get sufficient protection. Only a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more can help keep you safe.

A majority of sunscreens only offer protection from UVB radiation, which is indicated by SPF. The radiation from tanning beds is UVA. A broad-spectrum sunscreen ensures you get protection from both UVA and UVB radiation.    

Apply Aloe Vera Post Tanning:

Once you are done with your session in the tanning bed, you can soothe your skin with the help of aloe vera. The gel of the plant will cool your skin and pamper it after exposure to harsh UV radiation. It will prevent rashes from forming and help develop a dark tan. 

Consider your Own Tanning Bed:

While not possible or practical for everyone, getting your own home tanning bed could be an option to eliminate the problems with other people using the tanning bed and generally making sure cleanliness is always to a high standard when you are in control. Of course it’s not always possible for people either due to the cost of tanning beds or your home not having enough space.

Related Questions:

What Does Tanning Bed Rash Look Like?

A rash caused by a tanning bed can often look like a tiny red bump or a raised patch of skin. Some people might even notice white bumps on your skin right after getting tanned in sunbeds. The rash from a tanning bed could appear on any part of your body.

Can Tanning Bed Cause Rash?

Yes, tanning beds can often cause rashes on the skin. The beds use heat lamps that emit UV radiation, but your skin might not be able to absorb that much amount of radiation. In such cases, you might develop a rash.

If sweat gets trapped in the layers of your skin while tanning, you might also develop heat rash or malaria. 

Why Do I Break Out After Tanning Bed?

There are plenty of reasons behind break outs after using a tanning bed. Exposure to UV radiation, dry skin, sweating, tanning products, or even unsafe tanning beds can also be the culprits of rashes.

You must find a reputed tanning salon that adheres to cleanliness measures and use hypoallergenic wipes to clear the bed before use to minimize the risk of rashes.   

Scroll to Top