Pregnancy and sun tanning

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Are you torn between the potential dangers of sunbathing while pregnant and the horror of not having a tan this summer?

Tanning while pregnant

Well, sun tanning is never a good idea and some things are far, far worse than a pasty complexion. Whether you are pregnant or not, a tan is your skin’s way of protecting itself from the damage that has been caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays speed up ageing and increase the chances of developing skin cancer. However, if you are still determined to get that tan, here are a few things to bear in mind while pregnant…

On the beach
Pregnancy increases your skin’s sensitivity. It’s not uncommon for things like hives, heat rash or chloasma (skin discolouration or pigmentation) to flare up during this time and lying in the sun can aggravate it even more. That said, no one wants to become a recluse while pregnant. As long as you are wise about it, you can still enjoy your outdoorsy lifestyle. If you are on the beach, or outside on a hot sunny day, stay in the shade, wear a wide brimmed hat and drink plenty of water. If you feel dizzy, tired or nauseous get into an air-conditioned space as soon as you can. Overheating and dehydration are not good for your developing baby so avoid it where possible and plan your activities to avoid the hottest times of the day.

The tan can
While there is no conclusive evidence that tanning beds are bad for your unborn baby, there is plenty of evidence that prove they are harmful to you.  They present all the dangers of lying on the beach – just without the beautiful view and the sea to cool off in! They dramatically increase your chance of developing melanomas (the most deadly form of skin cancer), which is also the only form of cancer that can spread to the placenta. Lying on a tanning bed or standing in the tan can also boosts your body temperature to a level that may be hazardous to your baby, especially in the first three months. So while there may be no conclusive, scientific proof, common sense will tell you that this is one beauty treatment you can definitely do without while pregnant.

Out of a bottle
This is probably your best option when you are pregnant. Fake tan is highly evolved these days and all studies done so far state that it is relatively safe to use when pregnant. The active ingredient Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is non-toxic and according to studies, it reacts only with the outer layer of your skin, which is already dead and sheds quickly, so it doesn’t get absorbed into the skin. This means it doesn’t come into contact with the fluid surrounding your baby. However, avoid the spray-on type at salons. It’s best not to inhale any of the spray while pregnant.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Should you wear fragrance while you are pregnant?
Products to avoid while you are pregnant
Natural cures for those pregnancy pains
Hair and your baby bump
Pregnancy and pigmentation D

Written by

Emily Pettit-Coetzee is a freelance writer and a blogger of lovely things. She spends her days writing about everything from corporate finance to teen fashion and has a weakness for vintage fashion and red lipstick.

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  1. ABeauty

    Very good tips, I am nearly 7 months preggos and was in the sun for 40 min and burnt like a lobster. I am staying out of the sun this summer. Rather safe than sorry.

    6 years ago •

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