Is Tanning during Pregnancy Safe?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 10, 2011

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pregnant woman Due to growing awareness about the harmful side effects of natural tanning, self tanning creams, solutions and equipments such as tanning beds have found plenty of takers. However, most dermatologists would categorically advise you to stay away from these beds which subject your skin to just as many UVA and UVB rays as the sun would. Health risks could be especially major if you are pregnant. Most salons would require a medical certificate of clearance from your gynaecologist before allowing you to access their services for acquiring a tan.


Should You get a Tan during Pregnancy?


There could be multiple risks associated with acquiring an artificial tan during pregnancy. Some of the related health hazards could prove to be potentially risky for your unborn child.


  • When you opt for a tanning bed for working up a tan, your body is exposed to excessive heat. This is extremely unsuitable for you and your baby.
  • Extreme exposure to ultraviolet radiations during pregnancy can cause serious skin burns which can lead to skin cancer. Skin pigmentation is also a common side effect of this process. All these are absolutely uncalled for when you are carrying a child.
  • Over exposure to heat can also result in severe dehydration. Such depletion in the water level of the body can sometimes prove fatal for your child, who shares these vital resources with you.
  • Overheating can also give rise to a condition called hypothermia which causes depletion in the level of folic acid. Folic acid is considered to be an important nutrient which is responsible for the neural growth and development of the baby. Most often, folic acid supplements are administered to would-be mothers. This depletion can thus have a severely negative impact on the growing foetus.
  • If you plan for a tan while carrying a baby, the unborn child might develop complications such as spina bifida, spinal malformation and neural tube defects.


Therefore, planning to acquire a tan before delivery is simply not safe. Some doctors however suggest that opting for a tan during while carrying an unborn can be made possible, subject to a few mandatory precautions. You can expose yourself to these otherwise harmful radiations in short spans, intermittently dispersed with phases of withdrawal. Similarly, you should continue to keep yourself hydrated by consuming plenty of water during the course of the tan. However, despite umpteen precautions which you might take, the answer to queries like is tanning safe during pregnancy, is an emphatic “no”.


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