Tanning During Pregnancy: Can You Tan While Pregnant?

Can You Tan While Pregnant? During pregnancy, it’s best to only restrict to pregnancy-safe self-tanning lotions and natural tanning. Tanning beds are not safe in any stage of life. Using tanning sprays can also pose a danger to the baby if inhaled.

Turning pale due to morning sickness may make you think of getting a tan while pregnant. Banana beach tan sounds like a cool adventure for pregnant women. Before tanning during pregnant, you decided to confirm whether it is safe. And you realize that now you are torn between groups that consider it safe and harmful.

All the adventure now poofed in air and you are even bothering about the normal sun exposure when you go to work. Tanning during pregnancy is safe when it is natural and not under the scorching sun. Skin sensitivity increases in pregnant women and you can have sunburns. So what’s the truth? Can you tan while pregnant? ?

Next, comes the spray tanning while pregnant. Sadly it is not safe and you can’t use tan sprays during pregnancy.

Can You Tan While Pregnant?
Can You Tan While Pregnant?

Is it dangerous to get tanning while you are pregnant?

Just like you question the safety of food items, hot tub during pregnancy it is natural to wonder whether tanning is safe for pregnant women. Before you read about risks of going for a tan during pregnancy you must know how tan works.

Our body has genetic material which is like a zipper loosely closed. When you expose your body to the sun the zip opens up in between. Natural defenses prompt production of melanin to reverse the damage.

How does tan occur? By the increase in production of a hormone that causes skin pigmentation.

When this happens naturally due to exposure to the sunlight the process is very gradual. But tan beds have a higher concentration of UV and pose a risk of melanoma. It even causes aging and wrinkles. Melanoma crosses the placenta and is a risk factor for the fetus to have it too.

Can you tan during pregnancy?

You can get tan when the source is sun and not a tan bed. Even when you are not pregnant, the safety of tan beds is questionable. Cherish your natural pregnancy glow as the second trimester comes. Opt for sunless tanning lotions that are safe for pregnant women.

A major concern for getting tan while pregnant is that tanning can cause skin irritation. The hormonal response may not be the same when you are a mom to be.

Risks of tanning while pregnant:

1) Melasma and Chloasma

During pregnancy, your skin may get dark patches or pigmentation. Sun exposure or lying in tan beds aggravates Cholasma. Especially if you get a direct tan without using a sunblock the trigger peaks. The darkening of the area above the lips is Melasma which is similar to Cholasma.

2) Overheating or Rising of body temperature

Pregnant women have hot flashes and an increased heart rate in periods of anxiety. Laying down in the sun for long can cause dehydration, nausea, and headache. Overheating of the body due to excess sun exposure is a risk factor for hot flashes and heartburn. Increase in body temperature causes developmental defects and even poses a risk of miscarriage.

3) Tan beds put you at high risk of Melanoma

Even if the tanning salon convinces you that their tan beds use UV-A, don’t give in. Long term UV exposure can lead to skin cancer and other forms of cancer. Few sessions of lying in a tan bed can double the risk of Melanomas. The radiation from tan beds has a very high concentration.

4) Restricted blood circulation

A rise in body temperature restricts blood flow inside your body. Blood pressure rises up during stress. As the blood reaching the heart and baby reduce so does the oxygen. Poor oxygenation can cause serious complications.

5) Heat rash or sunburn

Pregnancy makes your skin sensitive and changes normal hormone cycles. You can get heat rash, hives or severe burns while tanning. When you follow precautions such as using sunscreen, covering your head and drinking plenty of water the risks reduce.

As soon as you feel discomfort like vomiting or nausea go inside your house. Spend some time in the shade and drink cooling drinks.

Always do a patch test for any sunless tanning lotion or a self-tanning lotion. Avoid long exposures to the sun which can cause problems.

Is Tanning While Pregnant Safe?

Yes, tanning is inevitable in many tropical countries. They all have healthy babies. Natural tanning is likely to be more safe than lying on a sunbed while pregnant. Some women become pale due to morning sickness and other early pregnancy symptoms. Tanning in second trimester helps them feel good about their bodies.


How to stay tanned while pregnant?

Sunscreen During Pregnancy
Sunscreen During Pregnancy

The best sunscreen to use while pregnant is the one with SPF 30 or more. It will protect you from UVA and UVB too. Sunblocks in the form of gels and lotions are better. Avoid the sunscreen sprays because they can enter your respiratory tracts. Applying sun cream after every few hours is also a necessary precaution. The effectiveness of sunscreen goes away after a few hours.

You can use sunless tanning lotions to stay brown for a longer time. They are safe to use as much as you want. Once you enter the second trimester you can get a tan in the sun.

Can tanning while pregnant affect the baby?

Sun rays breakdown folic acid which is crucial for baby’s brain development. When

Tanning while pregnant second trimester is safe than during the first weeks. Your baby’s development occurs mainly during the first trimester. Later it is more of growth and gaining function. Tanning during pregnancy 2nd trimester is safe for baby and you.

The baby is at risk of organ defects by excessive tanning during early pregnancy. The first few weeks are crucial and involve the development of the nervous system. It is the reason why you experience morning sickness and toxemia during the first month of pregnancy.

Deficiency of folic acid can cause Spina Bifida and spinal abnormalities. Sun exposure during the first trimester is the main cause of such deformities.

Can you go to a tanning salon while pregnant?

Tanning salons have tan beds that are like little cancer causing furnaces. ?

Can you go to the tanning bed while pregnant? No, you must not lie in tan bed even when you are not pregnant.

They can cause overheating and increase the risk of cancer. Apart from the hazard of tan beds, there is a risk of not getting a choice tan.

Parts of your body might respond differently to the tan machines. This will give a patchy look and ruins the natural pregnancy glow. Applying sunscreen is not easy during pregnancy because of the watermelon belly.

Spray tanning during pregnancy

Fake tanning while pregnant using tan sprays is not safe for moms to be. Spray tan while pregnant can enter the nasal passage and reach your baby. The chemicals that work in spray tanning while pregnant can harm the baby. For fake tanning just apply some bronzer on the areas that are showing.

Are self tanners safe during pregnancy?

More than about pregnancy tanning in itself is a natural defence against UV. One of the carcinogenic agents, ultraviolet radiation induces a change in DNA. The genetic material cannot mutate and initiates repair that leads to darkening.

Tanning frequently is increasing the probability of melanoma or skin cancer. Whether the baby’s risk of melanoma increase due to prenatal UV exposure is not studied. However, incidences of genetic defects, neuronal damage and disorders such as multiple sclerosis have been reported.

Pregnancy is the time when your organs become more sensitive. You may have never experienced side effects of tanning before getting pregnant. While you decide to go for tanning session while pregnant, your body may react to the treatment. At times mother passes on the sensitivity to the baby too.

UV is capable of metabolising a lot of minerals such as synthesis of vitamin D. Folic acid is crucial for initial pregnancy when the baby’s brain development occurs. Tanning sessions concentrate UV on pregnant mother and lead to wastage of folic acid.

Can you use tan spray and tanning lotions during pregnancy?

Avoid it. Even though the tanning products don’t enter the blood circulation it’s best to skip them. You can have an adverse side effects reaction due to pregnancy. Chloasma appearance of dark patches on your skin due to excessive melanin production. It happens during pregnancy for body’s defence.

However, it’s not essential for a healthy pregnancy and may make you feel uncomfortable about you body. In almost every case the patches go away after delivery. Such tan sprays or lotions and sunbeds can trigger the condition.

Spray tan while pregnant is less safe than lotions. Once in the respiration the tan chemicals can reach your baby. Brown pigment forming hormone is also responsible for wake sleep clock. Baby’s system takes anything that comes through momma’s circulation.

The chemical in self tan products is DHA dhydroxyacetone. It interacts with dead cells and darkens them. The effects last for few days and depend on the amount of product applied.

US Food and Drug Administration only approves of external use of DHA as in tan lotions. 1 There are precautions against use of tan lotions when you have skin wounds or are sensitive to sunburn.

Can I use self-tanning lotion while pregnant?

A self-tanning lotion which is safe for pregnant women is the best choice. Chemically it is Dihydroxyacetone something similar to nail paint remover. The basis for self-tanning lotions being safe is that they don’t cross the skin. Your first layer absorbs the tan and gets brown color.

As the chemical does not reach the blood circulation there is no way it can reach your baby.

Tan sprays create aerosols that can go in your body through inhalation. Thus, they can reach your baby. But self-tanning lotions are liquid and don’t spread to areas and space.

Tanning outside while pregnant

You can get your tan on a beach. Scorching heat and exposing bump to changing temperatures is not a good idea.

Tanning outside while pregnant
Tanning outside while pregnant

Is it safe to lay out in the sun while pregnant?

Yes, if you follow the precautions for tanning while pregnant it is safe. Duration of sun exposure matters equally. It is possible that you are waiting for the perfect brown tan but your pregnant body will not go beyond a tarnished orange.

Can you go on sunbeds when pregnant?

Yes, you can for a short time with generously applied sunscreen and hydration drink.

Are sunbeds safe in pregnancy? Sun beds, unlike tan beds, are safe because they don’t emit radiation.

You can lie on them with a towel or an oversized hat that prevents your bump from direct sun exposure. Don’t go out when the sun is right above you and instead go out in the early morning sun.

You cannot completely eliminate sun exposure during pregnancy. Some amount of sun exposure is essential for getting vitamin D. The secret is to balance the exposure and avoid hyperpigmentation or getting sunburnt. Use tan towels to protect your bump. You can tan your legs and hands while wearing an oversized hat.

Once in a while you can get a tan treatment, following the instructions strictly.

Is sunbed safe for pregnant women?

Tan booths, and sunbeds are not safe for anyone. There may be no visible signs of damage to your body but internally a lot can happen.

Tanning lamps, booths and beds work by concentrating low intensity UV on the skin areas. On the other hand tan pills, lotions and sprays have DHA and other chemicals.

Secondly sunbeds bake your body and can shoot the external temperature. They also alter blood circulation and perspiration rate.

Tan pills also have Canthaxanthin that can affect your liver, and eyes upon ingestion. We don’t have any reports about its safety during pregnancy. So it’ll be best to avoid taking tan pills while pregnant.

What are the risks of using sun beds while pregnant?

1. Dark patches, irritation and discolouration of skin

Self tanner are not like the natural sun radiation. Exposure beyond 20 minutes is harmful. You need to toss your body in the bed. When a single side gets more UV than other skin discoloration occurs.

While you are pregnant you may already be having patches and skin sensitivity. Tan beds can cause patchy skin that breaks.

2. Blood supply reduction & oxygen debt

Lying on a particular side with heat radiating can restrict blood flow. Perspiration rate goes up and can cause blood pressure changes. As the blood supply reduces the oxygen reaching the baby can fall off lower safe limit.

3. Elevation of body temperature

High temperature during body whether in a hot bath or tan bed are harmful. Hyperthermia can cause premature labor and miscarriage. Other brain defects also have high temperature as a risk factor for fetus.

4. Dizziness

Fall of blood pressure and reduction in oxygen supply can cause dizziness. You may feel unconscious or faint after a tanning session. Make sure you mention your doctor about being pregnant.

5. Dehydration

Lying in the sun for long periods can do more harm than good while you’re preggo. That’s because the body loses the ability to regulate perspiration and sweating. In an attempt to prevent soaring body temperatures you have profuse sweating. Losing all the water causes dehydration that is serious threat for your baby.

Can I take a sunbath while pregnant?

You will get the safe sunbath for pregnancy if you move out walking in the sun. Reclining in a Chaise Longue isn’t necessary for base tan.

A base tan protects the skin against harmful UV rays. The same concept why people in tropical countries have more melanin production. Nonetheless the benefits of base tan while pregnant are not enough to consider it a advisable practice. Doing it won’t harm you but won’t help the baby much either.

Sunbath while pregnant is safe provided you follow some precautions. Also make sure you stay hydrated and don’t get sunburn easily.

Sunbathing During Pregnancy Precaution

Following some simple steps you can enjoy sunbathing without harming your pregnancy.

1. Put on sunscreen and not tanning lotion

Some women get base tan or fake base tan using artificial products. To enhance the effects of natural radiation women use cosmetic products.

Sunscreen allows only the safe UV to fall on the skin and absorb in first skin layer. Select pregnancy safe sunscreen and apply generously.

2. Drink lots of fluids and stay in shade

UV rays do come in areas that have a shade. You don’t need to bake under the sun. Even if you’ll be under the shade of beach umbrella the radiation reaching will be enough.

3. Skip the noon hours

Early morning sun rays are safe and healthiest for you. Try going out in the sun early morning while sunrise. This way you won’t expose your body to heat and get bronze. Wear lose clothing and always have your baby bump covered. Sunglasses and hats will help cut sun when going out in the overhead sun.

4. Fake Tan While Pregnant

Fake tan is better than the bake tan! Use mineral foundation, bronzer or any cosmetic to give yourself the dusky look. So that you can remove it whenever you want. Always do a patch test.


  1. https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emittingproducts/radiationemittingproductsandprocedures/tanning/ucm116434.htm