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Tanning Bed Rash

Tanning Bed Rash

There are certain side effects that are associated with a tanning bed, rash being one of them. Find out the causes and symptoms of this, followed by the methods to treat this skin condition.
Aastha Dogra
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Are you experiencing tiny red bumps on your skin since the time you have been to an indoor tanning session? Are these bumps itchy and have collectively taken the shape of a rash? If the answer to both these questions is in the affirmative, there is a strong possibility that what you have on your skin is a tanning bed rash. Although, there is nothing much to worry about, as there are numerous people like you who have developed blisters and rashes after an indoor tanning session. You will be relieved to know that with a bit of precaution and some effective home remedies, this can be taken care of easily.


There are four body areas which are likely to develop a rash. These are - the legs, stomach, chest and back. This type of skin condition can develop due to many reasons, the most important one being an allergic reaction caused by exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays during the session. Another reason could be the skin's sensitivity towards the ingredients that are present in the tanning lotion. Most of the lotions are known to have strong bronzers, which cause an allergy to break out on the skin of certain people. Lastly, as everyone knows how warm and hot a tanning session can be for the body, it is quite a possibility that a heat rash might develop on the skin, due to the extremely hot temperature. Sometimes, the huge amount of sweat that is generated, could be the reason behind the rash.


There are a number of things that you can do to prevent rash on the back, legs, stomach or any other body part. For instance, give tanning a miss! Stop the sessions for a while. If the rash starts showing signs of improvement, it means that it indeed developed due to the tanning sessions. So if possible, try getting tanned naturally by sitting in the sun for a while, instead of opting for such unnatural means, which cause an allergic reaction in you.

For the rash that is already there, get an effective medicated cream from a chemist shop. Apply it on your skin and soon the rash would disappear on its own. You can even apply cocoa butter on the affected skin area, as it is known to both moisturize and heal the skin. To cure the itching, apply a lotion which contains Aloe Vera on your skin.

As mentioned earlier, maybe it's the lotion which is the real culprit. So let the rash heal a bit and after that, when you attend a session, do not use the lotion. If the rash does not appear again, it shows that you are actually allergic to the lotion. So from then on, whenever you go in for a tanning session, do not use the lotion. Lastly, if it is the excess heat and sweat that are responsible for the rash, carry a towel with you for the sessions. Wipe sweat off your body frequently, in between the session so that it does not build on the body. You can even try stand-up tanning beds, as these cause less sweat to accumulate on the body.

Make sure that you visit a good, trusted salon, which maintains hygiene standards i.e. cleans up the bed, before a user gets in. Otherwise, carry a few wipes yourself and with them, clean the bed so that you do not contract any kind of infection. With these simple tips, you should be able to prevent a rash from developing again. However, if the rash on your skin refuses to go away, even after taking all these precautions and following the remedies suggested above, it is advised that you consult a dermatologist, as some other skin condition could be behind it.