A lot of people like tanned skin. Hence, they visit tanning parlors. But, how safe is this option? Moreover, is tanning while pregnant safe? Let us know in the article below.
With the onset of summer, people start visiting beaches to get a healthy tan. In winters, getting a tan is difficult unless you are visiting the tropical countries. Hence, tanning parlors are heavily booked during winters. However, tanning is believed to cause skin cancer, hence the question ‘is it safe?’ The most vital question is – is tanning permissible during the pregnancy months? Let’s find an answer to this question.
Dangers of Tanning While Pregnant
There are many effects of tanning during pregnancy. They are:
- The folic acid level in the blood stream decreases. Folic acid is important for the growth of the nervous system of the baby.
- While tanning, it is imperative that the expectant mother sleep on her back on the tanning bed. Sleeping on the back puts pressure on the blood vessels and at the same time it also restricts smooth blood flow to various organs. There is also a possibility that the baby will not get the required amount of blood supply.
- Tanning leads to heavy sweating, which can cause severe dehydration. This can be very dangerous, especially during pregnancy. Some people opine that if your fluid intake is high, no dehydration is caused. But it is not a full-proof strategy. Hence it is better avoided.
- Very high temperatures are used during the tanning process. Research suggests that the body temperature of an expectant mother should not rise above 102º Fahrenheit. High temperatures can cause the body temperature to rise as well, which can be fatal for the fetus. It can lead to increase in body temperature of the baby. Unlike the mother, the baby will not sweat inside the womb, causing immense damage to itself.
- Malignant melanoma is discoloration of skin caused by exposure to UV rays. Pregnant women are at higher risk of malignant melanoma due to the hormonal changes which take place during pregnancy. There is a high possibility of getting sunburned due to pregnancy-induced hormonal changes. The sunburn can also lead to skin cancer.
- It may lead to spinal malformation of the baby. It can also cause spinal bifida, neural tube defects, hyperthermia, abdominal defects, heart problems, among many other deformities.
- There are some tanning beds which use microwave technology for tanning. Microwaves use the principle of cooking inside out. Since these tanning beds use the same principle, can you imagine the repercussions of using such a technique?
- The UVA and UVB rays do not have the capacity to penetrate to the fetus, but they do have side-effects, which can cause permanent harm to the baby.
Spray Tanning While Pregnant
Using tanning lotions or spray while pregnant are slightly safer options than the tanning beds, as these do not use any kind of radiation. But it is advisable to seek the opinion of your obstetrician and gynecologist before you use any of these tanning lotions. Some tanning professionals and physicians suggest not using spray tanning in the first trimester and while breast feeding.
Some tanning lotions contain Vitamin A, which gets absorbed easily into the skin. An overdose of Vitamin A can cause bone deformities in a growing fetus. Tanning lotions also do not contain any ingredient which can shield you from sunburn. Therefore, in spite of using the tanning lotions you are going to be susceptible to sunburn. At times, it is noticed that the hormonal changes during pregnancy cause allergies on applying certain lotions. To protect the baby, it is always better to avoid use of tanning lotions.
Is tanning during pregnancy safe? We would say it is definitely ‘NOT SAFE’. During pregnancy nothing can be, and should be, more important than the health of the baby.