Does Tanning Cure Acne?


There is a belief going around that going to a tanning bed can actually decrease your acne and reduce breakouts. However, there has not been any scientific evidence to support this belief and while there are signs of a relationship it is not yet fully understood. What is clear are the potential dangers that come from too much tanning. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when you consider tanning as a potential acne treatment.

Theory behind Tanning and Acne

tanning-acneThe idea behind why tanning works for acne is that the UV rays of the tanning bed dry out the skin. Once the skin and pimples are all dried out, then the complexion becomes clear. There is no direct evidence to support this idea. The Nemours Foundation states that the reason people may think this is because the tanning bed darkens their complexion. With a darker complexion the redness and irritation of acne may be less evident and the skin may appear clearer after tanning. However, this is only temporary leading people to return to the tanning bed.

Tanning and Acne Medication

If you are using acne creams or medications to treat your acne then it can be dangerous to use a tanning bed. Many of these acne creams while useful for treating acne, can make the skin more sensitive to the UV rays. Treatments like Proactiv while they can be effective at treating acne, they can also cause the skin to peel especially when paired with tanning. You are better off just using the acne treatments without the tanning. Proactiv actually only gets average feedback from users despite its high price tag according to Facing Acne. You do not want to ruin the effects of the creams with harmful tanning.

Tanning and Oily Skin

It may surprise you to learn that the glands that produce oils on your skin are influenced by heat and humidity. Therefore when you tan in the sun or tan in a tanning bed, it may actually be causing your skin to become oily. Your body also tries to replenish the natural hydration of your skin when it gets dried out. So being in a tanning bed or out in the sun can really dry out your skin and cause it to produce oils as well.

Bacteria in Tanning Booths

Even beyond the problems associated with acne medications and tanning, there are also issues with the bacteria that may be lurking within the tanning bed. This bacteria then comes in contact with your skin and may even cause acne. Some of this bacteria can even cause infections if it gets into the skin.

Tanning in general can be dangerous for your skin leading to peeling and the potential for cancer. If you want to have tanned skin than you can look for a noncomedogenic tanning lotion. Noncomedogenic simply means that it is a lotion that will not cause acne and it does not have any of the dangers of tanning.

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About Ferland Manuel

Dr, Manuel Ferland is health care specialist,