Tanning beds have become popular devices to achieve a beautiful tan without having to venture outside into the scorching sun. However, the convenience of using a tanning bed is very dangerous. Sunburn in a tanning bed is one of the effects of the artificial light emitted in a tanning bed. It is important for any person who is a tanning bed user or intends to be a tanning bed user to have the above risks in mind.

In this blog post, the following information will be evaluated: What are the causes of sunburn in a tanning bed? What does this condition look like? What are the risks involved? How can one prevent it? And how can one treat it?

What Causes Sunburn In A Tanning Bed?

Differences Between UVA And UVB Rays

Sunburn is mainly brought about by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which may be from the sun or tanning beds. UVA and UVB are the two main types of UV rays you should be concerned about. UVA rays are absorbed deeper into the skin and are mainly linked to aging, and especially to the formation of wrinkles. UVB rays of light penetrate the outer layer and are responsible for the sun burnage. Both kinds of rays are also responsible for skin destruction and likely to increase skin cancer.

How Tanning Beds Emit UV Rays

Tanning beds emit both UVA and UVB rays to mimic natural sunlight. Still, the exposure to UV radiation in tanning beds can be significantly denser than that a person receives during outdoor activities. This implies that a few minutes in a tanning bed is as dangerous as hours in the sun, thus increasing the probability of sunburn or other related skin complications.

Impact On Skin

Tanning beds emit high-intensity UV light and are associated with immediate and long-term health risks to the skin. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation results in sunburn since the skin cells can only try to protect themselves to a certain extent. This can not only impact the first layers of the epidermis but also damage them deeper and produce further and longer damage.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sunburn From Tanning Beds

Identifying Early Signs Of Overexposure

The first symptoms of the effect of tanning beds can be felt several hours after the procedure. These may include inflammation, swelling, heat, and increased sensitivity in the affected parts of the body. In some instances, the skin may also become marinated or tight and patients may also experience itchiness. This is why it is critical to identify these early signs and not delay the treatment if you want to avoid the deepening of the complications.

Progression Of Sunburn Severity

Sunburn in a tanning bed, if not treated, can worsen to the next level. To worse, symptoms that may ensue may include the formation of blisters, intense pain, and inflammation of the affected skin area. The skin may start to scab as it begins to heal, but this often elicits discomfort and makes the skin appear undesirable. Moderate to severe cases cause systemic manifestations, including fever, chills, and dehydration, that need medical attention.

Long-Term Effects

Prospective tanners are warned that continual use of tanning beds can cause skin dryness, discoloration, and other skin ailments like actinic keratosis, which is usually precancerous. These processes continue to exert negative impacts on the skin, leading to skin cancer, and this mandates people to take serious preventive measures.

The Health Risks Of Sunburn From Tanning Beds

Long-Term Skin Damage

I was surprised to learn that tanning beds can increase skin problems if used in the long run. Repeated sunburns damage your skin by making it lose flexibility and creating fine lines, age spots, and even wrinkles. This damage also compromises the skin’s ability to defend and protect the body from diseases and other conditions.

Increased Risk Of Skin Cancer

Another dangerous health concern that is attributed to the use of tanning beds is skin cancer diseases. Research carried out has indicated that people who use tanning beds before they are thirty-five years old are likely to develop melanoma by a majority of 59%. This also makes other skin cancers that are coming out to be not melanocytic, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, more frequent with extenders of tanning beds. Based on these risks, one needs to decide whether missing a beautiful bronze tan is worth being at risk of skin cancer.

Impact On Overall Health

Tanning beds have not only skin consequences but are considered dangerous. Sunburn also has systemic complications, making an individual dehydrated, experiencing heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke if they are severely sunburned. Also, the psychological aspects of handling the skin ailment and the possibility of skin malignancies can lead to declining mental health and quality of life.

How To Treat Sunbed Burns

Preventing Sunburn In A Tanning Bed

Best Practices For Safe Tanning Bed Use

If you decide to use tanning beds, there is some advice on how to use them and decrease the chance of sunburn in a tanning bed. First, be sure to adhere to the time advised by your dermatologist based on the percentage of your skin type. It is advisable to engage in short sessions and progressively elevate the time you spend on your UV radiation. Secondly, do not use tanning beds for more than the recommended time because, over a period of time, the exposure can add up and cause the skin to burn.

Tips For Reducing Sunburn Risk

A second layer of protection is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to the skin before using the tanning bed. Although it may be considered absurd to apply sunscreen while in the tanning bed, it does help reduce the effects of UV radiation even more. Protective eyewear is also important since the rays can be dangerous to the eyes, leading to conditions such as cataracts.

Alternatives To Tanning Beds

For those who wish to get a tan but do not want to use tanning beds, try using a self-tanner, such as a lotion or spray, or a professional spray tan. Such options help a person get a natural-looking tan without having to risk his or her skin being damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Treating Sunburn From Tanning Beds

Immediate Steps To Take

The measure you take when you develop a sunburn from a tanning bed depends on the severity of the burn. First of all, the affected zones should be treated with cold packs or a cool shower. Do not apply ice on the skin due to worsening of the conditions of the skin. Drink much water to help your body to solve the impact of UV radiation on your body partly.

At-Home Remedies

Sunburn can be treated with some home remedies, and here are some of them: The applicant with the rash may decide to use aloe vera gel or a moisturizing lotion to alleviate the skin inflammation. Other medicines that may be used include nonprescription analgesics and antirheumatic drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. One should minimally exclude the sunburned areas from direct sunlight until the skin rash returns to normal.

When To Seek Medical Attention

However, patients should consult a healthcare facility for severe cases of sunburn. Some of the indications that you have a severe sunburn include the formation of blisters, severe pain in the sunburned area, fever, chills, and you are dehydration. Any of these signs should be reported to a doctor so that the appropriate advice and measures can be taken. They may prescribe oral drugs or other treatments that may help in the management of the symptoms and healing process.


Sunburn in a tanning bed is a reality that has adverse effects on the skin and increases your vulnerability to serious health problems such as skin cancer. Knowing the cause of tanning, knowing what to look out for, and prevention, a person doesn’t have to risk his/her skin health in order to take advantage of tanning. It is, therefore, the recommendation of this paper that, should one get sunburned, proper treatment should be sought to prevent further damage and promote healing.

Thus, skin protection should be the top priority of everybody who decides to use tanning beds. There are better tanning options than conventional tanning, and it is always recommended to reduce the level of exposure to UV radiation. To find out more about safe tanning and skin care, please read our further stand. It is advisable to seek medical advice before making any changes to one’s tanning options.

Know more about safe tanning and the types of protection available on the market so that your skin has an adequate defense against unhealthy tanning. This statement refers to the ability to save time and money in the future and bear fruits in the long run.