The Sunscreen Squad

Pregnancy and tanning beds. Please don’t.

Posted in sunscreen by sunscreensquad on January 14, 2010

I was reading some comments on a New York Times article about sun protection and one of the readers noted she was concerned about getting enough vitamin D for her unborn baby. She was using tanning beds 3 times a week to combat this problem. This is A) a useless way to get vitamin D; B) potentially hazardous to her life and C) could seriously jeopardize the health of her baby.

Why? Apart from the very real risk of skin cancer. Tanning beds emit condensed UVA radiation at around 12 times higher than what you would get from natural sunlight. Some studies have indicated that UVA in concentrated doses may lead to breakdown of folic acid, an essential vitamin for fetal brain development. Not worth the risk.

Vitamin D is derived from UVB rays. Tanning beds emit about 95% UVA. So to get a small amount of UVB, your body is subjected to a magnified dose of UVA. Not healthy.

Pregnant women are more susceptible to sunburn and hormonal brown patchiness (chloasma).

Overheating your body during pregnancy is not a great idea.