How To Stop Severe Itching after Tanning and What are Its Causes?

Itching After Tanning

Tanning bed itch is one of the most common complaints received by tanning salons. Although it is not a common occurrence, it does happen. For some people, the itch will only lasts for a few hours following a tan, with others the itch can last for days.

The itch can also occur with the use of self-tanning products, sunless tanners, and unprotected exposure to the sun. Itching can also occur after a period of redness and tenderness, which can indicate that a sunburn may have occurred. Treatment of the symptoms generally depends on the underlying pathology.

Severe Itching After Tanning Causes

Some of the possible causes of itching after tanning include the following:

  • Dry Skin. This is common with any form of thermal tanning. Dry skin can be very itchy and needs to be constantly moisturized.

  • UV Irritation/Slight Sunburn. Mild sunburn can be very itchy can last for 8 to 24 hours following a tan.

  • Chemical Dermatitis/Irritation. This can appear with the use of sunless tanners. Any moisturizers used before and after tanning sessions may also cause the itching. Tanning sprays can also cause this problem. Some people may also get skin irritation when they come in contact with cleaning solutions used in tanning beds.

  • Dirty Tanning Beds. This is considerably rare as most tanning salons clean their beds and the UV light destroys most microorganisms present. However, inobservance can be a problem, especially when there is improper sanitation in between client use.

  • Chemical Reaction. Perfume on the skin can react to sunless tanners and to UV exposure causing itchiness in certain areas.

In some cases, tanning is not the main culprit of the itch. Other factors may cause pruritus and the appearance of the symptom may just coincide with a tanning session leading to the suspicion that the tanning caused the problem.

Some of these factors include:

  • Medications. Certain medications can have an effect on the skin and cause an overall itch (e.g. NSAIDs and Birth Control Pills).

  • Detergents

  • New Skin Products, this can include soaps, lotions, colognes, powders, etc.

  • Exposure to irritants prior to tanning

How to Stop Itching After Tanning

Here are some steps that can help stop the itching.

  • Moisturize the skin after tanning. This rehydrates the skin and prevents pruritus or itching.

  • Choose a good tanning salon which uses sterile beds and gentle cleaners.

  • Test out sunless tanners before going for a full body tan.

  • Take a shower before a tan and avoid using skin products that can interfere with the process or can irritate the skin.