Tanning FAQ: Is it normal to have itchy skin after tanning?

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Taking the time to tan can be one of the most relaxing parts of your day, but sometimes, you can be left with a post-tan itch. And while itching after tanning is fairly common, it can mean that you have minor sunburn, are allergic to bed cleaners, or are more sensitive to UV light.  Here are some ways to prevent after-tan itching and enjoy your tanning session as much as possible:

Tanning beds are very warm. Combine the heat with extended tanning, and you can get a post-tanning heat rash. Use tanning lotion with extra moisturizers, and try to reduce your tanning time during the first few sessions. Then, you can gradually increase your tanning bed stay over a couple of weeks to help your skin adjust. Giving your skin time to adjust between tanning sessions will not only help you avoid a post-tan itch or burn, but will also help you tan faster. It can take up to 24 hours for your pigment to swing into full production and show up as golden, tanned skin. To make sure your skin doesn’t over tan (and burn), only tan once every 24 to 36 hours.

Try to shower as soon as you can. Showering can sometimes slow the effects of sunburn or soothe a heat rash. After showering, be sure to apply an aloe-based lotion. If you need some help finding an after-tanning lotion, remember the Tanning Consultants at Sun Tan City can make the best recommendations for the right products for you.

If your skin continues to itch even after it has adjusted to the tanning bed (after 2-3 weeks), it is important to see your dermatologist. You could be having an allergic reaction to the UV light or be allergic to the tanning bed cleansers. If you are allergic to what we use to clean our beds, let your Sun Tan City Tanning Consultant know, and we can wipe down your bed with a different cleaning solution before you tan. Taking antibiotics can also cause skin sensitivity, which cannot only make you itch, but burn, more easily, so talk to your doctor before tanning.

As always, if you have more questions about how to avoid itchy skin after tanning, be sure to consult one of our tanning experts at Sun Tan City. We’re more than happy to help you get your perfect, itch-free tan.


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