Is it safe to tan during pregnancy?

Q: Is it safe to tan during pregnancy?

A: You probably already know that tanning -- whether it's out at the beach or indoors in a tanning bed -- isn't a good idea for anyone, since plenty of research shows that it can cause skin cancer, not to mention wrinkles and other skin issues. But pregnant women are especially sensitive to the sun, and too much exposure can cause or worsen skin discoloration (called melasma) that many moms-to-be are already prone to. You don't have to be a hermit, but you should wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and sit under an umbrella or in the shade when you're outside for more than 20 minutes or so. Since melasma can take up to one year after delivery to fade, it's worth skipping a summer basking in the sun while you're expecting.

You're also more likely to become dehydrated now that you're pregnant, so you may tend to feel overheated or dizzy when you're outside for a while. Make sure to get plenty of water and snacks, and if you start to feel woozy, step indoors to rest and rehydrate. --Stacey Stapleton
 

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