Sun Tanning And Pregnancy

The sun is shining bright and its time to get that bronze glow over your skin with a sun tan. However, sun tanning may not be preferable if you are pregnant. Sun tanning during pregnancy is not favored by all. So, if you are going for a sun tan during pregnancy, make sure you know about all the pros and cons.

Is sun tanning safe during pregnancy?
As far as various studies and researches are concerned, sun tanning is considered as safe. The sunlight only affects the epidermis and dermis i.e. the top most layers of the skin. Most UV rays do not have the potential to reach the deeper skin layers or reach the foetus. Thus, sun tanning during pregnancy is generally regarded as safe. The same holds for tanning beds. However, it is important that you consult your doctor before going for a sun tan during pregnancy.

Are there any possible side effects of sun tanning during pregnancy?
While sun tanning is generally regarded as a safe phenomenon, there can be certain possible side effects of sun tanning during pregnancy. Here are some of them:

* Lying out in the sun can cause dehydration. Extreme dehydration during initial stages of pregnancy can result in severe birth defects that can affect the heart, abdominal wall, spine and the nervous system of the child. So make sure you keep on drinking plenty of fluids when going in for a sun tan during pregnancy.

* There are certain studies that suggest a connection between exposure to UV rays and folic acid deficiency. Folic acid is extremely important during the first trimester and prevents neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

* Your skin is more susceptible to cholasma i.e. dark splotches that appear on the face during pregnancy if you go for a sun tan during this time.

* Laying out in the sun during pregnancy can cause hives and skin rash as the skin is slightly more susceptible to sunburn.

Should I consider a sun tan during pregnancy?
While sun tanning is not known to cause any harmful effect during pregnancy, the possible side effects cannot be ruled out. So, it is important that you weigh all the pros and cons of sun tanning during pregnancy before you actually go ahead with the same. If you are going to lie out on a beach during pregnancy make sure you use a SPF, wear protective clothing and drink plenty of fluids.

Talking to your doctor would help you know if there are any associated complications present. If not then you can go ahead and get tanned even when you are pregnant.