How To Protect Scars In A Tanning Bed

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

To get that vitamin D and Nitrous Oxide boosting tan you can visit the beach or go to the tanning salon. But what if you have scars? Can you still tan safely?

When scars are exposed to UV, they can become more visible and pronounced. That is why you have to protect your scars when you expose them to UV light.

In this article, we’ll look at how to protect scars in a tanning bed.

Of course, we have to start with the obvious: don’t use a tanning bed! There are other tanning options, which we discuss below.

But if you can’t let go of your tanning bed (we get it!), we’ll go over how to cover a scar in a tanning bed so you can stop any further damage.


What Happens To Scars In A Tanning Bed?

We all have scars somewhere. Whether they be old injuries, acne scars, scars from caesarian births, etc., they are a part of us, mentally and physically.

Do sunbeds help with scars? Or does tanning darken scars?

While some people believe that tanning will help with the appearance of scars because it can even out the color of the surrounding tissue… usually it doesn’t help.

Although it seems like tanning could blend the scars with the surrounding tissue, it doesn’t.

On the contrary, too much sun or exposure to UV could cause a negative effect on the scar!

Instead of evening out the scar against the other surrounding tissues, it could worsen the discoloration and could lead to either hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation.

With that discoloration, the scar could become more prominent, and you don’t want that.

How To Protect Scars In A Tanning Bed

Tanning beds produce more intense UV light than sun exposure, some beds and booths reach up to 26x times the power of the sun! That’s why you are advised to stay on a tanning bed for about 15 minutes.

The intense UV lights could affect the scars faster. Protecting them is important so that you don’t end up worsening the appearance of your scars.

Here are ways how to do that:

Use Tanning Stickers

tanning sticker

Tanning stickers and sun tattoos are great, cute ways to protect the scars from UV exposure! They come in various shapes and may be smaller in size than bandages.

It would be great if you can fit the scar inside the sticker. If not, you might need to use multiple stickers and get creative.

The cool thing about the tanning stickers  is that they come in different shapes. Aside from protecting the scar, they can double as a decoration for the body.

Use A Bandage

Another way to completely cover up the scar is to use adhesive bandages over the scars. This is quite useful for scars in hard-to-reach areas.

Use A Sock For The Scars On Your Foot

Where is your scar? By any chance is it on your foot? If so, you can easily cover it completely by wearing a sock.

Thick Layer Of Sunscreen

Another way to protect the scar is to apply a thick layer of sunscreen on it for protection. This can help prevent the scar from further darkening.

The only drawback is that it can smudge on the tanning bed as you move. This is a bit easier if you’re using a stand-up tanning booth

Alternatives To Using A Tanning Bed

If you just got surgery and your scars are still fresh or big, some doctors do not advise tanning on a sunbed. Honestly, pretty much all doctors are going to recommend you not use a tanning bed because of the cancer issues.

Instead, you can opt for the alternatives such as the ones below:

Use A Self-Tanner

In case you want the same effect as a tanning bed, you can use self-tanners. Make sure to choose one that is specifically designed for your skin type and tone.

When it comes to self-tanners, there are a few different types that you can choose from.

The first type is the lotion form. This is probably the most common type and it can be easy to apply. Just make sure to read the instructions carefully so that you avoid any streaks or patches. It glides easily over the scars.

Another type is the spray form which is also easy to apply. It gives an even coverage with a natural-looking tan. Just be aware that it might take a little longer to dry.

The third type is the foam form which has a thick and airy consistency. It’s easy to apply and leaves no streaks.

The fourth type is the mist form which is the lightest of all the types. It provides sheer and natural-looking coverage.

The downside of using a self-tanner is that you might end up smelling like a fake tanner. Plus, it takes time to dry after application.

See also:

Try Airbrush Tanning Or A Spray Tan

If you are looking for a more permanent solution, you can try airbrush tanning which would not damage your scars at all. Spray tanning is a great alternative to sun tanning and tanning beds.

Professional spray tanners can help you achieve the perfect sun-kissed glow. They have experience in getting into those hard-to-reach places so you achieve an even tan.

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).