When you start tanning your skin regularly, after a few days, you may notice small, white spots on various parts of your body like the face, shoulders, back, legs, etc. It can happen if you are tanning outdoors, under the direct sun as well as indoors in a tanning bed. No doubt the spotty appearance makes you frustrated and self-conscious and you want to eliminate them as fast as possible.
The ultraviolet rays of the sun is responsible for causing tanning of the skin. The same light is being used in the tanning bed as well. Some people get white spots when the pigmentation process of the skin is disturbed in certain areas. It can happen because of genetic factors or some skin injury. In this condition, those skin cells do not get tanned on exposure to the sun, but the skin of the adjoining area turns dark. As a result, the spots on the skin become prominent. Otherwise these spots are not visible when the sun exposure is low.
As you lie down in the tanning bed, a number of pressure points are created where the body comes in contact with the bed, and the entire body weight is distributed on these points. The blood flow in these areas gets restricted due to the extra pressure on them. As a result, the UV rays are not absorbed adequately in those parts. Thus, white marks from tanning are developed on the skin surface. There are some medicines, which, when taken, can block the effect of the UV radiation on certain spots, and prevent darkening of the skin. If you are under any such medication while tanning, it is likely that you will get spots on your body. Growth of skin fungus can be responsible for discoloration of skin. Tinea versicolor is a form of fungal infection that commonly causes this problem. Heat and sweat often promote the growth of this fungus.
How to Get Rid of White Marks from Sunlight
White sun spots on skin is not a serious issue, and you can try out some remedial measures at home to get rid of them. First of all, you have to stop getting tanned altogether. Once the marks have developed, it will take months to get back the even skin. So, more tanning of the skin will delay the process of eliminating the spots even further.
Application of vitamin E oil to the spots will provide adequate nourishment to the skin, and help to reduce the appearance of the patches. Ideally, it should be applied twice a day, once in the morning, and once before retiring for the day. Hydroxy acids is a natural acid that promotes the growth of new cells. It is a key component of various lotions, serums, etc. When applied topically, it replaces the old skin cells with new ones. Thus, it facilitates faster elimination of the white spots.
Protect your skin from any further exposure to the sun, by applying generous amount of sunscreen two times in a day throughout the year. The SPF value of the sunscreen should be at least 15. Avoid going out in the sun during the daytime. If it is unavoidable, then cover your skin with long-sleeved clothes, pants, shoes, and hats, so that the spots do not come in direct contact with the sunlight.
If you notice that the size or the number of the white spots on the skin has increased, then you must consult a dermatologist for treatment. They will ascertain the cause first, and then treatment for the spots. When it is caused by a fungus, then antifungal creams are prescribed for topical application. For the treatment of skin fungus and white spots, a good skin care regime with cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing is also very important. If it is caused due to side effects of some medicine, then the medicine needs to be changed. If the spots are from other underlying diseases such as vitiligo and leucoderma, then suitable medicines are prescribed to slow down the process of whitening of the skin. Sometimes, the spots are corrected with the help laser resurfacing treatment.
The chances of white spots are higher when you use a tanning bed. This is because you lie in one position on it for a long time. They can be prevented if you change your position in the bed after every few minutes.