Pregnant and tanning bed

Pregnant and in the sunbed, is this allowed or not? There are quite a few misunderstandings about sunbathing during pregnancy. The baby is well protected in the womb, but some women wonder whether harmful UV rays can reach the baby and cause damage. It is also questionable whether sunbathing during this period is more harmful to women. And what about the pregnancy mask?

Sun and UV radiation

In addition to the normal visible light, the sun also emits light that we cannot see with the naked eye. This is called ultraviolet radiation, abbreviated UV radiation. This is electromagnetic radiation. Ultraviolet radiation causes the body to produce vitamin D3. This requires a daily amount of sunlight of 15 minutes. The skin must come into contact with sunlight. Melanocytes are a specific type of skin cells that produce pigment granules. The pigment granules give the skin its color but also protect against harmful UV radiation. With a lot of harmful UV radiation, the melanocytes produce more pigment granules to better protect the skin. Because pigment granules color the skin brown, a lot of pigment will also result in a brown color of the skin. Sunlight consists of 95 percent UVA light, which is responsible for the tan of the skin.

Can you use a sunbed when you are pregnant?

Women in particular are fond of tanning beds: having brown or tanned skin is a beauty ideal for many. Pregnant women also feel this need. A tanning bed mainly emits UVA light, little to no UVB and no UVC at all. A tanning bed therefore has the same effect as the sun. It cannot therefore be said that a tanning bed is safer for pregnant women than the sun. This mainly concerns the amount of UV radiation that reaches the skin. It is sometimes claimed that a tanning bed is less harmful because it does not burn you. This is partly correct. UVB light penetrates the epidermis and causes skin burns. Sunlight consists of approximately 4 percent UVB light, a tanning bed contains little or no UVB light.
Are you allowed to use a sunbed when you are pregnant? Yes, no one forbids this. Whether it is wise is another matter. Mainly because of your own skin: the damage the skin sustains is irreparable. Brown skin is unhealthy and damaged skin. The damage continues to increase and the skin becomes thinner. More and more wrinkles appear. Sunbathing causes premature aging. When the skin is continuously damaged, changes occur in the DNA of the skin cells. The result can be skin cancer. Since the Second World War, the risk of skin cancer has increased by 2,000 percent. This is due to frequent sunbathing.

Harmful to the baby?

The baby is well protected in the womb. UV radiation that enters through the mother’s skin does not reach the baby. Sunbeds or sunbathing are therefore not harmful to the baby. However, taking a sunbath can be harmful to the baby. The temperature in the uterus can rise. Too high a temperature can cause a miscarriage, premature birth or abnormalities in the cardiovascular system or nervous system. The high heat can cause the woman to dehydrate. With dehydration symptoms, the blood supply to the baby is impaired. This causes a shortage of oxygen and nutrients in the baby.

Pregnancy mask

Sunbathing, whether via a tanning bed or the real sun, causes changes in the production of pigment. The skin on the face reacts much more sensitively during pregnancy. More pigment is produced, which causes brown spots. These spots do not always disappear after pregnancy. It is also called a pregnancy maker. The line between navel and pubic bone can also become much clearer under the influence of UV radiation and remain present. Anyone who goes into the sun can protect themselves with sunscreen. Most sunscreens only block UVB light. Nowadays there are more and more manufacturers that make products that also block UVA light. This is indicated on the packaging. The sunscreen partially protects against the development of a pregnancy mask. Apply regularly and do not stay in the sun for too long. Limit the use of the sunbed as much as possible. This can be slowly built up again after pregnancy.

Tanning salon refuses pregnant woman

A tanning studio or tanning center is an institution where anyone can use a tanning bed. Yet not everyone may be legally admitted. For example, a tanning salon is obliged to ban people under the age of 18, as well as pregnant women and people with sensitive skin. However, this does not always happen in practice: a number of tanning salons simply allow pregnant women to enter, even when these women are visibly pregnant or say they are pregnant. It is important for the pregnant woman herself to make her own choice. In general, the small advantages (brown skin) do not outweigh the major disadvantages (risk of abnormalities, miscarriage, premature birth, pregnancy mask, pre-eclampsia).

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