How to Get Relief from Tanning Bed Burn!

The question that many people ask is: “Can you get burned in a tanning bed?” Unluckily, the answer is yes. Too much exposure to UV light from the lamps in tanning beds can cause sunburn.

Tanning beds emit a more intense light than natural sunlight, which can cause more severe burns to the skin, with a longer healing time.

Exposure to excessive UV radiation, especially in tanning beds, can result in sunburn. Even brief exposure can be too much and can cause burning of the skin.

This article will explain how to identify tanning bed burns and the steps to take for relief if you are experiencing them. 

It will cover recognizing the signs of tanning bed burn and the best methods to rid yourself of it and get relief.

Is There A Way to Tell If I Have a Tanning Bed burn?

It can be difficult to distinguish whether you have suffered sunburn or a rash caused by a sunbed. 

Dry skin can be vulnerable to UV rays when tanning. As these can draw out the moisture from the outer layer of the skin and lead to a rash.

Another potential cause of tanning bed rash could be an allergic reaction to something used on the skin before tanning. Or if sweat becomes trapped between layers of the skin, causing irritation.

You may notice patches of skin that are either red or white, and are raised from the surface. The area may be itchy and hot, but this is not sunburn. 

To ease the discomfort, an aloe vera cream may be used. In the event that symptoms persist. It is important to seek medical advice.

The effects of tanning bed exposure to UV rays are usually most severe between 24 and 36 hours after exposure. 

Common signs of a burn include the skin becoming red and hot. And it may be painful when pressure is applied to the area.

In extreme cases, sunburn can cause the skin to blister, experience chills, and have a fever. Swelling can occur, and applying pressure to the affected area can result in excruciating pain.

To differentiate between sunburn and a rash. You can look at the extent of skin affected – if it is confined to a small area and is raised and itchy. 

Then it is more likely to be a rash, whereas if a large area of skin appears red and hot. It is likely to be sunburn. 

If you need tips on dealing with an itch, our article – ‘How to Prevent Tanning Bed Itch‘ – is a useful resource.

Burn Relief from Tanning Beds – What to do?

Most cases of tanning bed burn can be managed at home, with signs of improvement in three to five days. 

To ease the symptoms of a tanning bed burn and aid in the healing process, here are some great treatments to consider.


Applying cool water to a sunburn can help reduce the temperature of your skin. Taking a cool shower is an effective way to relieve the discomfort associated with sunburn. 

But it’s important to be gentle. If the water is too cold, you may go into shock. And if the pressure is too high, it can be painful to a sunburned area.

It is essential to drink plenty of water if you have been exposed to a tanning bed burn. This is because your skin will be deprived of moisture and your body needs additional fluids to remain hydrated. Additionally, water is necessary for eliminating toxins caused by the burn.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has a cooling effect that can help reduce the temperature of sunburned skin, providing a calming sensation. 

Additionally, it is important to keep your skin hydrated in order to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

If you have an aloe vera plant at home, cut one of the leaves in half along its length and apply the sap directly onto the skin. For an extra cooling effect, you can store the leaves in the refrigerator.

There is a plethora of aloe vera-based products available, such as lotions and after-sun creams.

If you cannot access or are allergic to aloe vera. Witch Hazel is a great option as it has similar cooling properties. 

There are balms and lotions containing Witch Hazel that you can store in the fridge and put on the skin directly.

Apply either the aloe vera plant leaves or the lotion several times a day until the symptoms show signs of improvement.

The Baking Soda Bath

Baking soda assists in keeping your skin hydrated and has a calming effect, which can accelerate the recuperation process.

Add half a cup of baking soda to a tepid bath and soak for 10-20 minutes. When finished, let your skin air dry instead of using a towel, as this can aggravate the burn.

Rest And Painkillers

Replacing the pain caused by sunbed burn can be aided by Ibuprofen and Paracetamol, as long as it is safe for you to take the medication and you carefully follow the directions.

Getting adequate rest is essential for your body to heal quickly and efficiently. To ensure this, try to get as much sleep as you can. 

Additionally, it is best to avoid exertion or strenuous exercise, as this can diminish the healing process by consuming energy and generating heat.

Seeing A Doctor at the Right Time

The effects of tanning bed burn can be so severe that they require medical attention. Severe sunburn can lead to extreme dehydration, causing the body to go into shock.

If you are experiencing a high fever, feeling weak and confused, or have very severe blisters, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor. 

Your doctor will be able to identify the correct medication to aid in healing the blisters and reduce your body temperature.


What Should I Do If I Have A High Fever, Feel Weak and Disoriented, or Have Very Bad Blisters?

It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe the right kind of medicine to help heal the blisters and bring your fever down.

What is the Best Way to Manage a Tanning Bed Burn?

To manage a tanning bed burn, you should immediately cool the area with a cold compress, and hydrate the area with moisturizing lotion. 

And take ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce pain and swelling.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Treat My Tanning Bed Burn?

In addition to the steps mentioned above, you should also try to keep the area clean and dry, and avoid sun exposure until the burn has healed. 

Additionally, you may want to consider using a topical cream or ointment to help speed up your recovery.


Tanning bed burns are real and can be very painful and uncomfortable. It is important to be aware of the signs of tanning bed burn and to take the proper steps to relieve the pain and discomfort. 

By using the methods outlined in this article, you can help to reduce the risk of sunburns and find relief from tanning bed burns.

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