What do I do for a bad burn from a tanning bed?


Quick Answer

To treat a burn from a tanning bed, apply a cold, damp towel to the affected skin several times a day to cool the burn, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Alternatively, take cool baths or showers throughout the day to cool the skin.

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Full Answer

Apply a moisturizer containing aloe or soy, and use ibuprofen if necessary to reduce pain and swelling, says the American Academy of Dermatology. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Avoid applying skin products containing lidocaine, benzocaine or petroleum, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Apply hydrocortisone cream to areas that are especially irritated. If the burned skin develops blisters, avoid popping them, and allow them to heal on their own. Monitor for symptoms, including dizziness, weakness, nausea or chills, as these signal a need for medical attention. Sunburns can cause permanent damage to the skin, increasing a person's risk for developing skin cancer.

Both sunburns and suntans are the body's way of responding to tissue damage, according to Teen Vogue. Exposure to ultraviolet rays injures the skin, causing the body to add pigment to the area in response. People who use tanning beds expose themselves to high levels of ultraviolet radiation, which can lead to dangerous forms of cancer. The use of tanning beds increases a person's chance of developing a skin cancer called melanoma by 75 percent.

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