Does Tanning Help With Stretch Marks or Makes Them Worse?

Scars caused by skin stretching can be very troublesome and difficult to hide. They are often bright red and can occur in areas that many people find embarrassing such as on the stomach or the thighs. You may be tempted to try and change your skin tone through tanning to obscure stretch marks, but you should be aware that there are dangers to this approach. Your skin is made up of a number of layers. The topmost is the epidermal layer, with the thicker dermis just below it. Tanning darkens the epidermal layer, which is very thin and frequently sheds layers (which is why you “lose” your tan over time). However, stretch marks form on the lower, dermal layer of the skin which means that tanning does not have an effect on the stretch marks themselves. This layer is not affected by tanning, and scar tissue acts differently to normal skin tissue, meaning that your scars may actually be even more visible due to tanning!

Does Tanning Help With Stretch Marks or Makes Them Worse?We recommend that you study how skin with stretch marks works, and what tanning would do to obscure it or make it more visible. Stretch marks will transform colour as they mature. Young stretch marks will appear a quite distinct red, and as they age they gradually turn white. As they go through the spectrum they may appear more or less visible in contrast with your natural skin tone. In some cases, you may even be able to fine tune this with some careful tanning. However, we must warn you that it is extremely rare that tanning hides stretch marks, and may actually make them stand out even more.

There are laser treatments to work to change the color of the stretch marks to match the tone of the surrounding skin, but like tanning, even these treatments do not effect the stretch marks themselves nor do they often work as a suitable treatment.

Does Tanning Help With Stretch Marks or Makes Them Worse?What about when you are away on holiday to get some sun, or if you cannot avoid tanning naturally from where you live, or if you do wish to continue tanning some other way? We recommend following a few measures to tan safely, tips which should be followed whether you have stretch marks or not. Where possible, tan naturally (i.e. actually sunlight, not cream or at a salon), and tan in moderation. Too much tanning at once can cause extreme danger to your health and indoor tanning can actually cause further damage to your skin.

Make sure that you are using plenty of sunscreen with a suitably high protection factor. However, be aware that you cannot tan when using any stretch mark prevention cream, as your skin cannot absorb additional sunscreen properly.

Finally, if you have any other skin condition that you are worried about, be sure to consult your doctor before engaging in regular tanning. The final word: you can still tan if you are careful about it, but be aware that it may backfire and cause your stretch marks to become even more visible.