Do you love to get your skin tanned? Have you noticed small white marks on certain parts of your body recently? Then, chances are high that those white spots or patches result from your time lying in the tanning bed during your last beach vacation. Yes, your skin can develop white spots from tanning, which is not rare. Those who need to spend a lot of time in the sun every day can also create spots or marks on the areas of the skin that remain exposed to the sunlight. If you worry about these white spots from tanning and want to know whether they threaten your skin, we are here to help you. This article will discover the possible causes of this skin issue and learn about their remedies.
What Are Those Pesky White Spots?
Before digging deeper into the possible causes, let us know what those ugly white spots are. While there are different reasons behind such spots, they are often found to be the outcome of a common skin infection caused by tanning. This infection usually blocks the creation of melanin in the affected parts of the skin. As a result, the infected area remains white while the rest of the body gets tanned. In other words, the infection causes changes in the color and texture of the skin, which becomes evident when one tries to get tanned.
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Causes Of White Spots From Tanning
1. Tinea Versicolor
Tinea Versicolor is a skin condition characterized by the overgrowth of a natural yeast, Pityrosporum ovale, disrupting the normal production of skin pigmentation (melanin). Typically occurring in infection-prone areas, it results in the development of lighter or darker patches. These patches become more noticeable when the infected region retains its color while the surrounding skin tans from sun exposure. Commonly affecting adolescents and young adults in hot and humid climates, increased sweating, oily skin, weakened immune system, and hormonal changes can contribute to this condition.
2. Tanning Beds
If you use tanning beds that subject the skin to artificial UV light to achieve a bronzed look, then there are high chances of getting white spots on the skin. They mainly occur when blood flow is not even to all body parts, and thus, some patches of skin do not get tanned. In addition, there are chances of contracting a fungal infection from tanning beds since the humidity and heat make them a breeding ground for microbes. Once the UV lights are turned off, the fungus kicks into action and can cause an infection, which results in white patches on the skin.
Tanning can make pre-existing scars or skin pigmentation conditions like vitiligo, lichen sclerosus, etc. more pronounced. This also leads to the development of white spots on the skin.
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Are White Spots From Tanning Dangerous?
The very first thing that you need to understand is that white spots from tanning are not contagious. Though they look unappealing, they are easily treatable and not harmful. The right way to deal with such white spots is to fight against the fungus causing such marks on the skin, which can quickly be done with the correct remedies. So, there is absolutely no need to panic.
Not all white spots on the skin result from tanning and some of them can be really serious. Consult a dermatologist regarding any suspicious white spot on your skin to know how dangerous it is.
OTC Treatments For White Spots From Tanning
1. Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Wash the affected parts of the skin with a solution made of 1 part of anti-dandruff shampoo and four parts of water. Anti-dandruff shampoos can combat the fungus-causing white spots on the skin, thus ridding you of the infection.
2. Antifungal Cream
Antifungal creams containing selenium sulfide (slows down the growth of the fungus) are another way to treat the infection. Apply the cream persistently to the affected area for a week or two to get visible results.
3. Antifungal Powder
Keep the skin as dry as possible to inhibit the fungus’s growth. Using lots of antifungal powder will not only prevent the production of unwanted moisture in the skin but also fight against the infection effectively.
Home Remedies For White Spots From Tanning
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Apply fresh aloe vera gel generously to the troubled areas of your skin. Let it dry, and repeat 2-3 times daily. This will control the oil on the surface of your skin, thereby controlling the growth of the fungus.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Prepare a mixture combining coconut oil and tea tree oil (3:1) and gently massage the affected parts of your skin. This natural antifungal remedy will take around two weeks to show significant results.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apply diluted apple cider vinegar (add one teaspoon of the vinegar to a cup of water) to the white spots and wash off with cold water afterward. You must reapply it every 2 hours for at least two weeks in one go.
4. Baking Soda
Moisten the white patches on your skin gently and scrub them with a teaspoonful of baking soda. It will neutralize your skin’s pH, eliminate the infection-causing fungus, and heal the area gradually.
Precaution To Follow
White spots on the skin take some time to get healed. You must try to limit your sun exposure until they fade away completely in order to encourage the process of healing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do White Spots From Tanning Go Away?
White spots from tanning go away completely. As mentioned before, they usually get prominent as your skin develops suntans. Hence. The more your suntan fades, the faster those spots go away.
Do They Come Back?
It is typical for white spots from tanning to come back whenever there is a recurrence of infections. However, they do not cause long-term damage and can be treated easily.
Do These White Spots Feel Dry And Itchy?
Though it is a fungal infection, white spots caused by tanning should not feel dry and itchy; if your white spots feel unusually dry and itch a lot, consult a dermatologist immediately, as it may indicate a severe skin condition.
Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes White Spots?
The occurrence of white spots from tanning is not linked to any vitamin deficiency. However, your skin may develop white marks or patches if there is a lack of essential nutrients, especially vitamins D, E, and calcium. These patches are harmless and can be treated easily by indulging in a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Does Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause White Spots?
When the white spots on the skin result from tanning, you should consider infection as the culprit. However, there are skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, vitiligo, angular stomatitis, etc., in which the white lesions appear as the body fails to absorb enough vitamin B12.
Can I Get Skin Cancer From These White Spots?
White spots from tanning indicate a harmless fungal infection, which goes away entirely over time upon the proper treatment. So, they should not put you at risk of skin cancer. But if you love to get tanned and go for it frequently, you need to be careful about it. Too much exposure to the UV rays of the sun can change the color of your skin cells and increase your risk of skin cancer eventually.