Do tanning salons help?

** Originally posted by livoniaguy **

I've heard that tanning salons may help psoriasis. Is there any truth to this, and how is it different from the light therapy offered in dermatology offices? I've never tried either but am looking for new ways to treat my psoriasis. I currently use only a cetaphil and desonide compound moisturizer but my psoriasis is still spreading. My doctor perscribed a Clobex spray but its like $80 so I've been holding off as long as possible, but the psoriasis is spreading and I need to look into other alternatives. I'm also considering changing my dermatologist because the one I've been visiting for the last 4-5 years hasn't been anything more than decent and is an hour and a half away from my college in East Lansing, MI. Do you think it would make much of a difference? Any reccomendations? Thank you very much in advance for everything and if you have any questions or comments I'd be more than happy to listen.

Report post

32 replies. Join the discussion

** Originally posted by kimberlyjoy **

The main difference between a tanning salon and the doctor prescribed light therapy would be how safe it is.. As youve probably heard, tanning salons are said to give you skin cancer, etc...

im not sure what other differences there are, but im hoping more people will come share their experiences with ou.

Report post

** Originally posted by Brattgirl **

I think it's the type of light rays. Tanning salons are UVA and the light in photothrerapy at the doctors office is UVB...which is the one that's proven to be affective in helping psoriasis patients.

Report post

** Originally posted by tennka01 **

My dermatologist flat out told me to go tanning. I have fair skin and the one time I've been tanning prior to this I went for 5 minutes and burnt so badly I peeled. What was he thinking???

Report post

** Originally posted by cheychey **

The type of rays are different. The ones in the demetologists office are more intense and target the exact cells which is causing the p to happen. Tanning beds are not as good and thourough as the ones in the office :D

Report post

** Originally posted by LAURENvsShark **

my sister goes to the tanning bed religiously and it helps hers really well, but we have different skin colors [shes naturally alittle darker than me, where as i am pale], i tried going and it made mine worse, it flaked up and hurt the most around my chest area. i only went twice, then figured it wasnt going to work for me.

Report post

** Originally posted by romantiq **

I tan often.

I think for me, my P comes with stress so when I'm in the tanning bed I am relaxed and it de-stresses me :)

It works wonders for the patches I have on my body and for my scalp.

Report post

** Originally posted by xCxRxYxSxTxAxLx **

i have talked with numerous doctors about tanning beds and it has never worked for me. uvb rays are what help your p and tanning salons use uva rays. i would just reccommend if you are going to make an effort to go to a tanning bed, make it the one in ur doctors office, or if u live in a sunny state like i do, use the sun. Because the sun has both uvb and uva rays. :)

Report post

** Originally posted by sonitron **

Hey livoniaguy,

I too live in East Lansing and go to MSU, I have always thought about going to tanning salons in EL for awhile now but haven’t had the guts to do it alone. So if your interested in giving it a try, definitely let me know…perhaps we can both research a good/cheaper place to go together.

Report post

** Originally posted by akronukid21 **

Tanning has worked as well for me as any medication. I switched derms awile ago and I was surprised when my new derm told me NOT to go tanning. I have read in many different places that if you do get a sunburn it can make the P worse so be careful not to burn! I would start with a 10 min reginime and then work your way up. Good Luck!

Report post

** Originally posted by psorbgone **

You are tanning in the wrong beds! The 20 min beds most salons carry (the older crapier beds) have the UVB/UVA Bulbs. You have to be consistant and go at least 2 wks straight to see a result the 1st time. The newer beds, the expensive ones to tan in DO NOT have UVB only UVA. Facial tanners in the beds carry high UVB that's why those bulbs are only in the 15 min or less beds.

I tan religiously in the 20 min beds and my P is gone completely w/in 2 wks of a flair up, if I stop tanning and it comes back, I give it a full month to come back then go right back tanning.

I also use beta methasone steriod cream about 2x a month.

I buy the monthly unlimited tanning packages - don't waste your money on the newer beds, they are only going to bronze you and white flakes and bronzing do not mix!

Honestly BURNING is what takes my P away, I can also sit in the sun and get a sunburn and those spots that were "burned off" have never returned and I've had P 20 yrs. Of course the Derms will tell you NOT to tan 1) the risk of course 2) the progress of sunlight means you will not be in their office much, paying them for a 5 min visit and drugs that work once then back to his office and 3)they aren't getting any kickbacks from the salons.

Report post

** Originally posted by ashleyw **

Tanning beds have been awesome for me. The only thing is, if you burn the p, it hurts pretty bad. I typically only do it in the winter cuz thats when my p is the worst. I did light box therapy at the dermatologist and it did absolutely nothing for me but tanning beds seem to really help, plus you get a tan :)

Report post

** Originally posted by thumbelina213 **

I tan once a week for 15 mins. I am a little on the pale side so when I started, I only went for 5 mins and worked my way up. My derm and rheumy both said it was a good idea to continue w/ the weekly visits, just make sure not to burn. I urge you to use a GOOD QUALITY moisturizer EVERY time you tan though! You do not want to bake in those beds w/out some moisture on you skin. Most tanning salons offer moisturizers in their store however they can be pricey. I go online and buy it in big bottles so that it is a little more affordable. I personally like the ones w/ hemp oil (very moisturizing). I suggest an unscented one to start to make sure it doesn't aggravate your skin.

Report post

** Originally posted by Britt0185 **

Ok, here is the deal:
Most tanning places use UVA bulbs, but I have run into some that also use UVB. You want a place that has UVB bulbs b/c that is the specific specrum of light that helps p spots. And yes, always use moisterizing!! And don't start out long. Ask the person working there their suggestion as to how long and if you feel like you are getting hot too quickly, you can always turn it off early. Tanning beds are much much cheaper than the docs office.

Light boxes only use UVB and now have narrow UVB which just focuses the rays more specifically on the p. There is also a chance at getting skin cancer with this as well which is why you start out at a low dose and work your way up (like the tanning bed). The only reason why a derm would not suggest tanning is probally b/c he wants you to use his box b/c he has one. Any knowledgable derm would explain exactally what I have explained thus far about tanning vs. the light box.

There is always a chance that one might not work. There is no specific one to do. It's whatever your body reacts to best and you have to try it in order to know.

I hope this helps anyone that has read it. I have had p since I was 6 and I'm now 23 - that's 17 years of trying different regimines and therapies. I've experienced and tried it all.

Report post

** Originally posted by cvstokke **

i just got instructed to go do light box treatment. This may be a stupid question but will also develop some sort of tan from using the light box? It'd be nice if I could kill two birds with one stone.

Also - with your experience, have insurance companies been good about covering light box treatments? I have double insurance coverage.

Thanks everyone!

Report post

** Originally posted by singlebarrel **

Most insurance companies cover in office phototherapy and it works very well for most.

I have a home unit that my insurance would not cover so I bought it used and it works well for me.

Report post

** Originally posted by RastaPasta **

I tried this recently... got a membership for 3 months and went about 3 times a week. Didn't noticed a difference at all so I stopped :( It's expensive too. But my friend with a different kind of psoriasis than me said it helped a lot. I have flaky plaque psoriasis and I think she has guttate.

Report post

** Originally posted by ckd816 **

i just got instructed to go do light box treatment. This may be a stupid question but will also develop some sort of tan from using the light box? It'd be nice if I could kill two birds with one stone.

Also - with your experience, have insurance companies been good about covering light box treatments? I have double insurance coverage.

Thanks everyone!

Hi! I'm new here and this is my first post. :o

I did light box treatments quite some time ago... I was about 14 and I'm 21 now. I remember my insurance covering the in office treatments. I also definitely got a little tan! It never did much for my P though... I hope you have better luck than I did! :D

P.S. As for the original post topic, I think tanning beds/natural tanning (in moderation) are the greatest aids in helping my P. Just be careful not to burn! I agree that burning can actually make spots go away initially, but then they eventually return worse than they were to begin with. I haven't been to a tanning bed in probably 5 years, but I get a ton of sun just with my daily activities (I live in AZ).

Report post

** Originally posted by Kerschn1 **

Hello everyone :-) I wanted to post my luck with tanning beds. I am 44 years old, I have had Psoriasis since I was little. I had the light treatments at the dermatologist, and they actually burned my back and didnt help at all. I tried the tar treatments, and many topical treatments.
Nothing helped, my teen years and young adult years were awful because of it. But I felt as though I needed to share my findings with you all. I have been tanning indoors and outdoors for many years now. I myself have the best luck with indoor tanning. But recently I started tanning at a new salon with newer beds, I am not sure what the difference is...but I am having GREAT results from these beds! I will find out what kind they are and share it with you :-)
Becareful of the lotions though, I found the tingle lotions werent good for my skin, I broke out.
I am now using for the last few months, a cheap indoor tanning lotion from walmart (European EG Gold Sweet Brown), and it seems to be incredible with the new beds I am using. I am extremely happy with my results for the first time in my life, and I wanted to share it with you all. Also I started taking the vitamin Biotin one time a day, this is my personal combination I am using and I am SO happy with my results.

Report post

** Originally posted by olive909 **

Honestly, before i started UVB treatment I tried tanning beds for a few months.
It made no difference at all, the UVB treatment is what made a huge difference.
Tanning beds are mostly UVA rays, and it's the UVB rays from UVB treatment that make much more of a difference.

Report post

** Originally posted by lavalamplover84 **

i know the colbex is expensive but so far its the only thing getting me threw the winters. its totally worth it. tanning beds help. dont go for a tan go for 5-6 minutes at a time and you will see a difference. at night if things are driving me crazy i will take a benadryl.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support the National Psoriasis Foundation

Help the National Psoriasis Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the National Psoriasis Foundation

Discussion topics

Additional resources

Community leaders