I’m 6 months pregnant and getting ready to go on a tropical vacation. I’m really pale and don’t want to feel self-conscious about my ever-expanding belly and my pasty skin! Is it OK to use sunless tanner during pregnancy?
Although there's no proof that self-tanners are harmful, there haven't been many studies done on their effects on a fetus. But slapping on some self-tanner is far better than lying out in the sun and becoming potentially overheated. (Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can lead to skin cancer, and overheating can increase the risk for neural tube defects in the first trimester and dehydration later in the pregnancy.)
When you're in the sun during your vacation, make sure to wear sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids, and don't let yourself get too hot.
You should talk to your doctor before applying any "tan in a bottle." And instead of using self-tanner, you could try applying some bronzer to your face, neck, shoulders, and chest.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: August 2009
Have a question? Email us.
Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2013 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.