Pregnancy and tan. Or puzzled questions of a woman who likes getting tanned.

We all often heard phrases like: “She looks so healthy and fresh after vacation: she had a rest, got tanned”. Of course, one can mean different things while saying “healthy look”, however, mind: tan and health are not synonyms at all. It’s proved, ultraviolet stimulates synthesis of vitamin D. However, numerous researches testify that ultraviolet in surplus doses is dangerous for health. And if you regularly receive more ultraviolet than you need, then harmful influence of sun increases and accumulates. Skin that gets darker under the sun and makes those who like bronze tan so glad, in fact, just protects itself from repeated influence of ultraviolet.


Long staying under the sun turns into absolutely unhealthy pastime for a pregnant woman.
Firstly, hormones, which concentration increases during pregnancy, especially estrogenes, affected by the sun, can cause an appearance of so-called “mask of pregnancy” on a woman’s face – dark spots, appearing mainly on forehead and nose. In some cases, they dissapear after childbirth, but sometimes they can stay on a woman’s face forever.
Secondly, insolation can lead to increase of temperature of a pregnant woman’s internals, and this leads to increase of fetus temperature. If a fetus has increased temperature for a long time, this may cause damage of its brain.
Thirdly, some researchers see connection between ultraviolet radiation and defects of a child’s nervous system’s development. They base on the fact that under radiance influence a level of folacin content in organism lowers. If this happens shortly before conception or on early terms of pregnancy, a risk of birth of a child with spina bifida (breaking up of acantha) and other defects of neuraxis development increases.


Very often, those who like to show off their tanned skin use self-tanning. However, equipment for self-tanning appeared not long ago, and its influence on organism, especially on a pregnat woman’s one, almost never studied seriously. So, many doctors don’t know what to answer on a pregnant womsn’s question about her possibility to visit solarium. They just advice her to hold back from self-tanning too.
Although risk of overheat under self-tanning lowers, in comparison with sunburn one, there’re still other problems left.


In winter and summer, women use various creams and lotions for self-tanning intensively. Their effect is based on dihydroxyacetone (DHA) influence, which penetrates into blood stream through skin. Pregnant women’s DHA passes through placenta and comes to a fetus, affecting it negatively. Its quantity depends on frequency of application of bronzers, area of surface of skin they are applied on, and presence of damaged areas on skin (scratches, etc.).


Almost every woman gets some insistent necessity to spend some time under the sun. Pregnancy doesn’t change anything. So, if you:

- live in in locality with a hot climate;
- have to spend much time under the open sky for some reasons;
- one of those who like to be toasted in the sunshine, who won’t be stopped even by the neccesity to take care of her future baby’s health, -
try to take proper precautionary measures, from which following ones are basic:

Determine your skin type and time you can spend under the sun. Under the sun’s influence, synthesis
of vitamin D in skin is intensifyed and it may cause a burn. The degree of burn is inversely proportional to amount of pigment of melanyna contained in skin. Melanyn is synthesized by special cells  - melanocytes. These cells are situated under the skin, and melanyn, «packed» in special «sacs» - melanosomies, is transported in skin through these cells’ calcars. Melanyn protects skin, reflecting rays of ultraviolet spectrum. . A burn develops, when irradiation exceeds protective possibilities of melanyna. Depending on content of melanyna, it is possible to determine five types of skin:

type I - burns always, never becomes tanned;
type II - burns sometimes, never becomes tanned;
type III - burns sometimes, becomes tanned sometimes;
type IV - burns sometimes, becomes tanned always
type V - never burns, becomes tanned always.

The lesser the «number» of your type is, the more you should beware sunbeams.

Drink enough liquid – clean water is preferred. Drink to your heart's content -  before you feel strong thirst: appearance of sense of thirst can testify that organism is already water-free. Dehydration leads to diminishing of volume of circulatory blood, and it results in the increase of concentration of oksytotsyna in blood – a hormone causing contraction of uterus, that in the end can result in premature childbirth.

By the way, pregnant women should know signs of dehydration of organism, to appeal to a doctor quickly in case of need. Signs of dehydration are following:

-   vagueness, confusion of thoughts;
-  nausea, headache;
-  muscular cramps
-  ferver.

To avoid overheat, don’t wear tight, sleeky cloth: it breaks the process of natural skin colling and contributes to overheat. Try not to stay under the hot sun; one can take sunbaths only in early morning hours and in the evening.

Remember, that in hot summer days pregnant women, especially on late terms, often receive edemata. In general, in the third trimester of pregnancy, edemata that dissapear after rest are considered to be normal. One should be able to distinguish them from pathological edemata, testifying to defects of buds and heart work,  - they usually appear after sleep and don’t dissapear after rest. One can reduce usual edemata, optimizing usage of salt (by the way, both oversalted and undesalted food contributes to edemata appearance). Moreover, it is recommended to make breaks several times a day, rising legs higher than level of your body (underlaying a pillow or roller under them). Appearance of pathological edemata is a sign of preeclampsia and requires urgent consultation with a doctor.

Use protective creams to take to the minimum damaging influence of the sun on skin… The most popular method of prevention of sunburn is protection of skin with the help of remedies, containing sun filters. However, application of these creams brakes other major function of skin - synthesis of vitamin D, so try not to overdo using such creams.

I’d like to finish this article with rather banal thought – pregnancy is a unique time, when life, developing inside of woman, helps her to feel better gladness of external life. It’s not good, if this amazing state makes a closed book of her, which hides from tender wind and spring sun sullenly. However, of course, you shouldn’t kick over the traces. It’s better to heed to advice of an Ancient Rome poet Horatio and stick to “golden middle”.


More Topics