My Cancer Story

Just another weblog

Can I go tanning while I am having Chemotherapy?

Generally speaking, tanning is NOT a good idea while undergoing chemotherapy.  Dry skin, irritation, and sensitivity to sun exposure are a few of the many potential side effects of chemotherapy. Even if you do not experience any of these conditions when you begin chemo, tanning can cause an onset of these symptoms.  This happens as a result of  your hypersensitivity to both natural and artificial sunlight.
It is also pertinent to mention here that tanning, in general, is not the healthiest thing for your body, even under optimal circumstances.  If you have had any type of skin cancer, this is particularly risky.  However, if you decide to go tanning despite the risks involved, it is definitely best to wait until you finish your chemotherapy.
I am not here to deliver the same lecture or information your doctor would.  So, here is my take on this issue:  DO avoid the tanning bed.  The side effects mentioned above manifest themselves in different ways but, what I would want someone to warn me about, SPECIFICALLY, is that the increased sensitivity that causes dry skin will also cause it to itch.  Additionally, many people will develop a rash as a result.  Personally, I don’t see the point in being tan if I have a  rash on top of it.  You might not want to look “pale” but, trust me, it is a better option than having skin covered in itchy bumps (sort of like having eczema all over your body).
What is my solution?  If you need to have that summer glow, try spray tanning.  The days when a “tan in a bottle” would leave you orange and streaky are over.  If you need a suggestion of where to go to get a spray tan, send me a message with your location and I’ll let you know.  If you feel inclined to try it yourself, there are many products on the market that range in price from approximately $8 to $250 (maybe more).  Again, if you want a specific recommendation, just ask.

April 29, 2009 - Posted by | Answers, cancer, chemotherapy, FAQs, My suggestions, tanning | , , , ,

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