Tanning bed burn: How is it treated?

A tanning bed burn can cause reddened skin and pain. These symptoms might indicate some degree of tissue damage. The treatment for these burns are based on the severity of the injury.

First-degree tanning bed burn

It is important to note that tanning beds can cause minor burns more often than many are aware of. Some individuals have reported pain and reddened skin in a day after a tanning bed session.

These are categorized as first-degree burns which only involve the upper skin layer and typically heal in 72 hours. The application of a cold compress, cool showers and applying an aloe vera gel can ease the discomfort. In some cases, the doctor might suggest non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen or ibuprofen.


The application of a cold compress, cool showers and applying an aloe vera gel can ease the discomfort.

Second-degree burns

A second-degree burn involves blisters aside from the pain and redness. This type of burn is uncommon among those who opt for indoor tanning than mild burns, but can occasionally occur.

Since damaged skin puts one at higher risk for infection, it is vital to keep the blistered areas clean and protected with a non-adhesive gauze dressing. The doctor might suggest the application of an antibiotic or burn ointment to promote healing. Even if the treatment is promptly started, the healing might take more than a month and there is the possibility for scarring to occur.

Eye burns

A tanning bed burn can involve the eye especially if proper eye protection is not observed. This can cause intense, burning pain in the eyes within 6-12 hours after a session.

This injury necessitates immediate medical care. The treatment generally includes eye drops, ointments and pain medications. In case the discomfort persists longer than 48 hours, a doctor should be consulted for further treatment.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a tanning bed burn is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly care for the injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.