White Spots From Tanning – What You Need To Know


There are many people who indulge in personal tanning for a number of reasons. This can range from helping Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), aiding in skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, or even to prepare themselves for a pending holiday vacation on a sunny beach somewhere. No matter what reason a person may have for the purpose of tanning, precautions and preventative measures should be exercised to avoid any over-exposure or abuse of a tanning bed. White spots from tanning are just one of the many results that spark questions from those who utilize tanning beds.

Skin Pigment

In some people, white spots will appear after prolonged exposure to UV rays either from the sun or from tanning beds. There can be a genetic trait in the skin that causes these white spots from tanning since these cells do not produce melanin and therefore they are unaffected by the tanning process. This idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis is a genetic disorder that disables the skin from keeping pigment. White spots show up more when tanning makes the skin around them darker. There is no cure for this form of white spots.


Some medication will make a person’s skin extremely sensitive to UV light. Birth control pills are just one of these many medications. The skin can tan very unevenly, producing what looks like white spots from tanning due to a number of medications. Before you fill any prescription at a pharmacy be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist and let them know that you tan either occasionally or regularly so you are well aware of any side effects that you may experience.


White spots could be the result of a skin fungus preventing the UV rays from entering into that patch of skin cells. This is a non-contagious form of fungus that is caused by the combination of sweating and heat directly on the skin. Prescription drugs, lotions or even using an anti-fungal shampoo on the skin can help eliminate the appearance of these white spots in order to try and get a more even tan.

Pressure Points

When lying down in a tanning bed there are a number of pressure points that will have a decrease in circulation due to the nature of the position of your body in the tanning bed. Locations such as the shoulder blades, hipbones, or elbows can produce white spots from tanning since they are most likely to have continuous contact with the tanning bed during your session. In order to try and eliminate the cause of these type of white spots, regular movement and switching positions in the tanning bed will help those pressure points from being focused on for the duration of your tanning session.

The most important thing to remember is that if you start to notice white spots from tanning or any other irregular skin conditions, contact your doctor immediately for examination. You do not want to self-diagnose yourself and end up deciding that your problem is not a big deal when it very well can be. Be sure to talk to a medical professional about any skin irritations or irregularities that you may have.