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Tanning beds to clear up acne?

Ok, for starters, I'm going to say: I know tanning beds give you skin cancer and repeated use makes you age faster, and that for the most part, they are just not a good thing to use. However, I also have really bad jawline acne. Pretty much everywhere else on my body is fine. When I was a teenager, it was everywhere, and it just did not go away until about 2/3 years ago. I'm now 25, and aside from my jawline (Which is NEVER clear, its always a complete wreck), I rarely get zits anywhere else on my body. But the trend on my body now seems to have be once an area is "cleared" it stays that way. I've always been super-sensitive about my acne. I started breaking out when I was 9, and it only started getting "good" about 2 years ago. I was constantly picked on for it, and honestly, that aside, it just makes me feel ugly. I want to feel beautiful on my wedding day ... and being beautiful to me entails having clear skin. I have tried so many over-the-counter products (Nuetrogena, ProActive, Biore, Nature's Cure, Clean & Clear, you name it). I've also tried all different make-ups (I currently use Physician's Formula: the Walgreen's version of mineral make-up, to date, its been the kindest to my skin). I don't have health insurance, and money is a bit of an issue, so I can't go to a dermotologist. A lot of these things have "worked" for a short period of time, and then after about a month, I break out during my period, and then it just doesn't work again. I am currently on the pill (Ortho-Lo), I get it through a local clinic, but they do not offer Yaz (I asked already). I've also counted my weeks, and my wedding is the week before my period (Around the time that I start breaking out). My mom and sister have recently been trying to tell me that a round or two in a tanning bed should zap out the acne. My wedding is in January, and I really don't want to be "tan" on my wedding day. I was thinking if I tried going once or twice NOW, I should be faded by then. What I really want to know is if time in the tanning bed actually might help my acne, or if my mom and sister are just crazy. I really do not want to get into a tanning bed if there is no chance of this working. I've never gone tanning before ... honestly, the idea of it scares the bejeezus out of me. But if there is a chance that this could fix my acne, I'm willing to take it. Has anybody ever hear of this working before? Or if you actually do go tanning, have you noticed it clearing your skin?

If you fire a WP member, you're against America.

"Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar

Re: Tanning beds to clear up acne?

  • Hmm I really don't know/think that it can "zap" out your acne.  I've been tanning before, and my upper arms are somewhat blotchy and the tanning usually clears and evens my skin tone.  But that goes for any kind of tanning I do, whether it's the beds or natural light.  I just think that's due to the fact that I'm getting darker and the blotches are less noticeable.  Honestly, I can't imagine that one session will cure your acne.  Otherwise, everyone would have caught on to this a long time ago. 
  • I use tanning beds to clear me up whenever I need it. In fact, I notice that when I stop using the beds for a while, I'm much more likely to breakout. I would definitely try it out. If anything, getting tan will lessen the redness around any acne. And it definitely decreases stress, IMO.HTH.
  • For some people it does, others not. It does for me a little bit, but it usually only lasts a short time after I start tanning, then it goes back to normal. There's lots of articles on tanning to cure acne... I think they say that it  ends up worsening your acne in the long run since the UV rays will actually increase oil production.I have also had acne for many years, and tried so many different OTC treatments to try and get rid of it. I finally just had enough a few weeks ago and decided to get a prescription to take care of it. Honestly, tanning can be expensive too, so you may be better off just to go to the Dr. and get a prescription. The tanning may not work, and most acne prescriptions take a while to show improvement, so with your wedding a few months away you don't really have time to mess around. Your regular family practice doctor can prescribe you the medication and it may cost less than a dermatologist visit.Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

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  • Ditto pps.  It may or may not help and when it does, its really only temporary.  You won't be able to zap the acne away altogether with a few sessions.  Your skin may clear while your tanning but it will eventually come back.  And I hate to say it but the jawline type acne is usually cystic and the hardest to get rid of so it may not work anyway.I agree with pp that tanning can actually be really expensive so it may be wise to save the $ and spend it to see a dermatologist instead.
  • Back in the day....when I was in high school I went to a dermatologist who actually TOLD me to use the tanning bed.  That was before all of the studies, etc. But if you're not going to go day in and day out I don't think 2-3 sessions in the "older" booths would hurt. I say older booths because the 10 min ones use the different rays and are worse...do your research it's been a while since I looked into it so don't quote me on that, but at the time I went 2 yrs ago that was the case. Also, the pill makes you VERY sensitive to sunlight so start out REALLY SLOW!  I know you don't think 4 min in a bed is very long or worth your time, but save yourself some skin damage and a burn that's worse than any acne and do it right....like I said, maybe even 2-3 sessions at 5-7 min. will clear you right up.. Good luck!
  • Ditto all the PP comments about it may/maybe not working and it only being temporary. Personally the CDC's latest report of a 75% increase in skin cancer risk is NOT worth it to me. I tried all the same things you did but what finally worked for me was good skin care products and good makeup for my skin type.  Clinique Acne Solutions 3-step skin care system has been nothing short of AMAZING. I would highly recommend it. You can buy the trial for about $30 for the 3 steps which lasts me about 2 months, using it twice a day.  (Which is $15/month for skin care=CHEAP!) My skin hasn't looked this good since I was 10 years old. SERIOUSLY. (I will say that if you have dry skin, you shouldn't try this though. Get the 3-step Clinique system specifically for dry skin.) I was so not wanting to try something new because I was convinced it would be like all the others I've tried before. Okay, I'll stop but obviously I can't say enough good things.Also I have recently fallen in love with Make Up Forever makeup. I just posted a full review in my blog (link in sig) about this stuff. It is the only makeup that never irritated my skin and really makes it smooth and stays flawless throughout the day as the oil control is really great.
  • I tan 2 times per week for 10 minutes in an older version tanning bed.  It keeps my eczema cleared up (it was debilitating for years, I wasn't sleeping and was scratching 80% of my body till it bled).  I have had numerous moles removed over the years and had one come back as "pre-cancerous".  I've evaluated the risks and realize that the risk is worth the benefit since I wasn't sleeping (since I was scratching all night) and I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin.  My dermatologist supports my decision (and even recommended 3 times per week).  I have pictures of my moles taken every 6 months to be sure I'm okay. Everyone is different.  You have to figure out what's right for you.
  • Kelsey, I actually was curious about MUFE, I've been hearing a lot about it, and even if I don't convert for everyday use, I do know that my current make-up is not going to make the cut for my wedding day (I've heard all the horror stories about mineral make-up and flash photography). So I will definitely be checking that out. Also, thanks for the type about Clinique, because that is one I haven't tried yet, and I'm getting down to the wire on starting a new regime that will work, so I need to get cracking. Thanks for everybody's help on this. I think I WILL give the tanning bed a shot, but I avoid staying in too long, and I won't go more than once or twice (A lot of the places in my area offer deals like "$2 Tuesday" , so I can still put aside for the derm if necessary). I'll also make it a point to go within the next week or so if something does go wrong, I have time for my skin to settle.

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.

    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
  • It's always worked for me...
  • i just posted my acne routine in my blog
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  • Meg, one thing I forgot to say is that I remove my makeup by quickly washing with Cetaphil before I use the Clinique 3step. (Cetaphil is just a very basic over the counter gentle face wash, there isn't any acne medicine in it or anything. I think you could probably use any makeup remover wipe for the same result, I just like Cetaphil because it's so gentle but washes the makeup off well with ease.) When I used other washes, my skin improved when I started removing my makeup before actually washing with acne wash. I guess it's actually directly cleaning your face more than just washing off the makeup? But yeah, just trying to convey my exact routine since I spoke so highly of the results.
  • Tanning is my ONLY surefire way to clear my skin up. I hope it does for you too! :)
  •  I have tanned to even out my skin tone from acne, but I will tell you, it never cured my acne or "zapped" it. What really worked for me what I went to a skin spa and got a couple chemical peels. People at work even stopped me to comment on the difference in my face. It can get expensive, for 6 sessions I paid $300. But the sessions are spread out over two weeks each. It has made a difference that and I found a skin care line that works for me, Patricia Wexler from Bath and Body Works, after spending oodles of money trying different ones!! Good luck!
  • I finally gave up and went to see my doc a month ago for acne medication.  She prescribed duac, which is usually also prescribed with differin at the same time (day vs night creams).  My skin is really starting to clear up.  But.  It's pretty expensive- $100 with insurance, for 2 months worth.Also, I started using Aveeno face wash/moisturizer.  It's part of their 'naturals' line, I can't remember the exact name, but there are no medications in it.  It's really helped relieve the redness in my skin.  So, maybe if you can't see a derm, you can still help relieve some of the inflammation.  GL, I understand how awful this is, and how much you want to just get rid of it.
  • Though, tanning can cover up acne formations on the skin, tanning can actually make acne much worse. It is important to understand the difference between good tanning and bad tanning, especially when you're getting ready for your wedding. I found this article on tanning and acne super interesting and helpful. I recommend it: http://theclearskinproject.com/acne-article/tanning-and-acne/
  • Its really depends on the person. The heat dries out the skin. I am a swimmer and I find that the chlorine dries out my skin. When I spend allot of time in the pool I have clear skin. It is very dry but I moisturize daily. 
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