Dermatology Expert Forum
Tanning Spots
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care. All questions will be answered by a medical professional.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Tanning Spots

I posted a question last week about white spots possibly from tanning in a tanning bed but some of my questions were not answered.  I will try again.  After tanning for about a month, I noticed small round white spots on my stomach, back, parts of my upper arms and inner thighs and on my rear end.  I was told it might be either (a) a skin fungus or (b) that is just the way my skin develops after tanning and possibly a lack of skin pigment.
I tried Selsun Blue, I researched it and that is what everyone is saying to use.  I have tanned in the past either by tanning bed or by laying out in the direct sun light and have never experienced such "Spots".  But, I have been tanning in a tanning bed more often than in the past.  About three times a week for 20 minutes with tanning excelerator with nutmeg as in ingredient.

1. Can I still tan in a tanning bed; will it make the spots worse  and spread and more noticible?
2. Will Selsun Blue really make my skin turn back to normal.
3. What else can I try?

I am a somewhat dark complected white female.  Please help! Shelley

Related Discussions
242489_tn?1210500813
Shelley:

Tanning will probably highlight the spots, because the skin around them will get darker.  I don't know if Selsun will help, because I'm not sure it's a fungus.  Even if it is, and you kill all the fungus, the color may take months to return, so you won't be able to tell till then whether it worked or not.  No, there isn't anything else I can think of you can try.  Perhaps you should see a doctor for more definitive diagnosis.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
38 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
my mother, sister and I get those little white spots all over mostly our legs that show up more when we tan. I think it is in your pigment that shows up when you get darker because those are spots that have no pigment and won't tan with the rest of your body
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I believe that the parts you are refering to being white are the pressure points that you are laying on in the tanning bed.  They won't tan unless you turn over in the bed.   Right now I am fighting the fungus problem of the tanning beds and I know that's not what you have.  100%.  I have been going for over 10 years never had any problems.  One day I started breaking out on my face and now a year later, tons of doctors visits and months of not leaving my house I have found out it is the tanning salon and no one at the tanning salon bothered to tell me til yesterday.  I was told the shampoo too.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your comment.  However, they are also on my stomach, I lay on my back in the tanning bed.  If they are pressure points, why would the spots be on my stomach.  I have only laid on my stomach maybe once or twice.  Please let me know, your information is helpful.  Thanks Shelley
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I agree with diane- I get those little spots on my legs every time I tan.  I used to get them constantly when I lived in Hawaii.  I like to refer to them as 'reverse freckles'!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn

I have the white spots all over my back & they have spread since April when they began. A friend told me it could be a reaction to birth control. Some forms leave the skin unevenly colored when tanning. I have also had problems with a "tan mustache", so I believe she could be right. Anyone else with the same problems or comments to this? Thanks, Renee
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I don't think those spots have anything to do with a tanning bed.  I get them too and I have always said they "come" from the sun.   Your describing exactly what I have which sounds more like a fungus irritated by the sun.  I will know for sure in just a few days when I actually go to the doctor.  I will keep you posted.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have the same spots they have gotten worse through the years.
Before this year I had not gotten in a tanning bed. Or did I lay out in sun the much. The Spot are the same now as they were before I had gotten in the tanning bed. I Have the white spot on my arms,kneck and belly. Dark spots on my face and kneck.  
Any suggestion on what it could be?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I, too used to be an avid tanner and would get tan patches.  Once on my chest and another time aound my mouth or tan moustache as someone else put it.  It turns out that birth control can cause white patches and darker patches.  I didn't want to give up my pills so I gave up the sun.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I, too used to be an avid tanner and would get tan patches.  Once on my chest and another time aound my mouth or tan moustache as someone else put it.  It turns out that birth control can cause white patches and darker patches.  I didn't want to give up my pills so I gave up the sun.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I, too used to be an avid tanner and would get tan patches.  Once on my chest and another time aound my mouth or tan moustache as someone else put it.  It turns out that birth control can cause white patches and darker patches.  I didn't want to give up my pills so I gave up the sun.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello all that replied.  Thank you for your comments.  However, I have not received these "white round spots" since I started tanning in a tanning bed.  After about a month and a half of tanning did I get these spots.  I have not been back since.  The spots have begun to fad and I only notice them now on my inner thighs and shoulder blades and not on my stomach any more.  So, it seems as though my skin is getting back to normal.  I tanned outside all the time and never got these little round white spots until after a month of tanning in a tanning bed.  I don't think it might be skin pigment because I have always tanned evenly when tanning outside in the natural sun.  It might be a fungus, but like I said, the spots are almost gone after about two months. I have heard it is a skin fungus, pressure points, skin pigment, and the tanning salon owner said he used to get them all the time because he was tanning so much but used Head and Shoulders and it went away and he slowed down on tanning.  If any one hears anything else...please let me know and thanks again for all the comments, its been helpful!

Symptoms:  white round spots on upper arms and inner thighs, back, bottom and stomach area.  When sweaty, the spots are very itchy.  Noticed them about a month and a half after tanning for 3 days a week for 20 minutes a session.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I'm not an expert but I do own a salon with tanning
services.  From what I have learned in the industry is that
this is a sanitation problem.  Some salons may not have the
recomended sanitizer.  I use professional strength Lucasol diluted as recomended on the container.  Some clients
do not sanitize the surface well before and after use
I recomend to my clients to do this.

Periodicly I go in and spray everything down and leave the
entire surface wet with the solution for 10 min. Then I wipe
it down well. This is also recomended on the bottle.  I have
not heard any complaints of white spots on my customers.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been to a couple Dr's regarding small round white spots on my arms and legs.  I started getting them about 6 years ago and they keep getting worse over the years.  I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis.  It is a loss of pigment in the skin.  There is not a cure for this.  It is mainly seen in women who have tanned alot during their lives.  Most of the info I read said that it is generally seen in middle aged women.  My doctor even thinks that it might be hereditary.  You can check with a doctor to see if a cream might work or else light burning of the area with liquid nitrogen.  Thought I would share what I found out. :)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Gone to the doctor & here is my diagnosis:
TINEA VERSICOLOR. It is in fact a skin disorder not caused from any kind of tanning bed or sun DIRECTLY.
Apparently, its a non-contagious yeast/fungus that grows on the skin when it gets moist. This can happen from coming right out of the water, & then laying out in the sun. It can also come from sweating in a tanning bed. So either way, you mix water/sweat with heat from either a bed or sun & you get a moist place for the yeast/fungus to grow. Its just your own chemical make-up of your skin.
Every summer, the spots will always show up if I get any kind of tan. There is no cure, so if I want to be tan, I have to live with them. In the winter however, when my skin goes back to its natural color, the spots will not show up at all. In the meantime, my doc said to use SELSUN BLUE shampoo for 7 nights for ten minutes, & wash off. If that dosen't work, she'll prescribe another cream that is stronger to use basically the rest of my life!
To the people like me out there- we are just S.O.L!!!!!
Hope I helped,  Renee
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I also have the spots! Got them from the tanning bed. My sister also got the spot for the same place.Body Drench makes a gel for this problem it is called SUN SPOTS. NOT always easy to find!I would like to know if you can use LYSOL wipes on the beds or will it hurt the bed?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE WHITE SPOTS THAT COME FROM THE TANNING BED.
WHAT CAN I DO TO GET RID OF THEM. THEY ARE ALL OVER MY STOMACH,
BACK, BOTTOM, ARMS, AND THIGHS. WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have tanning bed spots. They are all over my stomach, back,upper arms, inner thighs. They are getting worst to me.
I heard about this Selsun Blue Shampoo that I could use. Does it work and how long does it take to see a result? Also, if I tan again are they going to keep coming back?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a tanning bed junky, and like you people I have those little white spots. At first I thought they were from mixing tanning bed sun with real sun, I was wrong.
I found that if you don't exfoliate your skin properly(use one of those body wash scrubbers) dead skin doesn't get removed ,and when you go to tan in the sun or inthe bed , the skin blisster up and forms a pocket, and then when you touch that spot oe have a shower the skin, then falls of because it's so dry and that's why most people have those little white spots or nasty discolouration.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
You all have different diagnosis', the tiny white spots on your arms & legs are waaay diff, forget what it's called, but, it has to do w/ circulation, much diff. from the ones you think you are getting from a tanning bed.  The large white spots that are mainly on your upper arms shoulders back & abdomen is a fungus...it is Tinea Versicolor (sp.??), It is not caused from sun or the tanning bed.  There is no known cause.  There is also a pill that you can take for like a week...nizoral or something in the line of that....and it should go away.  Annnnd, you are supposed to go in the sun after taking the antifungal medication to make the white spots repigment...just remember to wear sunscreen!!!  (See a doctor)!!  kc
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hey everybody, I am the one that started this whole forum of "white spots" Well, good news I DON'T HAVE ANY WHITE SPOTS ANYMORE! I don't think I had what all you guys have or had.  I did not use any medication, it just went away in time by itself. I haven't had them for about three months now. I have not been back to the tanning salon since I noticed these which was back in May.  I have never gotten these spots from tanning in the sun at the lake or anything like that, only when I started tanning in a tanning bed.  My best suggestion to everyone is to just stay away from the tanning beds.  I have done alot of research on this whole white spot thing and have found so many different reasons, I have come the conclusion that no body really knows how safe the tanning beds are and why these spots appear. It may very well be from tanning beds that are not properly cleaned on a regular basis and it could just be skin pigment or a skin fungus.  But, I know how annoying these dang things are.  But, anyway, its gone now and I don't have any spots anywhere....back to normal, thank goodness. So, a word to the wise, stay away from the tanning salons.  If your spots don't go away on their own like mine did, see a doctor.  Good luck everyone!  And thanks again for all the comments!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
The white "sun spots" are called tinea versicolor. It is a fungus and is not directly caused by tanning beds. I played beach volleyball for years with no tanning beds and I have had the sunspots ever since. Selsen Blue did not work for me or the prescription I got from the doctor.  The only thing that works is something called Sun Drench Sun Spot Solution Gel or Wipe Out. Type it in Google on the internet and order it--it's less than $8 per bottle. Take a shower and exfoliate your skin with a brush. Put it on every day for a week and the spots will be gone. Put it on once a week to keep it at bay. After a week of applications, tan again and the spots will truly be gone. I mix the sun spot gel in with my tanning stuff--now if I decide to go to a tanning bed I don't worry!  This stuff works. Good Luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hey you all, i too have the white spots on my back, upper thighs, stomach and buttocks... however i have had it for a year and havent doen anything about it. it think i first got them when i first went to a tanning booth, but i can't remember exactly. my spots are more blooches than anything else. my skin looks VERY bloochy and if you look really close, kind of scalely. i have gone to two doctors who perscribed some cream for me (which DID NOT WORK) and so now i have an appointment with a dermontologist in like 3 months. i have a cruise that im going on this christmas, and i REALLY want to get rid of this stuff before the cruise so it's not so embarrasing. does anybody have any advice for me or are experienceing the same symptoms?
i am an 18 year old, white female who has a dark complexion.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hey you all, i too have the white spots on my back, upper thighs, stomach and buttocks... however i have had it for a year and havent doen anything about it. it think i first got them when i first went to a tanning booth, but i can't remember exactly. my spots are more blooches than anything else. my skin looks VERY bloochy and if you look really close, kind of scalely. i have gone to two doctors who perscribed some cream for me (which DID NOT WORK) and so now i have an appointment with a dermontologist in like 3 months. i have a cruise that im going on this christmas, and i REALLY want to get rid of this stuff before the cruise so it's not so embarrasing. does anybody have any advice for me or are experienceing the same symptoms?
i am an 18 year old, white female who has a dark complexion.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I ,too, along with everyone have the spots. They are all over my back and shoulders and the last 2 months it has spread to my chest. I have had this for about 4 months. I went to the doctors and she sadi its sunpoisening and it will just go away by itself in like a year. Although I am a very self-consious person and I want them away N=O=W!!! Anything that anyone can help me make this horrid "spots" go away any faster???? I have yet to go to the dermatologist becuase my doctor wouildn't refer since she knew the diagnosis. Also, i too use to go tanning and I used a tanning tingle cream which probably helped this case of spots" But I have been going tanning for about a year and I think this is what caused it. ANyways I have a college dance coming up in 5 weeks and I have this cute dress to wear however it reveals my back and shoulders please help me get rid of this because I don't want it showing. Thanks everyone for responding I truley appreciate it!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I ,too, along with everyone have the spots. They are all over my back and shoulders and the last 2 months it has spread to my chest. I have had this for about 4 months. I went to the doctors and she sadi its sunpoisening and it will just go away by itself in like a year. Although I am a very self-consious person and I want them away N=O=W!!! Anything that anyone can help me make this horrid "spots" go away any faster???? I have yet to go to the dermatologist becuase my doctor wouildn't refer since she knew the diagnosis. Also, i too use to go tanning and I used a tanning tingle cream which probably helped this case of spots" But I have been going tanning for about a year and I think this is what caused it. ANyways I have a college dance coming up in 5 weeks and I have this cute dress to wear however it reveals my back and shoulders please help me get rid of this because I don't want it showing. Thanks everyone for responding I truley appreciate it!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have this too..white spots on my back..i landscaped all summer and tanned in a tanning bed for a year starigh or more....i think it is that...thank you for your info it has helped me
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hi,I am a black american and I have some dark spots on my legs I would like to get rid of. How do I do this?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I went to a dematalogist and she said is a common fungus,
that not contagious.  She said to take 400 mg of Difulcan
and exercise with sweats on and leave them on for 4 hours.
Diflucan is very expensive $36 for 400 mg at Rite Aid.

The sweating and exercise brings the medicine to the skin.

You may need to do this a couple times if you have it
spreading much.  It takes time for the skin to return to
normal color.

100 mg of Difulcan is what is prescribed to women with
yeast infection for single dose cure.  It is a very
powerful anti-fungal medicine.

Steve
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
ggggh
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
well my symptoms are like shellys. there are no spots on my arms and legs, just on my torso. when i was young i would just get this all over golden tan. it was really nice. then somewhere in adolesence i got these spots or blotches. the time i really started noticing them was the first time i went to a tanning bed. i didnt think anything of it, but they just stayed around. i always tanned easily in the natural sunlight.i have no clue as to what the name of this is but it is really annoying. i have been tanning in a tanning bed hoping these things will go away, but until i read this i thought that was the way to go. they dont fade away, because i am naturally a little tan so you will always be able to see them. has anyone else tried that "sun drench sun spot solution" as mentioned above, and does it work?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
well i have got those white spots also i got three little ones right on my forhead... my doctor told me to use Lamisal that didnt work. Then hydrocotisone it worked a little and then it stopped. and now i have any appointment but im using Selsun blue.. its has selenium sulfide 1% and people tell me it works.. but when i put the shampoo on my skin and slept overnight its turned red and it looks like its turning into a scab is that suppose to happen.. its like dark brown now. and i dont know if thats what suppose to happen. please help meeeeeeeeeeeee
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I recently noticed these spots it defentily has to be from the tanner bed.  It is considered a skin fungas.  I have a scheduled appt for a doctor to try to treat it.  I used to tan great and now I have these spots mostly on my upper back & torso.  I would try to tan to think it help, i thought it did for the first couple days, but then come to find out it made it worse.  If anyone knows about a medicated product that works.  Please keep us posted!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I remember washing my hair one evening over 7 years ago and put pantene conditioner on it and fell asleep with the conditioner on my hair.  When I woke the next morning looked in the mirror I saw this large tanned spot covering my entire orbital/left eye area.  I rinsed my eye with warm water and it started burning and stinging badly.  The problem.  I am african american female and I had a large spot covering my left eye that was the color of a caucasion person.  I immediately rinsed the conditioner out of my hair and forgot about it.  I was so caught up and devastated about my face.  No beauty queen even though some people say I remind them of Naomi Campbell.  So imagine my self-esteem now.  Then over the years tan spots started coming up on my arms and legs, back and thighs.  A little on my face.  I never have been in a tanning bed.  Why would I do that?  I'm a black female.  Anyway, the spots on itch a little when I sweat and I do sweat a lot.  I always said I sweat like a mule.  I was so embarrased and angry that this was happening to me.  Dermatologist prescribed steriod ointments but no diagnosis other than hypopigmentation.  I started using dermablend to cover my left eye discoloration.  God decided to have mercy on my and allowed some tanning of my left eye.  But my entire body looks disfigured.  I truly hate it.  I have used Selsun Blue and I gues I should keep using it and keep praying.  I can't imagine taking off my clothes in front of my husband.  I feel so ashamed.  Oh well.  I keep praying that they color over.  Keep praying and putting on the Blue.  I heard tea tree oil may help along with neutrogena extra strenght shampoo with coal tar.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
From polka dotted.  I am a registered nurse and I forgot to mention that the doctors don't tell you much about the organisms such as yeast or fungus that may be causing the problem.  You see I am also dealing with scaly thick skin at the corners of my nose and along my hair line that look greasy.  My dermatologist said it is seborrheic dermatitis.  I researched this and found out dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis is linked to a fungus or yeast overgrowth called Malazzeia something.  Anyway, I think I have some strange thing going on with yeast/fungus.  I just don't get it.  The doctors act like these two conditions with my skin and hair aren't related, but I think they are.  My doctor also did a biopsy of my skin and said she only found that my skin cells were swollen?  Something is up and I'm going to keep praying and find out what this may be.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had a fungal infection for approx 4 years now, was 1st perscribed clotrimozole cream which after 3 months of using got rid of it, however a year later it returned WORSE THAN BEFORE. Continued with clotrimozole for approx 5 months and it went. 2 years on and it is reappearing only not as bad thank god! Also have white patches where it does not tan, Doctor has just told me to use Selsun. started with it yesterday, stings like mad and has brought the infection out more really red. will selsun work? does anyone know. I cant cope with this awful skin any more.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been using the generic version of Selsun Blue, but have only used it for the past two days.  I only wash with it with a loofah sponge then rinse it off.  Should I be using it overnight or something.  Rubbing it on like a cream?  I don't really know, I've never been seen by a  Dr. either but I know mine are from tanning beds.  I purchased one and used it in my home for about a month.  That is when they appeared.  I also purchased Lucasol and cleaned my bed when I was done tanning, but not before I got back in the next seesion, so it is possible that dust or something may have been on it so it was not properly disinfected before i got back in.  I really need to know what to use to get rid of them and keep them gone.  After reading some of these comments I am really worried now that they will spread and come back in time.  Lord, tanning is not worth it!  I want my old skin back!!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Would someone please post how Selsun Blue should be used?  Thank you
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, white sun spots was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, How do u get rid of acne was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, So does this mean that we should spray tan instead? was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, I found the cure for getting rid of sun spots was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, What do I do about these so called "sunspots?" was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, i have white spots? was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, white spots was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, White Spots and Miss Diagnosis was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have had a bad case of white spots on my face and I don't know what to do. I'm only a 15 year old guy and I have this horrible fungus! It can't be the tanning bed thing because I don't even tan. I'm dark skinned and it's very noticible. Please tell me what I have and how to get ridd of it.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I recently went into a new bed with new bulbs and got burned. Ever since I have had white spots up and down my legs. They were on my back, belly and legs. I let my tan fade out and started again. Now i just have them all over my legs. I have been tanning for a couple years now and have never had this happen. Fungus, pigment, what??? What do I do????? I had a perfect tan til this.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I recently purchased two wk tanning starting last Monday the 28th I've only gone maybe 5 or 6 days to this date, never tried tanning salons before and never found white spots on my skin when tanning under the sun. Just recently found one big quarter sized white spot on the front of my leg and two tiny ones on each leg. I have been using the tanning beds facing up always, I read that tanning at the salon while on birth control can cause the spotting from the uv radiation and gradually cause lupus. Too many varying possibilities for these white spots I'm thinking its probably my own chemical reaction between showering right before and the heat mixing with the lotion as well as sweat may b my problem as described by Renee, I'm trying the booth next to see if it could also b a sanitation problem with the beds! Guess I'm just gonna play scientist for a lil while until I figure my own skin case. Doctors won't b able to help with something that has too many different causes... hope everyone finds a solution or atleast a way to lessen the spots and wish me good luck!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Im having the same problem..and its on my face..after ive been tanning for a month and I used a tingle lotion on my face..they are so bad its embarrasing..the owner of the tanning salon told me it was because I used a tingle on my face!! I am trying selson blue..hopefully it works
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
The medical term for it is tenia versaicolor. I have had mine for as long as I can remember. I never used the tanning bed when they first started coming up. But my mom got hers from the tanning bed. It is a fungus that grows on your skin and that's why you can not tan in certain spots of your. A dermatologist can prescribe you something that will get rid of them. But after so long they will end up coming back a little at a time. I have heard the tanning bed can help get rid of them but I'm not sure on that. Lol that's actually how I came across this I was trying to figure that out lol.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I never had these white spots on my body till this yr, I dont go tanning im brown (Mexican). I started having it on my face,my fingers,under Arm, and my private parts that look brown now there white lol. I started taking pills called Iron,and dont work now I am about to take Noni tables so will see if it works wish me luck. Ill keep post if it works
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
563773_tn?1374250139
Bhupinder Kaur, MDBlank
Private practice
,
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank