Tap to Read ➤

White Spots on Skin After Tanning

Smita Pandit
White spots that appear on the skin after tanning could be indicative of skin conditions or low melanin levels. This write-up provides information on the contributing factors for such spots.
Basking in the sun is surely a relaxing experience, and to add to that, you might also get the much desired tanned look. In fact, people who have been diagnosed with certain skin diseases are even asked to expose themselves to sunlight. Whether you simply love to bask in the sun to get a tan, or want your body to get a little sunshine vitamin, you must make sure that your skin doesn't get exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays for a long time.


Prolonged exposure to sun can cause a wide range of skin problems. Exposure to the sun can cause the skin to become blotchy. Some people end up with white spots on skin after tanning, especially when they use a tanning bed.

Tanning Beds

Those who use a tanning bed might also develop such spots due to the creation of pressure points on various parts of the body. These are devices that emit ultraviolet rays. Many people use these indoor tanning devices to get a bronzed look. At times, blood flow to certain parts of the body might get reduced, as certain parts of the skin might get pressed against the surface of the bed. As a result, white spots might be seen on those areas.

Low Melanin

White sunspots could be attributed to the low levels of melanin pigment. Melanin is a substance which is responsible for imparting color to the skin, hair, and iris of our eyes. It is produced by cells called melanocytes.
Since melanin protects our skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, people with low melanin levels are more likely to develop such spots on their skin. The areas where the skin cells don't produce adequate amounts of melanin are likely to develop such spots.
Constant exposure to sun since an early age can also affect the ability of melanocytes to produce melanin.

Tinea versicolor

Tinea versicolor is an infection that could also be responsible for the appearance of white spots on the skin after tanning. This is a fungal infection that causes white, red, or brown spots on skin. When the skin is affected by tinea versicolor, the sun's rays cannot penetrate the skin, as a result, one ends up with an uneven tan.


Prolonged exposure to the sun can also cause sunburn, which in turn can trigger a skin condition called vitiligo. In case of people affected by this condition, the skin cells are unable to produce enough melanin and this causes formation of white spots or patches on the skin. Some people might also develop patches as a result of sun poisoning.


Small white-colored spots or patches that appear after tanning are mostly indicative of a fungal infection. Though one might have been affected by this infection for some time, the fungi becomes visible only after tanning. Under such circumstances, the treatment generally involves the use of antifungal creams.
Though you could use over-the-counter antifungal creams or ointments, it would be better to use medicated creams prescribed by the dermatologist. If you have been using the indoor tanning beds, then stop using them or spending too much time outdoors for a while.
White spots that appear due to fungi are likely to develop in people with overactive sweat glands. People who sweat profusely must therefore keep their skin dry. Use good quality skin creams, tanning lotions, and other skin care products in future.
Since white skin spots might be caused due to fungal infections or other skin disorders, these must not be ignored. If you get white spots from tanning, it would be best to consult a dermatologist.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dermatologist.