The sun’s up, exams are done, and it’s time to get a base tan going for the summer. But you just got a new piercing and you’re wondering, can you still tan or will it interfere with your piercing aftercare and recovery? If so, how can you tan safely with body piercings?
Can You Tan With a New Piercing?
Good news, you can tan with a new piercing. It’s best to be extra careful to avoid sunburns around the fresh piercing. After all, the skin is especially tender while it heals. You can tan with a fresh piercing by taking the following precautions:
- Don’t remove the jewellery
- Clean area
- Use sunscreen
- Apply bandage
Do not remove the jewellery
If you’re planning to tan with a new piercing, don’t remove the jewellery. Removing the jewellery can result in losing the piercing. We always recommend keeping the jewellery in with a new piercing. With tanning, there is an added possibility of swelling that can close up the hole if you remove the jewellery.
If the hole does close up, consult our guide on what to do when a piercing closes
Clean the area
Before tanning, gently clean the area around your piercing. You can clean the area with water or any cleaner you use for piercing aftercare
. This can help to prevent irritation. It is best to clean after tanning as well - this helps to moisturize the skin, promoting healing.
The area around a new piercing is tender, making it especially vulnerable to sunburns. A sunburn on an unhealed piercing can result in inflammation that can result in rejection of the jewellery. Or worse, it can cause permanent scarring. Careful application of sunscreen to the area minimizes this risk. While applying the sunscreen, take care to avoid getting it inside the piercing itself.
There is often resistance to using sunscreen when tanning. Despite the myth claiming the contrary, you can still get a tan while wearing sunscreen
. We recommend using sunscreen with at least SPF 15 all over to prevent damage to skin or health risks. But, at the very least, use it around your piercing.
Apply a bandage
For added protection, you can cover the body piercing with a bandage. A simple band-aid is enough to protect the piercing. Just be sure the adhesive isn’t touching the piercing or jewellery. The area it covers is small and it will help make sure your body heals properly.
Alternatively, you can use a gauze pad or hand towel for greater protection.
Can I Use a Tanning Bed With Piercings?
If you have piercings, you can still use tanning beds. Generally, tanning beds aren’t recommended for new piercings. A bed can dry out a new piercing causing damage and/or prevent proper healing. But for fully healed piercings you’re good to go with these safety steps:
- Inspect piercings before tanning
- Clean the piercing
- Replace jewellery before adding lotion
Inspect piercing before tanning
Before you enter the tanning bed inspect your piercings by sight and touch. Redness, soreness, or mystery bumps
are potential signs of infection or irritation. If these are found, it’s best to avoid the tanning bed and treat the infected or irritated piercing
If the piercing is healthy, you can move on to the next step.
Clean the piercing
Take an extra moment to clean the area around the piercing and the piercing itself. Use water and antibacterial soaps, avoid alcohol-based cleaners. It’s not uncommon for people to remove the jewellery while cleaning the piercing, but:
Put the jewellery back before putting lotion on
Lotion or residues can get trapped in the piercing causing swelling, infection, or irritability. Having the jewellery in before adding lotion helps to prevent lotion from getting inside the piercing. Leave the jewellery in the piercing during tanning as well.
Now it’s time to get your tan on. Be sure to follow the tanning beds safety precautions and steps. Do not exceed the recommended times. A burn or dried out skin isn’t healthy for your piercings.
When you finish tanning apply lotion or moisturizer to prevent the skin from drying out. You can use antibacterial moisturizers or after-tanning lotions.
Enjoy the Summer Sun
There’s nothing quite like Toronto & Vancouver summers, so get out there and enjoy the sun! Just be sure to follow our safe tanning tips for piercings.