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Skin Care and Diseases




My little sister has vertiligo.  She is 15 years old and had it from the age of 10. Recently I`ve been going to sunbed and I let her lie half my session.  It seems some of the patches are getting brown spots.  Is it at all possible that the sunbed could have this effect or not?


Sunbeds because they have ultraviolet radiation can cause some pigmentary changes in normal skin and even in skin with vitiligo. There is a danger of getting a lot of UV skin damage especially in skin areas that have vitiligo because they don't have the melanin pigment that naturally protects our skin from UV. I would advise against using tanning beds for patients with vitiligo. I also advise against using tanning beds for people without vitiligo because it is the same UV rays that we know can eventually lead to skin cancer, wrinkling, photoaging, and all those unwanted effects.

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Response by:

Elma D Baron, MD Elma D Baron, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Skin Study Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University