We are often asked if it is okay to get a suntan as a means of treating acne. Many patients believe that their acne is improved when they have a suntan, so it is difficult for them to understand when we tell them the answer – no, a suntan will not help your acne in the long term. A tan may temporarily camouflage discoloration from old acne breakouts and can sometimes dry up excess oil on the skin. However, these effects are certainly temporary and the risks of direct sun exposure absolutely outweigh the benefits of a temporary suntan.
Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Patients should speak to their dermatologists about safe and effective treatment plans for acne. Sun exposure has not been shown to improve acne to any significant degree; in addition to causing premature wrinkles and pigmentation on the skin, sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer. There are many safer and more effective acne treatments available, such as prescription medications and laser treatments that improve both acne and scarring.”