Allergic reaction to spray tanning

Question: had a spray tan yesterday. My face and chest are rashy, swollen, red, and warm to the touch. Any ideas how to reduce that rash, etc.

Answer: You are having an allergic reaction to spray tan and although usually they are just uncomfortable, I would go to the doctor or a pharmacy and get some medication. You don't have to take it if you are not feeling too bad, but some allergic reactions can turn pretty bad quickly, so it is better to be prepared.

A very small percentage of people are allergic to fake tanning products and although it is not really your spray tanning technician's fault, I would still inform her about it. It could be that the solution which she uses has higher than normal instances of allergic reactions, but if nobody tells her about it, she will never know, will she?

When it comes to your spray tanning practices, you have to work out if you are just allergic to this particular spray tanning solution, or to the all of them. Next time, before you go for a spray tan do a test patch in a sensitive area such as inside of your elbow or tummy. If you get a rash ro swelling, it is not for you.

If you find a spray tanning solution which you do not get a negative reaction to, stick to it, otherwise you might go through the unfortunate experience again.

Comments for Allergic reaction to spray tanning

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Dec 25, 2016
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spray on tan edema feet ankles legs hands
by: Alison

Like Lisa (2015) I had spray on tan in preparation for overseas holiday (have had a few previously) and next day have quite severe edema (oedema) feet ankles legs hands with aching joints. has been 4 days now and still hasn't resolved. I am healthy and normal BMI so used to seeing bones in my feet and hands. Hoping will resolve within the next few days. Will not be using spray tan again.

I can fully understand. The scary thing is - it is not only many spray tanning solutions which are full of poisons. It is what we put on our skin, hair, teeth, what cleaning products we use and even what water we drink.
In today's world, you have to be your own detective to find out which products are safe and which are not.
Fortunately, we are extremely powerful. As soon as people realize that we can vote with our $ by not buying crap which makes us sick, the companies will have to get their act together because otherwise, they will go out of business.

That is why, if you would know what kind of solution was used on you, I would encourage you to spread the word, so less people use it.
Also, please let the salon know. If they are not aware, they cannot do anything about it. But if more than two people complain, they will change the solution and the company will lose the customer.

Dec 19, 2016
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Hives from spray tanning
by: Susie

My daughter has been using the same self tan lotion for 2 years. This week she got raised lumps and a rash which spread. Doctor told her to take anti-histamines and cortisone cream for the itchyness. She has hives and I can only think it's because of a DHA allergic reaction.

I had the same thing. Spray tanned with the same solution for couple of years and then suddenly I got a rash. Thankfully it was not too bad and went away in couple of days. I could not figure out what it was, so few days later I spray tanned again and the rash came back.

I am a slow learner, so I tried it 5 times before I admitted that it is the spray tanning that causes this reaction, so I changed to SafeTan and have not had any problems since then.

That taught me to read the ingredient labels not only on my food, but also on everything I use on my skin, hair, teeth, my cleaning products, things I wear and most importantly, what water I drink and shower in. Once I started I could not believe how incredibly poisonous most things I used were. It is worthy to do the research, as you found out that your health depends on it...

Dec 17, 2016
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Swollen eye after spray tanning
by: Anonymous

Could spray tanning be swelling one of my eyes up? It never happens staight after i tan. But a few days later it swells right up

Yes, it is possible. Let the salon know and read the label about what is in the spray tanning solution. You will probably be shocked at how many poisons are in it. Next time, make sure you do your research first and choose solution with as few harmful ingredients as possible. There are now more and more companies who are aware that adding poisons to their spray tanning solutions only causes them to lose clients in the long term.

Nov 15, 2016
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Solution to spray tan allergy
by: Anonymous

Hi there
I have the same allergy .I have resorted to buying a wash off tan -and it works well .No DHA .Look for bronzing cream that washes off at the end of the day :)

That sounds like a very good solution for a person that is allergic to DHA. It is a pity that you have to apply it every day to keep the effect. Alternatively you could use erythrulose only self tanning lotion or cream made from red berried. It takes about 2-6 days to develop, so you need to have patience, but you can get a nice glow for a special occasion if you plan ahead.

Oct 10, 2016
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Severe rash and welts
by: Sandi E

I went to LA Tan for their Monday $10 spray tan special. I had been there the previous Monday and had no problem. And, I did this about 3 times last winter. But this time was a disaster. I tanned at 2:00 on Monday. Showered at 8:00 on Tuesday. And at 2:00 on Tuesday began the worst rash/welts ever! From my scalp (I did wear their cap during the spray) to every nook and cranny of my body. Itched so bad it was like I had rolled naked in poison ivy. Went to the Doctor on Wednesday when creams and benedryl did not help. They had to put me on steroids for 14 days and an Rx strength antihistamine. That made it start to subside. But I forgot to wash my pillow cases and got it back on my face, neck, and arms. I also was very swollen. I don't understand why I never had previous reaction. Why now? So sad...I loved getting just a touch of glow during the winter.

A lot of tanning solutions carry ingredients which have never been FDA approved (as is the case with a lot of cosmetics), so you do not really know what you are putting on your skin. Some of effects can be cumulative and you can be OK for a long time and suddenly the threshold is crossed and from then on you can be allergic to it. That is why it is good to research your Tanning solution to make sure there are not too many nasties in it.

Jun 16, 2016
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4 weeks
by: Anonymous

I had a spray tan 4 weeks ago and I am still having a reaction itching and welts could this be fromthd spray tan it's the only thing different I have done. How long can thus last ?

Yes it can. Some spray tanning solutions have ingredients which can cause a reaction in some people and in extreme cases you can have it flare up now and again for a very long time. Personally I use SafeTan.co.nz because it has very few ingredients which are quite safe and gives a great tan.

Jun 10, 2016
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Remedy for rash from spray tan?
by: Anonymous

I get red, bumpy, itchy rashes all over my lower legs and stomach after getting the standard spray-on tan. I've tried many brands and salons. It's the same thing every time. The strange thing is I do not get the rash anywhere else on my body, only on my lower legs and stomach, even though I always get a complete, full naked body spray-on tan. I am wondering if anyone has ever found a cream or ointment of some kind that gets rid of the rash. I am really hoping to find something that will make this go away so I can continue to get the spray-on. I'm so extremely pale and this is my only option. I don't tan naturally or in tanning beds and I'm so pale that I just don't want to expose my skin publicly in the summer. Thank you

Sorry to hear that and I wish I could help, but unfortunately it seems that you might be allergic to something that is in most tans (possibly even DHA). Unfortunately, some ingredients can produce cumulative effects, so you might find that it will get worse with time. There are some organic self tanners you might want to try, I found that those often are less chemical based than the spray tanning solutions.

May 31, 2016
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Delayed reaction to at home spray tan?!
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have been doing at home spray tans myself for a couple years now. On Monday morning I woke up and my eyes were extremely puffy, red and swollen. I went to the Doctor and he said that I've definitely had an allergic reaction to something. I last did a spray tan Thursday during the day and didn't wake up to sore eyes until Monday! Is it possible it could have been the fake tan?! I'm extremely confused, I don't know if your body has a delayed reaction to these things or not. All I know is I want to find out what caused it because it has been very painful.

It is possible, because some ingredients in the spray tanning solutions can be cumulative, so once you reach the threshold that your body can contain, it can produce a visible reaction. Then again it could also be a combination of few things (eg, you might have taken a headache tablet at the same time) and while spray tanning solution or headache tablet by itself would not give you an allergic reaction, the combination of them both could.
You have to turn into a bit of a detective, or alternatively go to a kinesiologist and do some muscle testing to see what compounds you could be allergic to.

Jul 28, 2015
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swollen eyes
by: Anonymous

Question: I've previously done my own fake tan at home and woken up the next day with extremely swollen eyes which lasted about 2 days. i used it on my face that time, so on a different occasion i used the fake tan but didnt put it on my face and i didnt get swollen eyes. I want to get a spray tan before going to a festival next week but i dont want to end up with swollen eyes, is there any way i can request in a salon not to have it done on my face or would you say its too risky to get one done at all incase i end up with swollen eyes?

Answer: In spray tanning salon they will have eye covers which are used for your protection. You can also ask for nose plugs and some salons also have face masks in case you do not want to tan your face at all. In my opinion, if it gives you ANY reaction at all, you should not do it. The body is telling you something :-)

Jul 02, 2015
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Violent Reaction to Spray Tan
by: Anonymous

Question: My daughter and I got spray tans yesterday and we each woke up violently ill with vomiting and diarrhea. I've read a lot about allergic reactions to the formulas used, but neither of us has a rash. Could it be a coincidence that we both got so sick in the middle of the night, or could we have ingested some of the product somehow?

Answer: It is a very unusual reaction, I would look more at what you had for lunch or dinner later as it looks more like food poisoning to me.
However, anything is possible, after all the skin is a living thing and might have absorbed some chemicals which created a reaction. I would suggest that if you choose to do it next time you look for a salon which uses organic solution with as few chemical ingredients as possible. Also wear nose and eye protection.

Jun 19, 2015
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swollen feet and ankles
by: vicky

Question: i had my first spray tan and 24 hours later my feet had blown up to double size one week later i am still swollen has this happened to anyone else?

Answer: Not personally and none of my clients reported that reaction, however, every body is different and obviously some chemical or combination of has effected your body.
In situations like that it means that body is retaining water to dilute the poison which is affecting it. You want to flush it out of your system, so go on fresh, raw fruit and vegetables for a day. You can also drink fruit juice, but not the one from the store, that usually has been heated up and turns into acid. Make your own. That will bind and flush out the toxins really quickly. Watermelon is the best :-)

Also, if you want to get another spray tan in the future, I would research which salon uses an organic spray tanning solution with only few ingredients. That should help, although you could be allergic to something like DHA, which is in most spray tanning solutions and then it is difficult to find an alternative (erythrulose could be one).
If you really want to spray tan in the future you will have to turn into a detective to track down the chemical your body is reacting to.

Apr 07, 2014
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allergic to self tanners?
by: Anonymous

Everyone thinks the culprit is DHA but did you ever consider you may be allergic to dye, especially red 40 which is in all self tanners.

Boshena's comment: There are many ingredients in self tanners, most of them not tested, so you can be allergic to any of those. Red 40 is just one of them.

Nov 13, 2013
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Fake tan rash
by: Anonymous

I got a fake tan 5 days ago (brand name is naked tan ) the day after I got it done I was covered in a rash from stomach to legs I always get fake tans pretty much once a fortnight and mostly use the naked tan range but this time went to a different salon but still used naked tan I am still covered in this itchy horrible rash all over me legs .i put calamine lotion on it it made it sting really bad for 10 mins .why is it happening and what will make it go away.
But it's the naked tan spray I'm not allergic to but went and got the same brand tan done with a different machine and the I got the rash

Answer It might not even be the original solution that is causing the problem, but some bacteria that somehow got into it due to unhygienic handling of the equipment.
If not that, then it also might be that the toxic effects of this spray tanning solution are cumulative and so after a while, your body develops allergy to it. I must say that I heard good stuff about Naked Tan, but you never know what can affect you.

Sep 10, 2013
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Fake tan = swollen face!
by: Fiona

I used a fake tan (St Tropez mousse) on my legs, arms, shoulders, chest and face on Friday night. I washed it off on Saturday morning, then I woke on Sunday with a red hot face that got worse throughout the day. On Monday morning I woke with very swollen eyes, and a sore, hot itchy rash on my face and chest and shoulders. The doctor gave me some tablets to take for three days only. It has gone down a little bit now it's tuesday night, but it's still hot and sore around my eyes and chin.
Could the fake tan have caused this? I have never, ever had a reaction to anything in my life- not even spray tanning or gradual tanning moisturiser. I'm very confused as I can't think of anything else that may have caused the reaction.

Answer: Yes, fake tan could have caused it. People are allergic to all sorts of things. I had few clients allergic to aloe vera, which for most people is beneficial.
There can be up to 40+ different chemicals in the fake tan products and most of them have never been approved by FDA. Same thing with shampoos, conditioners, any skin care cosmetics, color cosmetics etc. That is why we all should read labels and use as many natural cosmetics as possible - to get people who play Russian roulette with our health off the market by not buying their products.

Dec 09, 2012
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Solution to DHA reaction
by: Anonymous

Hi there,

Like many of your commenter's, I'm allergic to dihydroxyacetone, however I have found a tanning product that doesn't have it!

MAC produce a product called 'Skinsheen Leg spray' and it doesn't contain DHA - woot!

Give it a go!

Boshena's comment: Thanks for the tip! I will definitely check it out.

Oct 27, 2012
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help!
by: Anonymous

I had a spray tan done 2 days ago and I woke up today with both of my eyes swollen and puffy. Could the spray tan have caused this?

Boshena's comment: Yes, spray tan can absolutely cause this. There are many chemicals in the spray tanning solution and some of them, sadly might not even been tested at all.
That said, another solution might not bring this reaction on at all, so if you are brave enough after this experience, you might have to experiment.

Please tell the salon, if nobody reports their reactions, they will never know. You could also find out what solution they are using and write to the manufacturer.
If the situation is serious, all salons have insurance to compensate for situations like these.

Feb 27, 2012
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allergic reaction
by: Pam

I spray tanned 3 days ago and the very next day I woke up with severe whelps and rash on my neck, back and eventually on my face, chest and stomach. Seems to be traveling down my body. Very, very uncomfortable and itchy. Started a steroid dose pack today to see if the itchy patches will go away.
I told the salon where I went that I had tried every kind of self tanner on my legs in the past and everyone had given me an allergic reaction. She said she thought what she had was safe. I think I must be allergic to DHA. I'll never spray tan again. So sad, because for a few hours, I looked really good with my nice tan!

Boshena's comment: That IS bad. Yes, I think that you might be allergic to DHA. I've seen this reaction on few people and it is not pretty!

Feb 17, 2012
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Swollen Face
by: Jbug137

I had an allergic reaction after I've been to the same salon for 3 months. I've never had an allergic tea film to anything in my life! Is there anything I can do to help the swelling? I'm on steroids prescribed from my doc, taking Benadryl & applying hydrocortisone cream. I feel like a squirrel preparing for winter!!

Boshena's comment: That is so bad! I would be heading straight to a health food store and getting something natural to help with it. I hate steroids, I think that they do more harm than good. You must look cute though (pathetic loughter...)

Dec 23, 2011
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Hydrocortisone and Spray Tan
by: Anonymous

I am on hydrocortisone tablets and would like to have a spray tan but am not sure if I may have an allergic reaction. Has anyone else ever had this done when on these tablets?

I have not come accross this question before and I don't have an answer for you.

My suggestion would be to do a test patch to be sure that there will not be any allergic reaction. Any salon will do it on the inside of your elbow or behind your knee are the most sensitive areas.

I am not sure what you are taking those tablets for, but have you tried raw food lifestyle? People get cured from typeI diabeties in 30 days, it is very likely that it would help you too. Just google it, it sounds difficult but it is not at all. You eat more than normal and feel fantastic :-)

Nov 09, 2011
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itchy skin
by: Anonymous

ive had about 20 spray tans this year using diffrent spray tans each time. each time i have got them same thing red rash onmy chest, neck and legs. and very very itchy for around 3 days.i think if u do get this there is no fake tan out there to use to stop this ive tryed everything. if anyone does know for 200% please help. thankx.

Unless you are allergic to something that is in all of fake tanners (like DHA) you should be able to find something that will not make you itch.
I had the same problem and then I started to use Safe Tan (I used to have a supplier of this but she does not do it anymore) and now I found Beautisol which also does not make me itch. Turns out I was allergic to parabens.

So, the more natural you go, the better your chance of finding something that will work for you.

Oct 24, 2011
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Rash on face
by: Anonymous

Yes I too have a rash on 1 side of my face thats hot to the touch. It showed up within 48hrs of me actually getting the spray tan. Other than smelling like a frito for a few more days, I think I'll just wait it out. Mine's not that bad but guess I can't do Spray Tans in the future :-(

Try changing to a different brand of spray tanning solution. It might be something in this particular one that does not agree with your skin.
There are a lot of spray tanning solutions now that use natural, organic ingredients, it probably will not be too hard to find a salon that uses one of those.

Aug 11, 2011
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Allergic Reaction
by: Sharon

Having skin cancer, I have tried many sunless tanning products - i have an allergic reaction to every single one. I've tried the spray tan at salons also - same problem. if anyone has any hypo-allergenic solutions, please let me know!!! sharon_is_at_peace@yahoo.com

You are most probably allergic to DHA which is almost in every sunless product as it is THE tanning factor.
I know that some people experimented with henna and erythulose, but I have not heard of a such sunless tanner that is still available, because the results they delivered were inferior.

So, you just might have to stay pale if indeed you are allergic to DHA.

Jul 31, 2011
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Me Too
by: Anonymous

Had the same experience -rash on neck and chest area and swollen face. Not a pleasant few days! Guess I'll just be pale.

Jan 18, 2012
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:(
by: Anonymous

I had a spray tan yesterday and today I have a red rash
On my top lip... It's not painful just red & has brought
Out alot of White heads.
Everywhere else is fine.. I did immac my lip 2 days ago
So is that y? And how can I make it go down

I am not sure what immac is, but it does sound like that and spray tanning do not mix since it is the only place where you got your rash.

I suggest not mixing those two together :-)

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