How to: spray tan clients suffering with eczema

How should I adjust my tanning treatments for clients with eczema?

Firstly, the good news is that clients with eczema can still use fake tan; it just requires a little more thought and preparation. Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked and rough. Blisters may sometimes occur. It is important to refrain from tanning during eczema flare-ups or when there are open wounds. Once the skin has healed, usually around a fortnight after a flare-up, clients can safely tan if they heed the following advice. 

I would recommend looking at the ingredients list in the tanning product in case there is anything that could cause sensitivity. For clients with eczema, a gentler formula with natural ingredients is best. Whatever the product, I would recommend performing a 24-hour patch test to check skin suitability and sensitivity before tanning. If irritation occurs, don’t use. 

Once you have established that there is no sensitivity, advise clients to condition their skin regularly with moisturiser in the weeks leading up to the tan application. This is especially important for eczema sufferers. Just prior to tan application, I recommend applying a good barrier cream to dry areas, especially those affected by eczema. 

When applying the tanning product, it is best to avoid direct application to eczema-affected areas. When unaffected areas have been tanned, use a blender brush or back of a velvet tanning mitt to glaze over the problem area. This will help blend in the tan and prevent dry areas from absorbing too much product, which can produce darker patches. Post treatment, clients should continue to moisturise regularly to hydrate and prolong their new glow. 

Shoned Owen headshotShoned Owen is a tanning expert and founder of paraben, alcohol and cruelty-free vegan sunless tan company Tanya Whitebits.

Guide to tanning clients with different needs: covering elderly, pregnant and those with mobility issues.