Hygienists in the early part of the 20th century tried to revive aerination to treat problems from acne to whooping cough. TB patients in sanitariums sometimes sunbathed in the nude. However, with the widespread use of antibiotics after World War II, all the known benefits of nude sunbathing became redundant.
Dr. Bernarr McFadden, the most outspoken advocate of nude sunbathing, claims that safe sunbathing without sunscreen does not cause skin cancer or wrinkles, but actually helps heal these conditions. He writes that “… all we need do is pay attention to our bodies. … If the sunshine is going to be harmful to us, our bodies will feel uncomfortable in the sunshine. This will force us to withdraw.”