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Tanning After Tummy Tucks?

I understand that tanning is not good .. but if you cover the incision with gauze and tape.. would tanning affect the incision?

Doctor Answers (7)

Tanning after tummy tuck


Tanning in general is bad for the skin. The best suggestion would be for a spray tan. The worst alternative is to go to a tanning booth. But let's be realistic. Women do not havr tummy tucks in order to hide out. They want to be at the beach in a bikini. You should not get sun on a fresh scar or it is likely to over pigmented and stay that way. Once the scar is healed it will be far less noticeable and less susceptible to pigmentation. Ubtil that time you keep a strong sunblock on and reapply frequently. If the scar is an area that does tan then you may notice that the scar will remain more white than the surrounding tan skin making it more visible...another reason a spray tan may the best for you!

Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tanning after Tummy Tucks


It would be very smart not to tan your scar until it is healed.  If you are at the beach, use a high numbered sunscreen, and apply paper tape over the scar.  I am sure you want the best result possible.  Be sure to discuss scar management with your surgeon.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Tanning After Tummy Tucks?


For the first year, the scar is susceptible  to permanent dark pigmentation if it is permitted to tan. (Tanning is an injury response.) 

Rather than gauze and tape, use a high SPF sun block over the scars. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Be careful tanning your abdomen after tummy tuck


To answer your question very directly: as long as you cover the incision to protect it from sunlight, tanning will not affect your scars. But – and this is a big but – be very careful tanning your abdomen. You probably have some remaining numbness and may not be able to judge if you are burning the skin.  Perhaps consider a spray tan instead. Be well!

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tanning after a Tummy Tuck


Congratulations on your surgery.  I would recommend spray tan if possible.   If you do tan, it is imperative to understand that sunlight will darken your scar, especially during the first year.

A high spf sunscreen is a must and remember sunlight will track through most swimsuits.

I wish you all the best.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tanning after Surgery


After 3 weeks I let my patients tan as long as they COVER THE INCISIONS!!  If you burn immature scars they turn red or brown and stay that way forever.  Cover them until they are faded and mature, usually 6-18 months.  Good Luck!

Brian Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Incisions should be protected from ultraviolet light after abdominoplasty until healing is complete.


Ultraviolet light (tanning) aggravates the skin and increases swelling. It is to be avoided during the healing process. This should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.