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When Can I Go on a Sunbed After a Breast Implant?

i have recently had a inner thigh lift and breast enlargement im going on holiday in november but i want to go on a sunbed

Doctor Answers (6)

When is a sunbed safe after breast implant surgery?

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Sunbeds have been proven to cause skin cancer so I would not use a sunbed period.  If you don't mind getting skin cancer and are just concerned about how the sunbed will affect the results and scars, I would recommend you use sunscreen on the surgical scars up to a year following surgery until the scars have completely matured and are no longer red, raised or firm.  Best wishes.


Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

When can I go on a sunned after a breast implant?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! After any surgical procedure, you should be careful with incisions as well as avoidance of direct UVA and UVB rays in order to lessen the chance for hyperpigmentation of the skin and scars, which can take several months to resolve, if it ever does. Sunblock is recommended regardless. The ability of the affected area to heal has been slowed and you should try to avoid additional swelling to the area. The area will likely be numb for several weeks to months and will be difficult to feel when sunburn is coming on.

Typical recommendations include wearing a hat and/or sunblock to the affected area for at least 6-12 weeks following the procedure. It takes up to one year for scars to fully mature. You should also avoid trauma to the area for several months to protect the refinements made during the procedure. Also, avoidance of pools/lakes/jacuzzis/etc for 4-6 weeks is usually recommended to allow adequate healing and protection from stagnant water, that could potentially harbor bacteria. Lifting/exercise restrictions are common for at least 7 weeks. Certainly discuss the postoperative instructions with your surgeon, as thoughts differ among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sunbed after breast augmentation

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As a plastic surgeon who treats skin cancer on a daily basis, my answer is that no exposure, whether artificial or natural sun, is a good thing. If you are inquiring as to when a surgical scar can be exposed to sun in the postop period, i caution for use of sunscreen during the entire year after any surgery.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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Tanning After Breast Augmentation

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There are few things that a group of plastic surgeons will agree on completely, but tanning is one of them.Ultraviolet light, either natural or electrical is really bad for your skin.  Not only is there risk of skin cancer, it destroys elastic fibers in your skin and ages it prematurely. Your skin will be more likely to sag and have a dry possibly leathery quality. The few days of pink to brown colour quicly change to yellow and green.  Try some of the new spray on tans if you like the sun worshiper look.  Enjoy your trip!

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Sunbed or real sun--ultraviolet energy (regardless of source) is bad in general, and can make your scars turn brown permanently!

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Until your scars have fully matured (6-12 months), any form of ultraviolet energy can turn scars brown (and unlike tanned skin, this brown scar discoloration does NOT fade over time).

I know you don't want to burn on holiday, but tanning before you go is a bit like taking small doses of rat poison daily so when you take a big dose of rat poison it won't kill you! Ultraviolet energy causes skin cancer, wrinkles, and causes the pigmentation issues with "not-yet-mature" scars discussed above.

Don't get me wrong--I like the "bronzed beauty" look as much as you do, but the way to do this SAFELY is with mist or spray tans that give you the color you want, and then the highest SPF sunblock that you can find that your skin tolerates.

That way you can not only have that beautiful "tanned look," but you will protect your skin (and your scars) from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation! And not just on vacation, but always. You will thank me for this advice in another decade or two!

(BTW, I know you need sun for Vitamin D synthesis; 15 minutes a day is sufficient for all the Vitamin D you need. Or, you can just take a daily multi-vitamin or drink a glass of milk, which has Vitamin D included!)

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Sunbed After Plastic Surgery

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Thank you for the question.

I doubt you will like my answer  but asking when you can expose yourself to potentially skin cancer causing ultraviolet light is like asking a physician when you can resume smoking.  The answer to both in my opinion would be:  never.

Otherwise, you may have to run the question by your plastic surgeon who may feel otherwise.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 793 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.