Why Do my Breast Feel VERY Sunburned After Breast Augmentation?

I'm 34yrs old just had breast aug out 18days ago. I have 492cc silicone implants. My breast feel very sunburned! My bra & clothes hurt when they touch my skin. I have asked many friends & no one seems to know what I am talking about. My doctor says that it will go away, but I'm begining to think that something went wrong & I'm gonna feel like this for ever.

Doctor Answers 11

"Sunburned feeling" after breast augmentation is normal!

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Please be reassured that there are sensory nerves that are unavoidably cut, irritated, and stretched by the surgical process of creating a pocket for the implants, as well as the resultant tissue de-stretch, swelling decrease, and gradual return to normal as healing occurs. Burning, itching, tingling, and sharp "static electric"-like sensations are all described by patients.

Perhaps your friends (who presumably had the same operation) simply felt "numb" after their operation. Your responses are as individual as you are!

Desensitizing massage is a good idea, but don't worry, this sensation is not permanent! It may actually get worse before it gets better (sorry), but it WILL gradually go away over several months and return to normal (a "new" normal, but one you will happily be able to live with).

One other comment: I know it is normal to share concerns and worries with your closest friends, especially if they too have undergone this operation. Remember, however, to only accept advice from the trained plastic surgeon who you trusted to perform your surgery. Your friends have only one experience (their own); as plastic surgeons, we have the training and experience with many patients that should make our advice the best that is available. We may not always be right, and or course we haven't received our perfection badges yet (my mother says mine is coming, and she tells me she never lies), but we really do have your best interests at heart, and have the training and experience to help you with the best information possible. Friends are for moral support; go easy on accepting "advice." You too will be that friend to someone else someday, so be supportive, and direct YOUR friends gently back to their surgeon. If their advice seems "off" or in error, a second opinion is always a smart recommendation.

You need not fear about this! Honest!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Healing after breast augmentation

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there are many unusual sensations in the first few weeks and months after augmentation;

  1. there can be burning
  2. itching
  3. numbness
  4. tightness
  5. insects crawling

these usually go away with time.  make sure there are no allergies,  meds , tapes , clothing , bra

advil , benedryl , clariton can help

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Hypersensitivity Normal After Breast Augmentation

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It is completely normal for women to have breast hypersensitivity after a breast augmentation.  For some, this is just in the nipple area, while for others it is the entire breast.  The nerves that supply sensation to the breasts get stretched out during surgery, and they do not like to be stretched at all.  This can lead them to act in strange ways until they get used to the new dynamics.  Just be patient and these things should resolve on their own.  It may take a few months to get to that point, but they will.  Some massage to help de-sensitize the nerves can be helpful, although will be irritating and painful at first.  Again, this is a normal occurrence for some patients and usually resolves on its own in a few months.  I hope this helps.

Sensitivity Should Improve

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The sunburned sensation is not unusual and is due to stretch of the nerves that give sensation to the skin of the breasts. This is usually self limited as the inflammation subsides and the tissue loosens. It should slowly improve and be minimal in a month or so. It may last 6 months or so, though. Light massage may help.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Sunburn feeling after BA

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The feeling of sunburn is not unusual at all. It happens because the nerves are stretched and the feeling has not yet returned to normal. When it happens it usually goes away gradually by 2-3 months after surgery. In your case, your implants are a bit on the larger side and probably contributed. I recommend starting gentle touch massage to desensitize the skin. Arnica cream or gel also helps.

Sensation like a sunburn of breasts following a breast augmentation

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The sensation of having a sunburn of your breasts is not a rare phenomenon following a breast augmentation. This is related to nerve fiber irritation and stretching which can manifest as hypersensitivity. Some women find that even the lightest touching of clothes on their skin, particularly their nipples, can be very uncomfortable. Fortunately, this will resolve usually without being a chronic problem. It can take several weeks or more for symptoms to largely disappear. Sometimes, a limited course of anti-inflammatory medication can help.

You should inform your surgeon of your issue and obtain his/her recommendations.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


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This is not common, but can happen and does not mean necessarily that anything has gone wrong. In the cases I have seen, this resolves over a 3-4 month period. Nerve endings are irritated and disrupted from the surgery and some women do experience these symptoms.

Sunburned feeling after breast augmentation

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It is common for the breasts to feel different, particularly sensitive, after augment surgery. Patients do liken this to the feeling of being sunburned. This should subside over several months. Be patient and remember to communicate with your plastic surgeon during the healing process.

Breasts Feeling Sensitive After Augmentation

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It is common to have odd or strange feelings in your breasts after surgery. The breasts can be overly sensitive or numb depending upon how your nerves respond. The swelling of the nerves results in the nerve being altered in its ability to send a message along its path.  Thus, the feelings result from the nerve not sending normal impulses to your brain. Your surgeon is correct that this will improve with time, and sometimes massage can help if you are experiencing pain in one particular area.

Best of luck!

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Breast Hypersensitivity After Breast Augmentation?

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Thank you for the question.

Hypersensitivity of the breasts can and/or nipple/areola complexes can occur after breast surgery. This is likely related to inflammation around  nerves  supplying the skin of the breasts.  This hypersensitivity tends to dissipate over the course of several weeks to months. Anti-inflammatories under the direction of the surgeon may be helpful.

I was just continued follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

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.