How soon after Breast Augmentation can I tan or get an airbrush tan?

Doctor Answers 10

Breast Enhancement

I would say three weeks, you dont want to get the spray into your incision as the result of that will likely be unpredictable and you may have long term pigmentation issues

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Tanning Beds And Sun Exposure

It's important to avoid sun exposure and tanning beds following breast augmentation for several reasons. Tanning beds can adversely impact wound healing and result in unfavorable scarring. In addition, patients can suffer severe sunburns because of numbness in the involved areas. In contrast, spray tanning would have no impact upon wound healing. It's, therefore, appropriate to resume this practice once the wound edges are completely sealed.

We generally recommend avoiding sun exposure or tanning beds for a minimum of six weeks following surgery. After six weeks, it's important that patients protect their scars. This can be done with band-aides or with sunscreens with both UVA and UVB protection. In general terms, tanning beds have a potential negative impact on the quality of the skin and the potential for developing skin cancers. For this reason, we generally recommend that they should be avoided.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Tanning after Breast Augmentation

Hello and thank you for your question! Scars take at least one year to fade. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor at all times when in the sunshine. Be extremely careful if areas of your breast skin have reduced sensitivity. I typically like to see my patients prior to giving such clearance. As everyone heals differently, I would advise you to go see your plastic surgeon for an in-person evaluation and be examined if you are ready for tanning and swimming. I hope this helps and best of luck to you!

Jon Paul Trevisani, MD, FACS
Maitland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

How soon after Breast Augmentation can I tan or get an airbrush tan?

Thank you for your 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 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 1,504 reviews

Tanning post op

Keep the sun away from scars is your best bet. Scars behave differently in different people and can become too dark permanently (hyperpigmentation or dyschromia) if exposed to the sun. Or as you mentioned it may stay white while your skin tans around it. Better to spray tan if you want to hide it. Definitely use a strong SPF (>30) sunscreen on it even though it is hidden by your bathing suit as some sun goes through the fabric.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

How soon after breast augmentation can I tan or get an airbrush tan?

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 6 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 26 reviews

Tanning after Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question.  Airbrush tanning would be fine after one week if your surgery and recovery is uncomplicated.  You can tan in a tanning bed after two weeks as long as you cover your incisions.  I would recommend waiting 4-5 months before tanning without covering the incisions.  Tanning too early can cause your scars to pigment differently.

Christopher J. Morea, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

Protect fresh scars from UV light.

You should always protect fresh scars from UV light and therefore I would recommend spray tanning instead of tanning salon.

As long as the incision is healing properly I would allow my patients to spray tan as early as one or two weeks after surgery.

It is always best to check with your surgeon for the final answer.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 277 reviews

Breast augmentation and tanning


The risk of tanning after your surgery is that it will make your scars more visible. Scars will tan differently for up to a year after surgery. Good luck with surgery.

Arun Rao, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


You should ask your PS what they want for your post-op regimen.  I tell my patients to avoid UV exposure or tanning liquid on the incisions for at least the first year to avoid permanent pigment issues.  Unless you're looking to get skin cancer, you may want to avoid tanning all together.  Sorry for the morbid comment, but I treat a lot of skin cancer and wouldn't feel right if I didn't warn you.


Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 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.