If I Cover my Four Wk TT Scar Can I Use a Sunbed?

I'm going on a cruise 7wks after a TT I'm healing really well,can I cover my tummy area an use a sunbed before I go. I don't plan to spend any length of time in the sun but I find I don't burn if I have used a sunbed for a couple of wks before I go away

Doctor Answers 6

If I cover my four week TT scar, can I use a sunbed?

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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!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tanning after tummy tuck

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If you diligently cover up your incision lines with clothing you should be okay. Please note that any excessive sun exposure to incision lines will cause your scarring to be more visible.

Tanning beds after a tummy tuck

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I strongly recommend against any tanning of your incisions for at least six months ideally a year after a tummy tuck.  Furthermore, I generally recommend against tanning beds altogether as they are aweful for your skin.  That beig said, if you must use one, make sure that you cover the incisions conpletely so they are not being tanned.

Tanning after tummy tuck

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Tanning or use of ultraviolet light tanning beds can lead to hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the scars until the scars are no longer pink or red.  This may 3-6 months or more.  To fully protect the scars at this stage during tanning, you should apply zinc ointment, like life guards use.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Tanning Bed After Tummy Tuck

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I strongly do not suggest that you allow your scar exposure to the sun at anytime. Generally speaking it takes anywhere from 12-18 months for the scar maturation phase to be completed. Throughout that time there is a progression in the scar and it tends to fade to a light pink color. It at anytime during this phase the scar gets exposed to any sun or tanning bed you run a high risk for hyperpigmentation of the scar. This begin said, you have come this far with surgery, and recovery and I would hate for you to have unfavorable aesthetic outcome this far down the road.


I hope this helps you and good luck!


Fadi Chahin MF, FACS

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Diplomat, American Board of Surgery

Diplomat, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Fadi Chahin, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

If I Cover my Four Wk TT Scar Can I Use a Sunbed?

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Healing scars may allegedly cause darkening when they are tanned early in the healing phase. Covering the scar with proper clothing or a sun block should give adequate protection. Best wishes, enjoy your cruise. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.