How long after breast augmentation can you go tanning?

I got breast augmentation 3 months ago. Can I go tanning or would that make my scar more visible? Can I put sunscreen and just put something to cover my boobs?

Doctor Answers 17

Sun & Scars

Yes, you can tan, but make sure that any scars are covered and that you wear plenty of sunscreen. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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 157 reviews

Tanning after breast augmentation

Follow the advice of your surgeon, but I advise my patients that they can go tanning as early as three weeks after surgery. I tell them to be sure to protect their incisions with sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Ultraviolet light, whether from the tanning bed or the sun at the beach, can make a scar redder for a longer period of time. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Tanning post aug

Since you are 3months you are good to go.The incision,if it is still red,may require a little protection.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews


 Almost all doctors would ask you to refrain from tanning. We all know this increases the risk of wrinkling and of course skin cancers. In direct answer to your surgery, ultraviolet light can turn a red scar brown in the long term and that should be afforded for sure. I think the cancer risk is the real reason to avoid any and all excess  ultraviolet light. 

Virgil Willard, MD
High Point Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Scar pigmentation and tanning

Hello and thank you for your question. I recommend that you avoid sunlight and/or tanning on the incisions for 1 year in order to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation.  Scars take one year to fully mature.  With good surgical technique and appropriate postoperative care (avoiding tanning), you may have a scar that is almost impossible to see.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

How long after breast augmentation can you go tanning?

Thank you for your question.  Though no surgeon will advocate tanning for its aging and skin cancer risks, it is important to protect your skin and incisions from any UV exposure to optimize cosmesis.  Wearing appropriate clothing and sunblock is important but see the attached link for further information.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

How long after breast augmentation can you go tanning?

In my private practice you are good to go BUT you need to ask your chosen operative surgeon to be sure! 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question.
 Yes, you can use a tanning bed as long as you keep your scars covered.Scars take up to a year to heal and lighten . You risk the scars becoming darker if left unprotected. Best of luck.

Brian K. Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Tanning after breast augmentation

Thanks for your question. Covering your incisions will protect them from the harmful effects the tanning bed. However, that won't protect the rest of your skin from the harmful effects of UV light. There is unarguable evidence that tanning beds are associated with premature aging and increased rates of skin cancer (melanoma). You should consider spray tans. 

Best of luck!

Bradley A. Hubbard, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 133 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.