Should I not go tanning? Will tanning effect anything with my skin or how it'll heal?

Now this may sound like a stupid question so I'm sorry, but usually around spring time I start tanning but I plan on having a BA soon. I have my consult in a few weeks & hope to schedule my surgery soon after. Obviously I wouldn't go right after surgery but wanted to see if it could cause complications going before.

Doctor Answers 11

The cost of a tan

Tanning prior to surgery shouldn't affect your final outcome at all, but as you know after surgery tanning the scars can result in permanently darker scars.  I recommend that my patients keep their scars from sun exposure (covered or sunblock) for 1-2 years after a surgery for the best outcome.  On a side note, tanning beds have a very high association with skin cancers and you may want to consider either embracing your white "glow" or switching to spray tanning.  Good luck with your surgery.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


You should not go tanning.


Tanning leads to increased skin cancer and aging of the skin.

Reza Momeni, MD FACS
Summit Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews


Thank you for your question.  My strong recommendation is to avoid sun and tanning bed exposure to the scar for a full year post procedure.  Such exposure could cause your scar to become dark.  UVA and UVB radiation associated with tanning is not recommended for overall skin health.  Best of luck.

Tanning and surgical scars

Thank you for your question.  In general, tanning beds are not good for your skin.  While they use UVA radiation which is associated with skin cancer to a much lesser degree than UVB radiation, UVA radiation does cause skin damage that will result in wrinkles and aged looking skin when you get older.  Also, exposure of your incisions to UV radiation will make your scar stay red much longer than average.  Best to avoid all together.  Good luck.  

Matthew H. Steele, MD
Sioux City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews


Tanning is fine in terms of doing it before surgery. But, tanning in general is not good for your skin and if you develop a bad burn it could be a problem.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Can I go tanning after a breast augmentation?

It's okay to go tanning prior to your breast augmentation. Although UV light from the sun or tanning beds can make your scar redder longer, I recommend to my patients that they can go tanning with sunblock 30 or better from the third week on. None of my patients have reported any problems with their healing or scars with this approach. It's always a good idea to check with your surgeon about his or her protocol and experience. Good luck. 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

Should I Not Go Tanning?


Thank you for your question. Aside from being overall unhealthy, tanning prior to surgery won't have any bearing on the procedure but I would recommend that you avoid tanning your incisions for at least one year post op as this can permanently darken the. As well, when your tissues are swollen for the first month or two post op, you may have negative skin reactions to tanning such as rashes and dark patches.

All the best

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews


Thank you for your question.  There is no restriction on tanning prior to your surgery.  After your surgery however, you do not want to expose your incisions for at least 1 year to any UV light.  It can permanently darken your incisions.

If you would like more information regarding breast augmentation and the recovery process as well, you can download a free copy of my breast augmentation planner at  Best of luck!

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


We do not recommend the use of tanning beds as they cause skin cancer. However, if patients choose to tan, please wait for at least 12 months after your breast augmentation. This also applies to direct exposure to sunlight. Please be sure to protect your incision from ANY UV rays! Cover your incision with band-aids, silicone strips or bring back the 1980’s bright white bikini tan lines. Exposure to artificial or natural UV rays (sunlight) will permanently tattoo your scar either bright white or dark brown and is not reversible.

We instead recommend spray tanning, which can be safely done as early as 4-6 weeks after surgery

Evan Feldman, MD, FACS
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Tanning prior to surgery?

First of all thank you for the question.  Tanning prior to surgery should not effect your healing at all.  If you want to tan after surgery, I would recommend waiting up to a year, or make sure to cover the incision well to avoid any exposure.  Best of Luck.

Heather Rocheford, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 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.