One of the questions we hear at Bancroft Feldman is how soon after my surgery can I tan - either in a tanning bed or outside?

We understand that our patients are excited about their new look. They want to put on a bathing suit, go to the beach, or add color to their skin to help along the aesthetic they’re creating. However, tanning and breast augmentation do not go together entirely well. This is true for a number of reasons.

3410056023 848368941c bFirst of all, there’s post-operation healing to consider. For any surgical procedure you have, it’s vital to carefully  follow all post-surgical instructions if you want to heal more quickly and experience less pain and scarring. You're bikini doesn't have enough support for fresh implants. Exposure to UV rays, whether from the sun or from a tanning bed, can adversely affect healing, and poor healing usually means worse scarring. At a minimum, you should not tan for the six months following your procedure, and you should always use a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection. Additionally, scarred skin does not react exactly like healthy skin to ultraviolet radiation, and hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin can occur. Keep your scars covered from the sun for a full year to avoid hyperpigmentation.

Second, it’s much more possible that you will sunburn your breasts after your surgery if you expose them to UV light. You may experience some numbness in your breasts during your recovery period, and with less sensation, you are also less likely to notice sunburning until it has already happened. That prickling feeling your skin gets after a certain amount of time in the sun is how your body warns you that your time is up, but your body may not be able to communicate the same thing immediately following surgery.

Finally, generally speaking, tanning is not good for skin health or elasticity. You are much more likely to develop wrinkles, brown spots, sagging skin, and even skin cancers over time from tanning. Many celebrities are abandoning tanning in order to maintain their skin, and choosing a spray tan option if they want to have the same tanned beauty aesthetic. The use of occasional spray tans or bronzers are a safer and healthier option than constant exposure to UV rays. You can spray tan a few weeks after augmentation.

Remember, you want to continue to look beautiful and feel great long after your surgery is a memory, so be gentle with your new breasts, care for your scars, and develop healthy habits that will maximize the benefit you get from the Houston cosmetic surgery performed by Dr. Feldman here at our facility.