In the summer, the sun beats down and the beach beckons. These heat-filled months are some of the best of the year, and are meant to be enjoyed – especially after you have your body image improved with a breast augmentation! But one common question we get is whether it’s safe to do a bit of sun tanning if you have breast implants.

Sun TanningThe answer here is, “Yes, but…”

The implants themselves won’t be damaged by the rays of the sun. However, the same doesn’t hold true for the incisions created during the operation. For these, a few precautions must be taken.

  • Keep your incisions out of direct sunlight
  • Stay out of tanning beds for six months
  • Wait until your scars are pale, flat and soft before exposing them to sun
  • Cover your incisions with clothing when possible
  • Always use sunscreen on the incision areas after they’re healed!

Let’s take a closer look at why these rules are put in place:

The healing process for the incision from a breast augmentation means that most women can hop into a pool around three weeks after surgery. But the incision will take a longer time to heal up before it is ready to be exposed to the damaging rays of the sun unprotected.

Key to remember here is that you must keep your incision scars out of direct sunlight (and also tanning beds) for about six months after the procedure. This is because exposure can lead to permanent pigment change (aka skin discolouring) – something nobody wants occurring to their body. The simple fact is that sun tanning the incisions too early can damage the healing tissues, and this will result in changes in pigmentation of the scar.

A good rule to tell when the incisions are ready for a day in the sun is after they have faded to a pale colour and are flat and soft. Again, this process usually takes upwards of six months to occur, but can vary greatly from patient to patient.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to hide indoors for the hottest months of the year!

You can protect your incisions while out in the sun by covering them with clothing, or even carefully applied tape – and, of course, sun block. Lathering up with sunscreen – even if you are wearing clothing over the incisions – is important because ultra violet light from the sunlight does get through clothing.

So the takeaway is this: while sun tanning is never good for anyone’s skin (doctors will always remind you of that!), you can still hit the beach post-breast augmentation surgery if you take the necessary care to protect your incisions.