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Why can't I use sunbeds after my Breast Enlargement?

All MYA patients are advised they must not use sunbeds for 7 days before their procedure.

November 16th, 2021 |Ask an Expert

MYA's pre-operative information

Prior to surgery, patients must remove all fake tan and shower either the evening before or the morning of their procedure. Patients must not apply deodorant or moisturiser products following their shower, due to the risk of infection during the operation. 

Why can I not use sunbeds following my procedure?

Following any cosmetic surgery procedure, the skin of the affected area is delicate and new scars can take up to 6 months to 1 year to fully heal. Therefore, MYA's expert surgeons recommend that patients must not use sunbeds and should avoid exposing their skin and scars to direct sunlight for around 6 months to 1 year post-op, failure to do so may lead to delayed wound healing and increase the risk of infection. 

Exposure to intense sunlight, UV rays, sunbeds, saunas and extreme cold temperatures can have a negative effect on scar development, especially in the case of newly formed scar tissue. It may also cause adverse effects to the colour, thickness and appearance of the scar, affecting the final result of the procedure. 

UV rays from the sun or sunbeds can also affect the elasticity of your skin, and speed up the breakdown of collagen production. So, continued UV exposure can accelerate the ageing process and result in the breasts sagging at a faster rate than that caused by natural gravity. Over exposure to direct sun can cause damage to the skin, such as, sunburn, dark spots and hyperpigmentation, contributing to the appearance of ageing skin. 

Are sunbeds safe to use? 

Sunbeds emit ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause the skin to burn and increase the risk of skin cancer. Cancer Research UK and the International Agency for Research on Cancer agree there is sufficient evidence to show that using sunbeds causes malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. They also explain that the use of sunbeds has no positive health benefits and that it is a myth that using sunbeds before you go on holiday will protect you against further damage from the sun while you’re away.

Can I use sunbeds if I have breast implants?

Yes, you can use sunbeds if you have breast implants. However, MYA advise that if you have recently had breast surgery you should wait 6 months to 1 year post-op before continuing the use of sunbeds. 

When can I start tanning after my breast enlargement?

Patients are advised to wait 6 weeks after surgery before going on holiday. If patients are planning to go on holiday and be exposed to UV rays, they should consult with their MYA nurse before doing so. MYA recommend waiting 6 months to 1 year post-op following breast enlargement surgery before tanning in direct sunlight or using sunbeds. It is advised to always wear a high factor sun cream on your body and protect the incisions from sunlight (including the sunbed) using SPF 50+ for up to a year or by covering your wounds completely with sunblock or plasters.

*The application of a high factor sun cream or sunblock on the scars may help prevent damage from the UV rays of a sunbed but will not 100% protect them from colour change or adverse effects.

Why can I not use fake tan on/near to my incisions for 6 weeks after my procedure?

Up until 6 weeks post op your incision sites are not fully healed. It is advised that no creams, ointments or fake tan of any kind are used prior to 6 weeks once you have been signed off that it is safe to do so with your surgeon or clinic nurse. This also includes submerging them in water, doing so could result in delayed wound healing or infection.

Patients should refrain from applying fake tan, make-up or perfumed products to their scars until they are fully healed. Fake tan can be applied to other body parts following the procedure but patients should avoid the affected breast area.  

Do sunbeds help scars heal?

No, it is a myth that sunbeds help to heal scars more quickly. Over exposure to UV rays from sunbeds and direct sunlight can cause damage to the skin and may lead to delayed wound healing.

 MYA's top tips for staying safe in the sun

  • Always wear a high factor SPF when in the sun

  • Remember to apply sun cream regularly 

  • Try to avoid direct sunlight at the height of the day

  • Cover up with a kaftan or sarong 

  • Spend time in the shade (read a book or have your lunch in the shade)

  • Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day 

  • Moisturise and use after sun   


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