Before and after your breast augmentation some things you do in your day-to-day life may have to be done a bit differently... or even be put on hold while you heal. Tanning is one thing I get asked a lot of questions about, so here's my round-up of the do's and don'ts of tanning before and after your breast augmentation! :)
We all love the feeling of glowing skin that we get from time in the sun. It's no surprise then that so many of us rush outside at the first glimpse of the sun, jet off on summer holidays and even give the glow a little helping hand with self-tan products.
If you're a self-confessed sun-worshipper or a regular self-tan user you may have a few questions!
Tanning Before Surgery
First off girl, always wear sunscreen! This should be a given, with or without new boobies.
If you were lucky enough to be basking in the sun the day before surgery you'd just need to make sure your sunscreen was fully washed off before you head to surgery the next day.
In general, you don't want there to be any products (self-tanner included) on your skin before surgery as it increases the risk of infection.
If you like a bit of bottled bronze, expect to be advised to stop using any self-tanning products 10-14 days before your surgery date. You should keep exfoliating your skin in the lead up to surgery to ensure any tanning product is off, but stop exfoliating 2-3 days before surgery.
Tanning After Surgery
Tanning (natural, or fake) will not affect your breast implants. BUT it may affect your skin and your scars.
You should be able to use a self-tan product once your incisions are fully healed.
To minimize the chances of infection after surgery you should stay away from any self-tan products until your incisions are fully healed, at about 10 days (but up to 3 weeks) after surgery.
If you have a follow-up with your plastic surgeon for a wound check ask them to give you the thumbs up to self-tan.
Don't be surprised if you may experience some sensitivity (or even rashes) after an early self tan - the skin is stretched by your implants and is often more sensitive.
You'll find different recommendations about tanning in the sun after a breast augmentation.
Don't be surprised if you're advised by your plastic surgeon to stay out of the sun for up to 6 weeks after surgery.
Sounds pretty fierce right?! But, it's for a very good reason.
First off, during your early recovery period you'll want to be very careful to wear any dressings or support garments (e.g. sports, or post-surgical, bra) – consistently – to get the best results. As tempting as it may be to rush out and purchase a flattering new bikini, more often than not it won't offer you the support you need while your breasts are settling.
Second, there's a very real chance you could cause significant skin damage to your breasts in the first few months after surgery as any numbness will mean you won't feel your skin burning.
Thirdly, tanning too early can impact on wound healing and result in unfavorable scarring or pigmentation issues.
Once you're given the go-ahead by your plastic surgeon to sunbathe expect to hear the following bits of advice:
- Cover your incisions - Your scars should be shielded from UV light with tapes or sunblock (even under your bather, as UV light can get through fabric).
- Cover your breasts in at least 30 SPF cream for the first year after surgery.
After your scars have matured if you do expose them to sun they can initially appear whiter (but it’s only the contrast!).
If you’re planning a little sunny break soon after surgery (or you’re lucky enough to live a sunny state!) be sure to discuss your lifestyle (and tanning habits) with your surgeon as thoughts about tanning differ among plastic surgeons.
If the glowing look is important to you, not being tanned before and after your surgery can be challenging. Keeping your skin as healthy as possible is vital to your healing after surgery. :)