Breast Augmentation Scars: How to Avoid Permanent Hyperpigmentation

I can promise that it won’t take long after a breast augmentation when you’ll feel ready to start trying on new bathing suit tops… typically between 10 and 12 seconds :-) And so you might be wondering when you can get a tan to go along with it.

It’s important to know that overexposing your freshly augmented breasts to the sun too early increases the risk of causing permanent damage called Hyperpigmentation—specifically any fresh scars.

When your skin starts to heal, your body’s pigment-producing cells are in an ultra sensitive state and can easily be damaged. If you lie unprotected in a tanning bed or out on the beach too soon after your augmentation, your scars could start to overproduce pigment. Some cases have even been reported when women had a full bathing suit on!

This hyperpigmentation will make your scaring more obvious, because the UV rays will tan them darker than the rest of your body. And while you might hope they would fade like any other tan, unfortunately the results are almost always permanent and will not fade with time.

Now I don’t want you to be freaked out about this… just aware.

So my general rule of thumb is to wait at least one year before exposing your scars to the sun without some sort of heavy UV protection. In the meantime, when you are laying out or swimming, I highly recommend you use a good organic, mineral-based sunscreen. My favorite is Badger, because (unlike most sunscreens) it uses Zinc Oxide to create a physically barrier between you and the sun. It also only has 5 ingredients!

Just to make sure I say it one more time... don't be freaking out about this. Just be careful and you'll be fine.

Thoughts from Dr. Ben Wood

I think that these are all great suggestions for taking care of the scar. Early in the recovery period, keeping tape over the incisions will make the scar have the best appearance, and after that a scar cream with massage works very well. Keeping the scars protected from the sun during the time either with clothing or a good sunscreen will also help you have the best results.