I am commonly asked by my Louisville breast augmentation patients if they can tan after surgery. The answer is “Yes”, it’s ok to tan as far as the implants are concerned.
The UV rays that tan beds emit are not like an X-ray. They do not go through your skin, so the light only affects your skin surface. The underlying breast tissue and implants are safe. Now, if you tan immediately after surgery, you do run the risk of the skin along your incision darkening more than the skin around it. The pigment producing cells along the incision line are in a kind of an “excited” state as a result of the surgery. They are prone to producing extra pigment as is so if you tan this can amplify the problem and leave you with a very tan incision line. This is called hyperpigmentation.
I will refrain from jumping on my tan bed soap box but suffice to say that tan beds are not great for your skin on several levels.
Lee Corbett, MD