Beware of the Sun After Breast Surgery, Mary Lind RPT

Did you ever think your skin could get burned through a bathing suit?

Not all swim suit fabrics are created equally, and many bathing suits will allow the sun’s UV rays to burn through to what you thought you were protecting. Many people are aware that clothing fabrics also have an SPF factor of protection, and some outdoor companies promote the SPF factor to help prevent skin burning issues for their customers. I am often asked why this is a concern after surgery.

When a woman elects to have breast surgery, Dr. Jewell and his staff make sure they are informed about the potentials of burning, swelling and even tissue necrosis. Gals are typically extremely thrilled with their results and rush to get into a bathing suit. We caution our patients that exposure to the sun’s heat and UV rays can be deleterious to their skin and long term result. We ask our patients to find swim wear that has a sun protection interface and to steer clear of black colored suits as they absorb heat and can actually burn the skin.

Not all surgeries or patients’ skin types are alike. People who have more melanin in their skin have a darker complexion and do not burn as readily as people with fairer complexions. But everyone under the sun can burn!  Breast augmentation is, in many respects, the least invasive surgery as typically the blood supply to skin and nerves is not altered. A Mastopexy (lift) and/or Breast Reduction do change the dynamics of blood supply and needs more protection. We ask these patients to limit their sun UV and heat exposure and practice due diligence to protect their investments.

Our Breast Reconstruction patients are at the greatest risk as many have a loss of sensation after surgery and would not feel adequately to detect the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. There are reports of third degree burns to the breast skin, especially when a black bathing suit is involved as it absorbs heat. We also make it clear to all our patients that immature scars (up to one year post surgery) will absorb the sun’s UV and make scars red, some permanently.

Do not let the sun’s damaging UV rays and heat leave you with a less than ideal result!

Included below are websites that offer SPF bathing suits:


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