How Long Should a Scar Heal Before Getting in a Tanning Bed?

Tanning can slow the healing of wounds.
Tanning can slow the healing of wounds. (Image: tanning bed image by Lisa McKown from

Superficial Cuts

You should keep superficial cuts out of the tanning bed until the scabs have fallen off, which shows the wound is fully healed. Do not tan while you have stitches or skin adhesive on your wound. Tanning can make the skin adhesive come off prematurely.

Up to One Year

Deep surgical scars can take up to one year before they can handle tanning in a tanning bed. You should keep the scars out of a tanning bed for at least six months. Consult your physician before you decide to tan again.

Bottom Line

For small cuts, you can tan as soon as they are visibly healed and the scab comes off. Deeper scars, like those from surgery, require six months to a full year to heal properly. If you tan before they are healed, you may cause hyper-pigmentation. Always consult your doctor before tanning.

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