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Will My Chest Scars Darken If I Tan?

Posted by on 18 April 2016
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When undergoing their gender reassignment surgery, many within the trans community worry about how to effectively take care of scars.

Chest Scars

Oftentimes, scars can be minimized during the period immediately after the procedure with specialist-recommended products, but in the long-term, it’s also important to consider how the scars will appear throughout day-to-day life. And this leads to the following common question: will my chest scars darken if I tan? In this article, we’ll answer this question, as well as provide guidance on how to protect scars for years to come.

The Sun’s Impact on Scars

To answer this question thoroughly, it’s important first to look at how the sun impacts scars on our body. The sun can have a significant impact on scarred areas. That’s because scars are considered inferior to normal skin. Scars are less resistant to ultraviolet rays therefore that area of the skin can be much more prone to burning that other areas.

How Sun Impacts the Tanning Process for those with Scars

When a person is tanning, they are spending many hours with their chest scars directly in the sun’s rays. The impact of this direct sun can cause the scarred skin to burn quickly, but because the person may have decreased sensitivity in the area, they may not realize until the skin is already deeply burned. Prolonged exposure to the sun may darken the skin, but this darkening effect may be permanent in people with darker skin complexions.

How to Protect Scars

The scars should be protected from prolonged exposure year-round. And this might make it more difficult for some people to achieve their ideal tan. Those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery should be careful when applying sun block and should use a sunblock with a high SPF over their scarred areas. They should also try to use a water-resistant sun block when tanning, as any moisture such as sweat or water from the pool can limit the beneficial blocking effects.

Speak to a Specialist Immediately if a Scar Changes in Texture

Beyond the changes in color, a scar might also change in terms of its texture due to the sun. The texture of the scar could become firmer or lumpier as a result of sun exposure. It’s important to speak with a specialist immediately if the texture of the scar changes or the area becomes uncomfortable over time.

Achieving optimal protection from the sun is critical in reducing unsightly scars after a gender reassignment surgery. To learn more on this subject, contact our team today!

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