Woman walking on the beach with surfboard, wearing UV swimwear

Out in the sun with a scar

When the sun is high in the sky and the days are getting longer again, it is tempting to spend every free moment outside. But if you have a scar, you may be wondering how safe this is and whether it can do any harm. Dermatologist Dr. Daniel Kadouch is happy to explain the possible consequences and how you can still safely enjoy the sun with a scar.

What you should know about scars

A scar is a visible spot on the skin that results from repaired skin damage. Possible causes of skin damage from which a scar arises include surgery, accidents or deeper skin inflammation such as acne on the face. A scar can be more sensitive than normal skin and therefore less protective of the sun, so this skin requires extra attention.

The risks of sunbathing with scars

Delayed healing

Excessive sun exposure can delay the healing of scars and worsen the process of scarring, which can result in a larger and more noticeable scar.


Scars can easily discolor from sun exposure, becoming darker than the surrounding skin. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Scars can also burn faster from the sun.

Deterioration of skin texture

The sun can cause collagen breakdown, which can lead to skin texture deterioration and worsen the appearance of scars, making them coarser or more pronounced.

Tips to protect your scar from the sun

Consider the freshness of your scar

The fresher the scar, the more sensitive it is. Especially in the first 6-12 months, the scar is still sensitive and it is wise to avoid the sun. After about 2 years, the scar is completely healed, but scar skin always remains more sensitive than normal skin. So always give your scar skin a little extra attention, especially during sun exposure.

Use sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential in protecting sun-exposed skin, but especially for scars. Choose a high SPF (at least SPF30) and make sure the product provides both UVA and UVB protection. Reapply every 2 hours, especially after swimming or sweating. For optimal protection against scars in the sun, we recommend Tenue Soleil ® SPF50 sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.

Cover your scars

In addition to using sunscreen, it is wise to cover scars, if possible, with clothing or on a beach day with UV swimwear. This provides an extra layer of protection from the sun's harmful effects.

Consult your doctor or dermatologist

Are you unsure about your situation? If so, contact your doctor or dermatologist for advice.

Taking care of your scar

To stimulate the healing process of your scar, you can take care of the skin with vitamin E. This is because vitamin E stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells. It also makes your skin more elastic and makes it less likely to burn. Tenue Soleil ® sunscreens are enriched with natural vitamin E, which not only protects your skin from UV rays, but also cares for your scar at the same time.

Questions about scars and sun exposure

Can I use a tanning bed with a scar?

No, the use of tanning beds is not recommended and is therefore unsuitable for scars as well.

Can sunscreen help prevent scar discoloration?

Yes, a sunscreen with high SPF protects against UV rays that can worsen the color and texture of scars.

Enjoy the sun safely!

Daniel Kadouch

Daniel, a dermatologist and father of four in Amsterdam, founded Tenue Soleil ® to tackle the challenges of protecting children from sun damage with expertly designed, eco-friendly sun protection.

Handtekening Daniel