Excessive sun exposure is bad for your skin in general. The UV damage can lead to sun spots, deepening lines, discoloration, and can increase the risk of cancer. For plastic surgery patients, excessive sun exposure increases the risk of post-op complications, and can lead to worsening side effects and longer recovery times. That’s why San Mateo, CA plastic surgeon Dr. John R. Griffin advises his patients to stay out of the sun after surgery.
Since your nose is such a prominent facial feature, it’s best to avoid any sort of risk related to sun damage that can affect the surgical outcomes. Let’s consider why sun exposure is bad after rhinoplasty (nose job) and nasal reshaping surgery. We’ll then offer advice on how to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.
Problems Caused by Sun Exposure
Some of the most common problems caused by sun exposure include:
- Excessive Swelling - Exposure to heat after surgery can lead to an increase in swelling. Since swelling is common in the first days after rhinoplasty, sun exposure can lead to excessive and potentially dangerous amounts of facial swelling.
- Scarring - When scar tissue is exposed to the sun, it can make the scars much more visible. Given, rhinoplasty involved subtle incisions. Sometimes the entire surgery is completed with all incisions made inside the patient’s nostrils. Even still, it’s best to protect the nose from the sun and avoid anything that makes scare tissue worse.
- Poor Final Results - The nose is quite delicate after rhinoplasty, which means that any complications or serious side effects can negatively impact the final look of the nose. It’s best to avoid the sun and prevent the need for revision surgery.
How Long Should I Stay Out of the Sun After Rhinoplasty?
As you are recovering from rhinoplasty, do your best to stay completely out of the sun for the first two weeks. This will give your nose and face time to heal, and will allow the most serious side effects to pass.
After the two-week period, you’ll need to continue protecting your nose and face from the sun for the next six months to a year. This will ensure that the nose has fully healed, scars will not become worse, and the final outcome of the surgery is not impacted.
Tips for Protecting Yourself from the Sun
While six months to a year of sun protection may sound like a lot, it’s actually just a common sense way to ensure the best results. Thankfully there are many simple options for protecting yourself from the sun.
- Wear a Hat or Visor - A hat with a brim is the best way to shield your face from the sun and keep your nose in the shade. Always wear a hat outside, especially if you’re going to be outdoors for a while.
- Use Nosecoat Sunscreen - Nosecoats are sunscreen for the nose and cheekbones that add extra protection when out in the sun. Be sure to wear a nosecoat when you’re outdoors for a long period of time.
- Use Sunblock - For general skin care and health, always apply sunblock when you go outdoors. You’ll prevent sunburn and UV damage, which means a lower cancer risk as well.
Learn More About Rhinoplasty
For more information about rhinoplasty and how it can benefit you, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon. Dr. Griffin and his team are here to answer your questions and address your concerns.