3 1/2 Months After Septorhinoplasty can I Tan My Face?

Hello. I had revision septoplasty-rhinoplasty surgery 3 1/2 months ago and I am going on an overseas holiday next week. The weather will be very hot and I plan to spend most of my time outdoors and swimming. Whilst I know not to burn my nose & apply a high sun protection cream at all times am I able to tan my face? Are there any precautions I can take so that I don't end up with a swollen nose? Thank you in advance for your reply.

Doctor Answers (8)

Sun and Rhinoplasty

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In general, your nose has less natural protection from the sun right after rhinoplasty. All the tissue was just elevated off of the internal structure of the nose, including the bone and cartilage, and blood vessels were coagulated in order to do this. There fore we weakened the nose's natural defense since we weakened its blood supply. This blood supply grows back , but it can take quite a bit of time to happen. In the first 6 weeks, your nose is less naturally resistant to UV rays and is more likely to burn and get discolored. Also, since your nose is mostly numb early on, its less likely that you are to notice the problem until its too late. I recommend you stay out of the sun as much as possible in the first 6 weeks after surgery. If you are in the sun for short periods of time, stay in the shade, and wear a big hat and a good sunblock. Do not wear sun glasses in the first 6 weeks, or any glasses for that matter, if osteotomies were performed, (breaking of the nasal bones). You can get your nose wet as soon as the splint comes off, but I would be careful about chlorinated pools early on until the incision is fully healed an more mature, as the chlorine can irritate the incision. The gym and anything that increases you blood pressure will increase the swelling of your nose and delay your healing time. I recommend 6 weeks for this as well.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Depends on your skin type

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If you have a darker complexion it is probably not a good idea to tan your nose as it may result in hyper-pigmentation.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Tanning after rhinoplasty

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Although your swelling has not totally subsided, at 3 1/2 months it should be no problem going into the sun as long as you use sunblock with a high SPF. Since you had a revision rhinoplasty, swelling should take even longer than a primary rhinoplasty,and you should be patient.

John E. Sherman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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Tanning after rhinoplasty

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Exposing your nose to the sun will likely lead to some increased swelling, but the main issue is avoiding sun exposure to any external incision (if you have any). I recommend keeping the nose protected with SPF 30 or higher sun block for at least a year after surgery.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Tanning Face 3.5 Months after Rhinoplasty

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I must first ask if you could tan your face before your rhinoplasty. Use a high SPF sunblock on your nose and enjoy your holiday.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Sun exposure following revision rhinoplasty.

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My recommendations following rhinoplasty are as follows:  No prolonged sun exposure for 3 weeks.  Thereafter, if you must go in the sun then wear high level sunblock (minimum SPF 45), wear a wide-brim hat and limit the exposure as much as possible.  These precautions apply for 6 months following rhinoplasty and possibly longer for revision rhinoplasty due to delayed healing. 

Any facial area that has undergone surgical dissection is more sensitive to the effects of UV radiation such as sun exposure.  In other words, the involved area will burn with much more quickly than it otherwise would and the amount of swelling will be much greater.  This can potentially compromise the long term outcome by promoting prolonged edema and scarring and thickening of the nasal skin cover.  The degree of increased sensitivity is directly related to the degree of surgical dissection. 

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Sun exposure or tanning after Rhinoplasty

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Sun exposure or tanning, during the first 6 months, after a Rhinoplasty or Revision Rhinoplasty increases the swelling to the nose and should be avoided.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty and tanning

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I amnot a big fan of tanning because the sun can prematurely age your face and also lead to skin cancers.  As to the impact on yoru rhinopplasty, it probably should not have any.  If you had an open rhinoplasty or in general are sitting in the sun you should wear a good sun block.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.