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Tanning After Rhinoplasty

How long does one have to wait after having a Rhinoplasty to tan?

Doctor Answers (6)

Depends on the scar

+2

For most open rhinoplasties I recommend avoiding direct sunlight until the pinkness of the scar has faded to white. For a closed rhinoplasty, where there are no visible incisions, then six weeks. I believe that with a good hat and adequate sunblock you should be able to enjoy the outdoors soon after surgery.


Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

For the rest of your life. ;-)

+2

The smark aleck answer is that you should never tan. Seriously, though, there's no such thing as a healthy tan. I doubt you'll find any surgeons on this site suggesting that it's okay to cook yourself in the sun. Tanning and other excessive UV exposure leads to premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, dyspigmentation, skin cancer, etc.

For my rhinoplasty patients, I especially emphasize that they avoid tanning or burning the midcolumellar incision for at least the first six months lest they risk permanently pigmenting the incision. This means that a good sunblock is critical if a patient is going to be out on the water or at the beach where there can also be a lot of reflected UV light.

All the best,

--DCP

David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tanning after rhinoplasty?

+1
Hello! Thank you for your question! After any surgical procedure, you should be careful with incisions as well as avoidance of direct UVA and UVB rays in order to lessen the chance for hyperpigmentation of the skin and scars, which can take several months to resolve, if it ever does. As the tissue was elevated off of your nose along with any oother adjunct procedures, minimizing trauma to the area is critical for such a delicate procedure as the rhinoplasty. The ability of the affected area to heal has been slowed and you should try to avoid additional swelling to the area. The area will likely be numb for several weeks to months and will be difficult to feel when sunburn is coming on.

Typical recommendations include wearing a hat and/or sunblock to the affected area for at least 6-12 weeks following the procedure.  It takes up to one year for scars to fully mature.  You should also avoid trauma to the area for several months to protect the refinements made during the procedure. Also, avoidance of pools/lakes/jacuzzis/etc for 4-6 weeks is usually recommended to allow adequate healing and protection from stagnant water, that could potentially harbor bacteria. Certainly discuss the postoperative instructions with your surgeon, as thoughts differ among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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Tanning and Rhinoplasty

+1
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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Wait one month after surgery

+1

It is acceptable to get tanning on the nose one month after a rhinoplasty. It is still not a good idea to have tanning since it has been shown to form skin cancer.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

6 weeks after Rhinoplasty

+1

I would recommend six weeks, but please use sunblock or wear a hat for at least one year. The new scar will be sensitive to the UV light and may become dark if over exposed.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 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.