Could Sun Exposure Be Causing Swelling over 3 Months After Rhinoplasty?

I started a new job 3 weeks ago and am on a bus for a 45 minute commute each way. I don't feel the sun shining on my face and it is often cloudy but is it is possible that I'm still getting hit by UV rays? My nose has been much more swollen since starting the job. Could three weeks of this have done any permanent damage such as by causing scar tissue? I'm going to start applying sunscreen each morning. If I apply it in the morning is my nose totally safe from harm? I am about 3.5 months PO.

Doctor Answers (4)

Could sun exposure be causing swelling over 3 months after rhinoplasty?

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Hello! Thank you for your question!  It is possible, however, normal swelling continues for months after a rhinoplasty. 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. 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!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Could Sun Exposure Be Causing Swelling over 3 Months After Rhinoplasty?

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Doubtful.  Direct and prolonged sun exposure, after a Rhinoplasty, can increase swelling to the nose for the first 6 months IMHO.  You are desribing limited UV exposure that doesn't seem to fit that criteria.

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

Swelling after nose surgery

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healing continues for even as long as one year after rhinoplasty, nasal surgery,  

sun and heat can cause swelling .  it is best to avoid exposure and use a good sunblock

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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Sun exposure causing swelling after rhinoplasty?

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Three months after your rhinoplasty your nose should appear relatively normal.  Swelling might be related to the sun for two reasons at this point;  1) sun damage from overexposure, i.e. sunburn with swelling , like in any area of the body, 2) topical inflammation from a sunscreen product.  The sun, i.e., UV light, will not typically cause swelling.  If this is the case contact a dermatologist.

All the best,

Talmage J. Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 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.