Why Does Bridge of my Nose Swell when Sun Hits It (10mo Post Op)?

The bridge of my nose is super sensitive to the sun(especially the sun through glass while in car). I am 10mos. post op. I had extensive graft work. The Dr. left splint on nose for two weeks after surgery resulting in a red blistery nose (was not sure if this could contribute sun sensitivity of the bridge). Thank you for your response. I have lived under a hat (even in winter) and I avoid the sun.

Doctor Answers 6

Effects of sun exposure post-rhinoplasty

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It takes a good year for the skin to become less sensitive and less prone to sun damage following surgery. The tissues have not yet matured, which is why you're experiencing this. It should go without saying that sun protection is vital for you. Apply a daily sunblock and use protective clothing, hats, etc. when outdoors.



Swelling following sun exposure 10 months after rhinoplasty

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In general, rhinoplasty can result in the following side effects:

1) Bruising
2) Swelling
3) Congestion
4) Asymmetrical result due to swelling
5) Mild pain that can be controlled with pain medication

You will still be experiencing some residual swelling at ten months post-op, and it is possible for the nose to swell slightly following sun exposure. Based on the reaction you had on your skin, it appears your skin is quite sensitive. The history of red blistering could add to this sensitivity. It is good to take proper precautions to avoid the sun in general. When your nose is covered with a high spf sunscreen, you should be ok to spend time outdoors. I would recommend following up with your physician regarding his/her guidelines. I hope this helps,and good luck!

Sun sensitivity after rhinoplasty

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As long as the skin is healing, for most up to 12 months, the nose will be sun sensitive and burn more easily after rhinoplasty. Sunscreen with a high SPF, or a physical block, like cosmetics and sunblock with micronized zinc, will help see you through.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Sun Exposure after Skin Compromise and Grafting in Rhinoplasty

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      Continue sun avoidance for at least a year and maybe longer if you continue to have this response.  If the grafts have thinned the skin or it was thin as a result of other maneuvers, this area of skin may be more susceptible to damage.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Sun sensitive skin

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A sun sensitive skin is a sign of a healing nose.  Noses with extensive reconstruction/grafting will need more time to heal.  Continue sunscreen, and sun avoidance

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Tanning 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.  Sometimes it can take longer for your skin to mature, even a year and more in some cases.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.