Sun Exposure After Rhinoplasty.

Im about 3 and a half months after rhinoplasty. Today I was out in the sun for several hours. I put on sunblock but only once. When I got home I noticed my nose was a bit pink and looked a bit more swollen. I dont think its burned but im still really concerned. Can sun exposure 3.5 months after rhinoplasty cause permanent damage? If so what should I do prevent any discoloration from happening?

Doctor Answers 6

Not a big deal.


Sun exposure 3.5 mos. after rhinoplasty is not a huge problem.  You are well along in the recovery process now and this should not interfere with your recovery.  Swelling after a sunburn is a normal reaction although its difficult to tell how much of the swelling is post surgical and how much is due to the sun exposure.  I recommend using a strong (at least SPF 50) sunblock in the future and wearing a hat when under the sun for prolonged periods. 

Enjoy your new nose.


Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Recovering from rhinoplasty and sun exposure

Rhinoplasty is a surgery to improve the shape of the nose for breathing or appearance. Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process that takes many months - years. Part of that recovery is protecting your nose from direct sunlight. The sunlight can cause inflammation and swelling of your nose. It's not particularly dangerous; however you will have to wait longer for the swelling to settle down. Protect your nose with sunscreen and hats. Limit your direct exposure. Keep your follow-up appointments with your surgeon so she/he can keep you on track for a safe and happy result. Safety comes first. 

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Sun exposure after rhinoplasty

Hi Michael.  The skin over the nose is sensitive to the sun for up to 6 months after rhinoplasty - this is due to the thin nature of the skin that gets elevated during the procedure.  Lets not forget that the nose takes almost a full year to heal from surgery - so swelling from extended heat exposure is to be expected.  Living in south florida we have to be very careful of any sun exposure. That being said, the swelling and discoloration will go down.  You have to be careful though, as the skin is thinner and still recuperating from surgery.  Depending on what your baseline skin type and skin color is, you may have to be more careful.  I suggest you give your doc's office a call as they can best guide you in regards to whether you may need anything topically to help you recover quicker.  Best of luck, and enjoy your new nose! 

Miguel Mascaro, MD
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Sun after rhinoplasty

Since the skin is traumatized during rhinoplasty, it needs rest and protection while it heals and certainly doesn't need further injury. Sunlight is a form of radiation injury and the more you get the worse it is. A sunburn isn't good. Often patients are advised to avoid direct sunlight for 3 months after rhinoplasty. Does a minor over exposure cause the results to be compromised? At 3.5 months out, the answer is not likely.

Oakley Smith, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Sun and rhinoplasty

The skin is more sensitive for up to a year after rhinoplasty. During this time sun exposure can lead to color changes but they are usually temporary. Be more vigilant with sun screen use and wearing caps or hats. 


Dr. J

Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Sun exposure after rhinoplasty

Hi, Sun exposure this far out should not be too much of a problem. While you may get more inflamed with sun exposure than if you had not had rhinoplasty (swelling will still be present in your nose skin), this should resolve. I recommend some ibuprofen and ice. That typically helps the swelling resolve more quickly. Also, be sure to keep your follow-ups with your surgeon and let him/her know of any changes to your nose. 

Best wishes,

Dr. Blagg

Austin, TX

Ross Blagg, MD
Austin Physician
5.0 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.