How Long to Stay Away from Sun After Rhinoplasty?

After an open Rhinoplasty, how long must one stay out of the sun? It has been five weeks since my Rhinoplasty. My scar is healing very nicely and is already barely noticeable. It's summer and I am on a holiday, should I continue to hide from the sun? If so, for how long? Or can I go swimming if I have a 60 or 70 spf? I just don't want to compromise my results.

Doctor Answers 13

Rhinoplasty: How Long to Avoid Sun Exposure?

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Hi Deformed Lipo,

We tell our patients to always practice good sun exposure common sense. After rhinoplasty you want to avoid sun exposure (sun burn) as it will cause swelling, and if you do have an external scar, it will cause the scar to darken (hyperpigment).

You should wear a good sunblock that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, a wide brimmed hat, and by all means, put down that ever popular in the 60's and 70's sun reflector.

Five weeks after your surgery while on holiday, you can be in the sun, but use sun block, your hat, and avoid direct sun to your nose (if you must lay out, a heavy towel will do over your face). Have fun on your vacation, get your Vitamin D in moderation, and enjoy your new nose.

Dr. P

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

How Long to Stay Away from Sun After Rhinoplasty?

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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.  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 28 reviews

How Long to Stay Away from Sun After Rhinoplasty?

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After rhinoplasty, Dr. De Silva recommends staying out of the sun for 6-months. Although it is safe to go on holiday even 1-week after surgery, avoiding sun exposure is important to ensure optimal healing. The healing nasal skin may darken with sun exposure and relative numbness in the nose can make the nose more prone to sun burn. To aid healing and fast recovery, Dr. De Silva recommends avoiding sun exposure, using a hat that shades your nose and sun protection factor of 30 or above. 

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Avoiding Sun

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Sun avoidance is crucial to avoid having your wound turn dark from hyperpigmentation.
You must stay out of the sun or minimize your exposure for the next 6 months. If you do go out in the sun you must wear sunscreen SPF 45 and reapply every 30 minutes to an hour. You should try to avoid putting on sunscreen for the first two weeks.


Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

No suntanning for 3 months.

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You can go in the sun one month after a rhinoplasty, as long as you are wearing an effective micronized zinc sunscreen.  If you tan before 3 months, the skin may become permanently dark.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Not a good idea to stay out in the sun

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You should wait for 6 weeks after surgery before you go swimming. It's best to stay out of the sun for at least this long as well, and make sure to cover up your nose when you go outside after that time.

Please ask your surgeon as they may have different advice.

Sun and Water after 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.
Best Wishes, 
Pablo Prichard, MD

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

Avoid Sun Exposure for 6 Weeks Following Rhinoplasty

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            It’s important to avoid sun exposure following rhinoplasty for several reasons. Sun exposure can adversely impact wound healing and result in unfavorable scarring. In addition, patients can suffer severe nasal sunburns because of nasal numbness.


            We generally, recommend avoiding sun exposure for at least six weeks following surgery. After six weeks it’s important to use a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection. 

Rhinoplasty and sunshine

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Patients are able to go outside and exposed to the sun however it's best to put sunscreen or a sun block on the nose to prevent sunburn immediately after the rhinoplasty procedure.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Sun exposure following rhinoplasty

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You can go out in the sun immediately following rhinoplasty, but you should avoid prolonged exposure or tanning. It mainly has to do with bruising and scaring. If you expose a bruise to UV light, it may cause hyper-pigmentation of the skin, and this can take many months to resolve. This can cause any external nasal scars to darken as well. Also, you are more like to get sun burned during the early weeks after surgery. A good sun screen and a hat, will allow you to enjoy your vacation and not harm your recovery. Have fun, but be careful.

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 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.