Sun Burn After Rhinoplasty Please Help?

Hi! I had an open rhinoplasty on May 29th. Today it is June 9th, 1.5 weeks after surgery. I have been healing fine, except today I was down the beach on vacation. I know it is important to protect the nose especially during this time, so I applied SPF 50 to my face and wore a hat. My nose got lightly burned as well as my cheeks - not a deep red but a light red/pink. I was outside for 3 hrs but for some reason I still burned. am I definitely going to experience discoloration bc of this burn?

Doctor Answers 3

Sun and Rhinoplasty

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

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Sunburn of the nose after rhinoplasty is not a good idea but probably will not affect the long-term result.

The sunburn should not affect the outcome of the rhinoplasty. Please try to be more careful.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

1.5 wks after rhinoplasty and in the sun

I do not think that it is a good idea to be sitting out in the sun so soon after rhinoplasty.  Sunblock is key, but at this point you will have to see how things heal. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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