Can I Sunbathe Two Months After a Closed Rhinoplasty? The Swelling Appears to Have Gone?

I love my new nose, and have been sunbathing for the last three days as i am on summer holiday. However i am concerned that i am going to ruin my nose by exposing it to the sun, i have been wearing spf 70+ on it, and it has not burnt; although freckles have come up. I was wondering if i was okay to carry on. It doesn't seem to have swelled. I had closed rhinoplasty so no scars.

Doctor Answers 10

Skin Protection after Rhinoplasty

Dear Olivia,

Thank you for your question. At 2 months after a closed rhinoplasty, you should be fine with a little sun exposure to the nasal skin. First, I applaud you for the use of sunscreen. However, despite your efforts you are still getting a significant amount of exposure as highlighted by the activation of the melanocytes in your freckles. Of course, complete sun avoidance is the best policy, but wearing a hat or strategically finding a place that you can sun your torso while shielding your face may be an option. With sunscreen, finding a quality product with not only a SPF >50, but also a zinc oxide/titanium oxide component of approximately 10% is ideal. This will cover you from both UVA and UVB. Also, reapplication every 2hrs is recommended, especially if you are having fun in the water. I hope this helps. Enjoy your holiday. 

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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. Sometimes it can take longer for your skin to mature, even a year and more in some cases.  I suggest that you wear sun block for at least a year every day while out in the sun.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Sun exposure after rhinoplasty

With or without a rhinoplasty, you should wear appropriate sunscreen to avoid burning your nose. That being said the nasal tissue is more sensitive to ultraviolet exposure for at least the first six months and burns more easily. I would encourage you to wear appropriate sunscreen when outdoors.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rhinoplasty and sun exposure

Dear Olivia26295,

  1. Yes, you can go out in the sun with proper sunblock
  2. You may swell a little bit after exposure, but that is temporary

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Sun Exposure After Rhinoplasty

I would recommend that you not get any significant sun exposure to your nose for the first 6 months after surgery.  If you are going to be out in the sun during this period, I would make sure that you use sun BLOCK with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in it as this will reflect the sun off of you nose to prevent the nose from swelling, adversely affecting healing.  

Jonathan Pontell, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

UV exposure after a rhinoplasty

UV exposure at this point especially if you are wearing a hat and using sunscreen is absolutely acceptable.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Two months after rhinoplasty and sunbathing

While you are probably ok at two months, the skin of the nose may still be sensitive to the sun. It is best to wear sunblock and a hat and stay in the shade.

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

Sunbathing After Rhinoplasty

Since you are 2 months post op, you should be OK to get a little sun on your nose, of course with sunscreen applied.  The heat from the sun can cause you to swell since you are still in the healing process, so I would not bake in the sun.  Follow your Plastic Surgeon's instructions for your best result.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Sun exposure after rhinoplasty won't damage the result.

If you're asking a plastic surgeon whether or not you may bask in the sun, the answer is of course that you should for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, the results of the rhinoplasty will not be affected by this activity.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Sunbathing after Rhinoplasty

Congratulations on your rhinoplasty!  At 2 months, you should be fine to get a little sun on your nose, especially since there were no external incisions that could become hyperpigmented. I'm really glad you are using a broad spectrum sunscreen and are not staying in the sun too long to burn, but the freckles indicate that despite your precautions you are still getting some UV rays on your nose, so be careful.  Maybe dial back your sun exposure just a bit or use the white titanium dioxide cream that lifeguards use.  Just a thought. 

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 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.