Used Sunscreen and Still Had Sunburn After Rhinoplasty, Will this Do Anything Permanent?

I got rhinoplasty done about 8 weeks ago, and I have been applying spf 60 sunscreen like crazy, so often infact that my nose is completely white from the sunscreen. However, I went to the beach the other day and applied my sunscreen every half hour and I fear i still got burned because my nose is red and was red after my rhinoplasty. What happens if i get a slight burn on my nose? Im going to greece in two weeks, what can i do to help prevent more burning!

Doctor Answers 4

Sun and rhino

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

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Sunburn on rhinoplasty skin

Your nasal skin wil lbe quite sensitive to getting a sunburn for several weeks after surgery.  The best thing to do is to use sun block and stay out of the sun.

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

Sunburn is common early after rhinoplasty

The skin over the bridge of the nose will be sun sensitive until the inflammation of healing has fully subsided, usually several months after your procedure. Despite sunscreen, sunburns can be common and more care is needed than usual. The sunburn will no do any damage though will be uncomfortable. A clear or micronized zinc sun block may be of help.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Sunburn after rhinoplasty

Obviously you should always avoid sunburning after rhinoplasty.  Aside from the skin cancer risk, UV exposure at levels to cause a sunburn create swelling in the skin and can delay the healing process.  You should use a total sunblock such as zinc oxide.  You should reapply often and wear a large brim hat to make sure that you get no sun exposure on the nose.  I am not aware of any permanent damage that can occur from a mild sunburn after rhinoplasty. 

Gregory Branham, MD
Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.