Better to protect your nose
The skin of the nose is very sensitive during recovery and should be protected with sunscreen. It's also a good idea to limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight while the nose heals. Excessive exposure to UV rays can lead to permanent skin discolouration. It's best to keep your nose well covered at this time.
For sunglasses, you should makes they don't cause excessive pressure on your nose that may damage it. Please ask your surgeon if it's okay before wearing sunglasses.
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.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Sun Exposure Post-Rhinoplasty
I typically request that patients avoid sunbathing for 4
weeks after surgery. Following this
period, you may do so, but must use high SPF sunscreen and avoid burning. As a general rule, minimizing sun exposure is
a good idea, both for preventing aging of the skin, and decreasing your risk of
skin cancers. I would also be happy for
you to wear your sunglasses at this point, but would prefer they not be really
big heavy ones while your bones are still healing.
Hope that helps!
Do I have to wear a hat and sunscreen 3.5 weeks after an open rhinoplasty?
You should always ask your surgeon, but I always recommend full protection.
Kenneth Hughes, MD
Los Angeles, CA