Do I have to wear a hat and sunscreen 3.5 weeks after an open rhinoplasty?

I had an open rhinoplasty 1/21/14 and I am going to Mexico on 2/15/14. I was wondering if I have to wear a hat and sunscreen the entire time I am out in the sun or can I just wear face SPF 50 on my nose if I am very careful about applying it frequently. Also, am I allowed to wear sunglasses on my trip? I will be there for a week. Any other tips would be great! Thanks!

Doctor Answers 4

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.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

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! 
Dr. Alexander

Ashlin Alexander, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

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

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 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.