Can I Work Outdoors After a Rhinoplasty if I Use Sunscreen?

I work outdoors at a conservation site for most of my summer afternoons. I'm worried that I will damage the results of my rhinoplasty doing this, even if I wear sun screen. It has been 3 weeks since my surgery and I have been working outside for the past 2 days. Will I be okay if I use sun protection, or will this cause permanent damage to my nose?

Doctor Answers 10

Sun Exposure After Rhinoplasty

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A newly-operated nose is even more sensitive to the sun after a nose job, and you should always do your best to avoid too much contact with the sun prematurely. At three weeks into your recovery, you are still in the relatively early stages of the healing process. I definitely recommend that, if it is absolutely necessary for you to be working outside, you regularly apply and re-apply sunscreen and highly consider wearing a hat or visor.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Can I work outdoors after a rhinoplasty if I wear sunscreen?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! After any surgical procedure, you should be careful with incisions as well as avoidance of direct UVA and UVB rays in order to lessen the chance for hyperpigmentation of the skin and scars, which can take several months to resolve, if it ever does. As the tissue was elevated off of your nose along with any oother adjunct procedures, minimizing trauma to the area is critical for such a delicate procedure as the rhinoplasty. The ability of the affected area to heal has been slowed and you should try to avoid additional swelling to the area. The area will likely be numb for several weeks to months and will be difficult to feel when sunburn is coming on. Typical recommendations include wearing a hat and/or sunblock to the affected area for at least 6-12 weeks following the procedure. Certainly discuss the postoperative instructions with your surgeon, as thoughts differ among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Sun and Rhinoplasty

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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.  Sounds like you don't have much of a choice.  Wear a big hat and keep applying zinc sunblock.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Sun exposure after rhinoplasty

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It is very important to use all possible forms of sun protection in the early months after rhinoplasty (sunscreen, hat, taping the nose)

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

Avoid Sun Exposure

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It is not a good idea to get direct sun exposure on your face. Not only the UV rays could harm the nose skin but the heal will also cause swelling.

* Remember, your skin has been operate on and is already swollen. Sun exposure and heat may delay the healing and prolong the swelling.

Ivan Thomas, MD (retired)
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Applying suncreen on nose after Rhinoplasty...

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Applying sunscreen to the nose is necessary after Rhinoplasty as your nose will be more sensitive to the sun after surgery.  As long as you use it faithfully, no permanent damage should occur to the nose.  Make sure to especially cover the incision site, because the sun can cause skin discoloration.  Since it has only been three weeks since your surgery, you still need to be careful regarding strenuous activities.  You can work out and run, but you don't want to be in a situation where the nose can get hit - that could cause permanent damage.  It is always wise to check with your surgeon if you have any questions concerning your surgery.  

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 220 reviews

Can I Work Outdoors After a Rhinoplasty if I Use Sunscreen?

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Not a problem at all.  Just ensure that you use an SPF of 50 or higher to the transcollumelar incision (between the nostrils) during the summer months.  This will prevent any redness or irritation developing.  Don't forget also, that the sun will deflect off the pool water and hit you underneath the ALWAYS be good about remembering to use it.  You won't damage the results of your rhinoplasty by working outside this summer.  But be careful not to injure it!

Shepherd G. Pryor, MD
Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Sunscreen Recommended After Rhinoplasty

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Dear jmsn2393-


It's usually recommended to use sunscreen after your rhinoplasty, because sun damage may slow down healing of your incisions and make your surgical scars more red, thick, and prominent.  Even if you have internal incisions only, sunscreen would be prudent to avoid any skin damage to your nasal skin while it's still healing, only 3 weeks after your surgery.


Of course, it's always best to ask your plastic surgeon who did the procedure, or someone local to examine you. 


Best Wishes with your new nose!



Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Suncreen After Rhinoplasty

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Dear jmsn2393

Whenever you are working outside you should apply sunscreen/ sun block. In general it would be okay to apply sunprotection to the nose 10-14 days after rhinoplasty.




Tom Kaniff, MD

Thomas E. Kaniff, MD, FACS
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Can I Work Outdoors After a Rhinoplasty if I Use Sunscreen?

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Always best to ask your chosen surgeon. Our recommendations are for our own patients. In my practice I would allow outdoor sun exposure with sunscreen protection. But I do not know you or your exact medical/surgical history so again ask your 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.