How Dangerous Is Sun Exposure after Facelift Surgery?
To enjoy the full cosmetic benefits of your facelift, careful steps should be taken to avoid sun exposure while your face heals. Proper healing ensures that your scars are minimally visible and that you do not experience unwanted side effects like swelling.
Beyond avoiding sun exposure, one of our Chicago, IL, doctors will provide detailed recovery guidelines that should be followed closely. Read on to learn more about the potential dangers of sun exposure following facelift surgery and practical steps that can minimize sun exposure.
Why Avoid Sun Exposure after Facelift?
After undergoing surgery at our Chicago facility, your face will be tender and sensitive. Surgery will leave your face more vulnerable to injury than it might otherwise be. Exposure to sunlight can lead to undesirable side effects while you are still healing.
Scars Can Darken
Infrared radiation from sunlight heats skin tissue while ultraviolet radiation can damage skin cells and leave scars appearing more visible. Sunlight is known to cause scars to appear darker in color.
Swelling is a natural part of recovery, but sun exposure can magnify inflammation and swelling. We ask patients to avoid excessive sun exposure as a means of reducing the risk of side effects that can delay your recovery timeline or lead to undesirable cosmetic outcomes.
Other Reasons to Avoid the Sun
Potential side effects and complications that can result from sun exposure include:
- Delayed healing
- Prominent scars
To avoid side effects and to ensure that your cosmetic results meet your personal goals, simple steps can be taken to reduce sunlight exposure while your face recovers.
How to Reduce Sun Exposure after Facelift Surgery
Special care should be taken to reduce sunlight exposure during your first week of recovery.
Staying indoors is your best bet. Stocking your recovery room with healthy foods, leisure activities (movie and books), and other important items will make unplugging from the outside world easier while you focus on your recovery.
Wear a Hat
When you do go outside, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can shield your face from the harmful effects of sunlight. You should avoid applying sunscreen or any topical cream on or near your scars. When outside, look for shade. Even when wearing a hat and glasses, standing or sitting in shaded areas will go a long way in protecting your skin.
Once your incisions heal and one of our doctors approves, you can begin applying SPF 30 sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Other important tips for reducing your risk for side effects due to sun exposure include:
- Avoiding tanning
- Wearing clothing that shields your face
- Using glasses that offer UV protection
- Reducing your time outdoors whenever possible
Schedule Your Facelift Today
Small steps can make a big difference. Once your incisions fully heal, you can slowly resume outdoor activities. Sun exposure will always pose a risk for your skin, so we recommend that sun screen use and other precautions are used. To schedule your cosmetic consultation, please contact our office online or call (630) 932-9690.