Sun Exposure After Plastic Surgery

It’s nearly impossible to go through life without at least a few scars. If you’re like most people, you probably have some scars from your youth. You may have chickenpox scars from when you were six. You may have a cat scratch or dog bite scar, or a scar from surgery after injuring yourself in a high school sport. You may even have acne scars from your teenage years. Many people consider scars a “badge of honor.”

If you’ve decided to have plastic surgery, congratulations! While some degree of scarring is inevitable, a board certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Yuly Gorodisky will plan your surgery and do everything possible to minimize the scar.

Best outcomes, however, are largely dependent on patient’s care at home. If you smoke, use any nicotine, resume exercise before you’re permitted to, or if you run out to the beach or tanning bed to get a tan, you will most likely compromise your results.

Staying Away from UV Rays

After any plastic surgery procedure, from a breast augmentation to a facelift to a tummy tuck, it’s absolutely critical that you keep your wounds out of the sun and away from any UV rays, including the kind that come from tanning beds.

You have to protect your scars from the sun. If you expose a new scar to UV light, it will most likely darken and become discolored instead of healing and fading. By keeping a scar away from UV rays, you can minimize the hyperpigmentation and reduce the appearance of a post-surgical scar.

While you should always be doing this to protect yourself from skin cancer, use sunscreen religiously and if possible, keep the scar covered when outdoors. Dr. Yuly Gorodisky advises this for at least one full year after surgery.

Reducing sun exposure after plastic surgery:

  • If the scar is on the face (facelift or rhinoplasty), wear hats or visors when outside.
  • If you had a breast augmentation or tummy tuck, keep the scar covered with clothing when outdoors.
  • Always apply sunscreen to the scar because the sun’s rays can penetrate through clothing. We recommend using SPF 30 or higher.

To schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, contact our office today. We look forward to assisting you!

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