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After undergoing plastic surgery, patients have aftercare directives to follow as they recover. While many things are covered, proper sun safety isn’t always mentioned. These are various reasons that being cautious in the sun after surgery is integral to healing. Sun safety before and after surgery is recommended for everyone. 

Sun May Exacerbate Swelling
After any surgery, patients can expect some level of swelling and bruising of the area. Tissue is quite vulnerable as it’s healing, and sun exposure can make swelling significantly worse.

Sun May Worsen Scars
Surgical procedures will leave some amount of scarring afterward. Going into the sun may end up making the scars patients have more noticeable instead of them becoming lighter and looking better as they heal. 

Sun Can Discolor Skin
We have a notion that tanned skin is healthier. It’s actually a sign that skin cells have been damaged by sun exposure. Getting too much sun after facial surgery could leave a patient’s skin discolored with sunspots or other sun damage. 

Sun Causes Premature Skin Aging
Plastic surgery is often sought to make patients look and feel younger. Going out into the sun can accelerate the aging process of the skin. The sun’s rays can break down collagen in the skin. Collagen keeps skin firm and supple. As we age, our bodies naturally produce less of it. It’s important to maintain what we have. Excess sun exposure may negate the work you had done and make you appear older.

How To Stay Safe
When it comes to sun exposure, there are some ways to reduce the harmful impact it may have on the skin. Here are some tips for sun safety: 

  • Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen daily
  • When spending a long time outdoors, use thicker sunscreen
  • Limit time spent in direct sunlight
  • Wear hats and sunglasses for added protection

If you follow these guidelines after your surgery, you will help yourself heal better, and you will maintain the look you and your doctor worked so hard to achieve. You will also be safer and avoid potential skin issues down the road.