Sun Exposure after Facelift: Protecting Your Skin
By Michael A. Devlin, MD on January 22, 2020
The signs of aging are often most noticeable on the face. A facelift can help reverse the signs of aging by reducing the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles and tightening loose skin.
It's normal for people to want to show off the results of their facelift, which can lead to a lot of sun exposure. While the sun may be good for the soul, it can damage the skin and negate the benefits of your facelift surgery.
Dr. Michael Devlin provides patients tips to limit sun exposure after facelift surgery at our practice servicing Little Rock, AR, and the surrounding Conway and Hot Springs areas. For more information, please schedule a consultation.
Sun Exposure's Effects on Facelifts
Too much sun exposure can be detrimental for anyone, but after a facelift, it can negate the results of surgery or interfere with final results.
Sun exposure can affect the results of facelift surgery as soon as surgery is performed, so it is important to limit exposure at all times, especially during the first days of recovery. Some ways sun exposure can affect facelift results include:
- Increased swelling: Some swelling should be expected after facelift surgery but it can be made more severe from too much sun exposure. This is because sun exposure can also cause heat exposure and heat can increase inflammation.
- Increased risk of noticeable scars: Sun exposure can make scars look more noticeable by causing them to become darker.
- Aging skin: The sun, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation more specifically, can penetrate the skin and damage the elastin that helps keep the skin firm. As a result, wrinkles are more likely to develop.
Tips to Reduce Sun Exposure
Because there are several ways sun exposure can negatively affect the results of facelift surgery, it is important for those who have had a facelift to take steps to protect themselves from the sun. Following these tips can help limit sun damage and keep the face looking its best after facelift surgery.
Avoid Sun Exposure
During the first weeks of recovery, it's important to avoid sun exposure as much as possible to reduce the risk of increased inflammation and scar darkening.
Avoiding unnecessary sun exposure, for example tanning or relaxing in the sun, after recovery is a good way to limit sun damage.
Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 whenever going out. Sunscreen should be applied about 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and should be applied all over the face and over incision areas. Even if incisions are covered, applying sunscreen can protect scar tissue from UV radiation that may go through clothing.
It's also important to reapply sunscreen if you're going to be outside for several hours. Sunscreen should be reapplied about every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
Wear a Hat and Sunglasses
In addition to wearing sunscreen, wearing a wide brimmed hat can further protect the skin from sun damage.
Wearing sunglasses is also beneficial in blocking the sun's rays and protecting the eyes and skin around the eyes. Look for sunglasses with UV protection.
Learn More about Sun Exposure and Protecting Facelift Results
Sun exposure can accelerate skin aging and interfere with the results of facelift surgery. If you would like more tips to protect your skin or to learn about facelift surgery and other rejuvenating procedures, please call (501) 227-8811 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Devlin.
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