Avoiding Sun Exposure after a Facelift
Facelift surgery tightens the skin and helps define facial features to give patients a more refreshed and youthful appearance. A facelift targets the mid to lower face, where saggy skin, wrinkles, and creases are more likely to develop as a person ages. Facelift surgery produces effective results, but patients need to be careful about how they care for the skin while they recover from their procedure.
Facial plastic surgeon Christopher Hove urges our Philadelphia, PA, patients to avoid sun exposure after facelift surgery so that incisions and surrounding tissues can heal properly. Here, individuals can learn more about the risks of sun damage after a facelift, and how to best protect delicate facial skin.
Why You Need to Avoid the Sun after a Facelift
Nearly everyone is aware of the harmful effects that UV rays can have on the skin. However, most commonly, people are concerned about protecting the skin from a sunburn. UV rays can do far more than burn the skin. Sun exposure can compromise skin elasticity, deepen facial wrinkles, and lead to the development of age spots.
Sun exposure can be particularly damaging to people who are recovering from facelift surgery. Sun exposure after a facelift can compromise a patient’s recovery in several ways:
- Sun exposure can prolong the recovery process
- Sun exposure can increase the amount of inflammation that develops after surgery
- Sun exposure can discolor the skin near incision sites
- Sun exposure can make facelift scars appear more prominent
When Is It Safe to Go Back in the Sun?
Being cooped up indoors all day is not fun, so most of our Philadelphia patients are eager to find out when they can go back in the sun after a facelift. To be safe, facelift patients should avoid sun exposure until they have completely healed from the procedure. Although a patient’s recovery timeline may vary slightly, it usually takes at least four weeks for facelift incisions to heal. While we don’t expect patients to stay inside the entire four weeks of their recovery, they do need to avoid prolonged sun exposure and be sure to protect the skin whenever they go outside.
Long-term Skin Care Tips
Beyond the initial recovery period, sun exposure can compromise facelift results for our Philadelphia patients. UV rays can damage the deeper layers of the skin and exaggerate the signs of aging, even after a facelift. To protect the skin and preserve the long-term effects of facelift surgery, we recommend that our patients follow a few easy skin care tips:
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply as needed
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to protect facial skin
- Try to find areas of shade when outdoors for a prolonged amount of time
- Whenever possible, avoid being in the sun for an extended amount of time between the hours of 11am and 4pm
If you want to reverse the signs of aging and reclaim a more youthful appearance, a facelift may be the ideal solution. To discuss facelift surgery and the recovery process, call (610) 647-3727 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Christopher Hove. You can also send us a message to learn more about the wide range of cosmetic services offered by Dr. Hove.