Facelift and Sun Exposure
A facelift smooths and tightens facial skin along the lower two-thirds of the face to minimize the signs of aging and revitalize a person’s appearance. Although the results of a facelift are promising, it is a major surgical procedure, so people should consider the procedure carefully before committing to treatment.
After making the commitment to undergo facelift surgery, it is understandable that patients want to do everything they can to promote and preserve good treatment results. One way for our Gatineau, QC, and Ottawa, ON, patients to do that is by avoiding sun exposure. Here, plastic surgeon Patricia Berbari discusses sun exposure and facelift results, and offers tips for protecting facial skin from sun damage.
How the Sun Affects Facelift Results
The sun offers many benefits, but it also releases dangerous UV rays. Even when the skin is healthy, excessive sun exposure can cause sunburn and contribute to signs of aging such as wrinkles, discoloration, and age spots. If the skin is already damaged, as it is immediately following a facelift, the effects can be even worse.
Sun exposure can aggravate some of the most common side effects of facelift surgery and slow down the recovery process for our patients. Some of the potential dangers of sun exposure for facelift patients include increased bleeding and swelling, as well as discoloration of scar tissue, which can make facelift scars appear more prominent.
How Long Should I Avoid the Sun after a Facelift?
To prevent the complications that sun exposure can cause during facelift recovery, we advise patients to stay out of the sun completely for at least the first two weeks following their procedure. Even beyond that timeframe, it is important for our patients to minimize sun exposure as much as possible while their skin continues to heal. Ideally, patients should avoid sun exposure for the first couple of months following treatment.
We do not expect that our patients will be able to stay indoors for the entire duration of their facelift recovery. However, when patients need to leave the house, we recommend that they keep the face protected from the sun by covering the skin with a light scarf or shading it with a wide-brimmed hat.
Long-term Protection from Sun Exposure
Although the risks of sun exposure are greatest during facelift recovery, it is important for patients to continue to protect the facial skin from the sun long-term. Prolonged sun exposure, or continual exposure over time, can damage facial skin and lead to fine lines, wrinkles, or discoloration. Any of these imperfections can compromise facelift results prematurely.
To preserve healthy skin and prolong facelift results, patients should adopt these practices:
- Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 daily
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors
- Avoid the sun during its peak hours between 10am and 2pm
- Look for a shady spot when spending time outdoors
Schedule a Consultation
Facelift surgery can minimize the signs of aging to give patients a more refreshed and youthful appearance. If you are considering facelift surgery and would like to learn more about the procedure and its recovery, Dr. Patricia Berbari can answer any questions you may have. Call (819) 243-7667 to schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.