If you’ve undergone cosmetic surgery on your face or had procedures such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels, you know the importance of following your post-procedure instructions for maximizing results. It’s also important that you protect new skin and the scars from incisions from excessive sun exposure. Here are five ways you can protect your skin while in the sun and prolong your surgical results.
Use sunscreen. This does not mean just any sunscreen. Find a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Look for one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Apply generously and re-apply every hour if you’re swimming or sweating.
Seek the shade. It’s critical that you limit time in the direct sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as these are the hours when the sun’s harmful rays are the strongest. If you don’t have a watch or another way to tell time when you’re out in the sun, do this simple shadow test: If you see your shadow is shorter than you are, you need to be in the shade.
Wear your sunglasses. Broad-spectrum sunglasses that prevent 99-100% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays are the best way to protect your eyes and the surrounding delicate skin from damage, especially if they’ve been treated with a cosmetic procedure.
Wear protective clothing and hats. A wide-brimmed hat will cover your entire face, ears and neck, while long-sleeved shirts, long pants and clothing made with sun-protective materials offer another layer of protection. Dark and brightly colored clothing can keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing the rays before they reach your skin. Densely woven fabric is more protective than sheer or thin cloth.
Avoid tanning. Whether you are laying outside in the sun or in a tanning bed, both types of sun exposure can lead to sunburn, hyperpigmentation of new skin, premature aging and even skin cancer.
The skin on your face is some of the most delicate on your body and more prone to damage from excessive sun exposure. If you have concerns or more questions about protecting your skin in the sun, schedule an appointment with our office by calling (773) 763-3990.