After a cosmetic procedure, you’ll walk out of your surgeon’s office with a detailed list of postoperative instructions on how to ensure the best results of your procedure—but they may not always be clear. Post-procedure instructions are important. Even in procedures with almost no healing time, such as Fractora stretch mark treatments, there will be steps you should take to keep your post-procedure results intact.
The dangers of sunlight after cosmetic procedures
If you care for your skin, you know that sun exposure is one of the leading causes of skin damage and visible age. Sunburns and even tans are the results of UV damage to the underlayers of the skin. Repeated sun exposure leads to discoloration, wrinkles, and sun spots later in life. But what does this have to do with your cosmetic procedures?
Non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as Fractora, chemical peels, micro-needling, or BBL (BroadBand Light) treatments use the technique of causing controlled trauma to your skin. This controlled trauma makes your skin heal itself, resulting in tightening, rejuvenating, or other desired effects on your skin. The irritation and trauma, however, leave your skin extremely vulnerable to UV damage caused by direct sun exposure.
Postoperative swelling and side effects
Exposure of your sensitive skin to the sun following a cosmetic procedure runs the risk of worsening the severity of side effects, even in non-invasive procedures. Minor swelling and bruising have both been shown to worsen following direct sun exposure as your skin heals from a cosmetic procedure.
If you have received a more invasive surgical procedure, you’ll likely have some scars left behind. Sun exposure affects the coloration of your skin, which you can see whenever freckles appear after a day in the sun, or your skin starts to tan. If your surgical scars are exposed to the sun following your procedure, they may darken as they heal rather than lighten.
Long-lasting cosmetic damage
Many non-invasive cosmetic procedures treat the symptoms of aging skin. Surface-level methods commonly treat deep wrinkles, skin discoloration, sunspots, or even stretch marks with little or no recovery period. Most of these problems are caused by sun damage, so being back on your feet quickly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful to avoid the sun.
Following many non-invasive cosmetic procedures, your skin is sensitive to sun damage, meaning your skin will absorb more UV rays which will cause more sun damage. With some techniques, it is recommended that you avoid direct exposure to the sun for up to a year to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful.
Protecting your skin
In the time directly following your procedure, ensure you’re getting enough rest and avoiding sun exposure. Once that time has passed, you may be nervous about taking care of your skin as you head back into the world. Don’t worry – the steps to protecting yourself from sun damage are simple and should already be part of your routine.
- Always wear broadband UVA/UVB sunscreen, no matter the weather. Make sure it is at least 30 SPF, if not higher, and reapply at least every two hours when you’re in the sun.
- Avoid going outside during the peak sun hours of the day if possible. Typically, this is 10 am-4 pm. When you go out, do your best to stick to the shade and limit your time in the sun.
- Wear accessories. A hat with a wide brim will shelter your skin from the sun, and UV-treated sunglasses will protect the delicate skin around your eyes. You should wear sun-protective clothing as well.
- Keep in mind that the windows in your car or home may not be UV treated. If you sit too close without proper protection, you could still be exposed to harmful UV rays.
Speaking With a Cosmetic Surgeon
Aging and sun exposure adds up over the years and causes damage to our skin. You deserve skin that reflects the youthful, vibrant you inside—free of discolouration, wrinkles, and stretch marks.
There are non-invasive options for you to consider. For example, Fractora healing times are very brief and, when properly cared for, erase years of stretch marks. The premature aging caused by the sun can be reduced in many ways, such as a BBL treatment.
Facial cosmetic surgeon near me
PSSC proudly serves the GTA. To find out how you can best maintain your youthful skin, contact PSSC to speak to a facial cosmetic surgeon near you.