When you undergo cosmetic surgery, you take one step towards obtaining the appearance of the person you want to be. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 18 million people underwent minimally invasive and surgical cosmetic procedures in 2018.
However, the surgery itself is just the first step. Your skin and body have undergone trauma and require appropriate care to ensure you look healthy and happy.
In the days and weeks following surgery, it is vital to adopt a proper skincare regime to promote faster recovery. All of this can be done at home.
Avoid Exposure to Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight presents a problem for the skin at the best of times. Approximately 90% of skin aging results from sun damage.
Sun exposure in the immediate aftermath of cosmetic surgery has been known to increase the severity of side effects.
For example, men and women who have undergone facial plastic surgery commonly report issues with bruising, swelling, and inflammation.
If you must go out into the sun, wear a sunblock that blocks alpha and beta sun rays. SPF 30-40 is sufficient because sunblock with higher SPF ratings tends to block pores, which can inhibit skin recovery.
To eliminate the effects of sun damage, you may also want to consider rejuvenating sun-damaged skin with BBL combination treatments, which you can learn more about from your doctor.
Treat Your Skin with Extra Care
The danger your skin faces post-cosmetic surgery is discoloration. Protect the pigment of your skin by treating your skin with extra care. After all, your skin will never be as sensitive as it is in the days and weeks after your procedure.
Here are some top tips from board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Scott Yarish, MD:
- Choose hypoallergenic skin products to limit the potential for allergic reactions.
- Opt for mild facial cleansing agents. Your skin is extremely sensitive, and you must do what you can to avoid irritation.
- Never apply moisturizers with fragrances post-cosmetic surgery. Fragrances often irritate the skin and can be extremely harsh.
- Avoid soap use. Soap is too acidic for the average complexion. When used multiple times per day, soap can lead to dry skin and breakouts.
- After washing the affected area, pat your face dry with soft towels to limit abrasions.
The bottom line is to treat your skin with tender, loving care. While you will be able to eventually return to your usual skincare regime, at the direction of your doctor, you should take extra care for the time being.
Let Any Wounds Heal
Although non-invasive procedures are on the rise, there are plenty of men and women who opt for full surgery to achieve the appearance they want.
For many procedures, there are simply no non-invasive alternatives, therefore it is not uncommon to see a wound or two following a procedure.
In this case, leave the wound alone. It will heal on its own in time. Picking, scratching, and touching could lead to infection and scarring.
Plus, you should follow any directives from your doctor with regards to helping your wounds to heal. This may involve salves or creams that should be gently applied to the wound or scar. The more invasive the procedure the longer the wound will take to heal.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
The average American often underestimates how much water the body needs to take in daily. Water helps the body heal because humans chiefly consist of water.
Water is known for hydrating and rejuvenating the skin, but it can also flush out toxins from the body.
While CDC guidelines make no recommendation for the correct amount of water, refer to previous guidelines on drinking at least six to eight glasses of plain water per day.
Plain water is always best, but if you find it boring or you are simply not a fan, consider adding a couple of drops of lemon or orange juice to make it more palatable.
On a side note, it is strongly recommended that you make this practice a habit for life. It is one of the easiest ways to guarantee perfect, glowing skin for the rest of your life.
Relieve Excessive Swelling
Everyone reacts differently to surgery. Whether your surgery was non-surgical or involved an invasive procedure, excessive swelling can occur. This is perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about immediately after surgery.
Use cold compresses or ice packs on the affected area to relieve swelling. The only exception to this rule is if you recently received a rhinoplasty. If you underwent rhinoplasty surgery, avoid putting anything directly on your nose.
A great trick to avoid swelling with rhinoplasty surgery is to sleep with your head elevated above your heart. While uncomfortable, it can speed up the healing process and limit side effects, due to increased blood flow to the affected area.
Approach Makeup with Care
What if you have undergone facial cosmetic surgery and you want to begin reapplying makeup?
Typically, if your surgery left no open wounds and was relatively noninvasive, you will be able to resume makeup wearing in just a few days. For laser procedures and deep chemical peels, you will need to hold off a little longer.
After your doctor has given you the okay, follow these tips from Dr. Scott Yarish, MD:
- Balance out red and purple bruising by using a green base.
- Consider mineral-based makeup brands as these are known to be gentler on the skin.
- Make sure you wash your makeup off every night with a mild, non-soap cleanser.
Generally, it is recommended that you refrain from wearing makeup for at least a few weeks, just to be on the safe side.
Protect Your Skin and Recover Faster
The vast majority of people experience no long-lasting complications from cosmetic surgery. The chances of experiencing permanent skin pigmentation changes, swelling, and infection increase if you fail to care for your skin following your surgery.
Speak to your doctor and follow their guidance for as long as they tell you. If you believe something is wrong, you must contact your healthcare professional immediately.