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Why should one avoid Sun exposure after Hair Transplant

Dec 13, 2017

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 Why should one avoid Sun exposure after Hair Transplant?


At HairMD, we get a lot of questions regarding the vacations after hair transplants as people try to fit in both during a break.

But, is sun exposure right after a hair transplant such a good idea?

How much time do your grafts take after transplant to face the sun completely?

Well, to answer these questions- here is what we have compiled after a lot of years in this field:

First, Lets find out :

How does the exposure to sun cause damage to the Skin

Transplanted skin is generally not capable of protecting itself from sun exposure for at least a few months following the hair transplant surgery.

The skin contains chromatophores that will darken the skin when exposed to too much sun as a form of protection.

However, these chromatophores either become inactive or die during transplantation and it takes time for them to either recover or regenerate within the grafts.

When it comes to hair transplant, it is not only the external layer of skin that is being treated. Layers of the epidermis are also treated while the surgery and extreme sunlight can penetrate into these deep tissues causing irreversible damage.

At HairMD, we advise our patients to kiss goodbye to the sun for at least 4 months because of the following reasons:

  • Whenever there is an incision through the skin, it becomes extra sensitive to ultraviolet rays.
  • The native transplant is considered to be immune and strong towards the strong sun rays, but the newly transplanted grafts are still in the process of maturity and do not possess the same level of immunity.

The duration for which you need to avoid Sun

It is advisable to save your scalp from the sun for a minimum duration of four months after undergoing a hair transplant surgery. In fact, to reiterate we recommend wearing a hat that provides full coverage of the transplant area during this time. It is wise to avoid the use of sunscreen until the incisions have fully healed. Even after 4 months, you should apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or more as per the advice of your clinic.

Thus, We advise our patients to not get any direct sunlight on the recipient area for a duration of at least four to six months after the hair transplant surgery.

Many of our patients complain of scalp hypersensitivity to the sun until six to seven months after the procedure is complete.

In fact, many of my patients constantly complain of complete discoloration of hair transplant due to the extreme exposure to sun right after the transplant.

Let me give you an example by quoting a case:

About two years ago, I was treating a patient who unfortunately got sunburn within a month of his transplant. He visited me particularly because he was worried about the swelling and asked me if I could treat it.

What I noticed and understood was that while the skin around the transplants became bloody red, the sites where the grafts were implanted were totally pale and white. This proved further that the native skin could darken to somewhat protect itself, but the skin of the grafts had not gained this sort of functionality to protect itself in such a short span.

This patient was easily treated with steroids, but it was his native hair that helped keep the skin intact as well. Steroids in such cases do not always work since the scalp is very resilient, but it is not worth it. In fact, every place on earth that has a lot of sun exposure- can easily be avoided by a bandana or a cap.

It is important to not get excessive sun exposure until the hair is in a state to take it. You don’t need to worry about short intervals involving walking across the parking lot to your car but if you are going to sit out at a ball game or work in the yard or polish the car, then you need to protect your hair. A serious sunburn may stop new hair from growing.

The aforementioned reasons sum up as to why should one avoid the sun after hair transplant to get the best results and to keep hair from undergoing loss again.

    Must Read

  1. What care should be taken after hair transplant

 2. When can start exercising after hair transplant


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-Dr. Dhananjay Chavan