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    Default Sun Exposure after Hair Transplant

    I am trying to schedule a hair transplant during my vacation time toward the end of the year and I was wondering how long after the hair transplant do I have to wait to go out in the sun without my head being covered? Would it be more than two weeks?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator SpencerKobren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_B_Davis View Post
    I am trying to schedule a hair transplant during my vacation time toward the end of the year and I was wondering how long after the hair transplant do I have to wait to go out in the sun without my head being covered? Would it be more than two weeks?

    Thanks.
    Hey JB,

    I wouldn’t suggest getting any direct sunlight on the recipient area for at least four to six months after a hair transplant procedure. If it were me, I would avoid getting any sun on my scalp until the transplant reached full maturity.

    Some complain of scalp hypersensitivity to the sun for many months after their hair transplant. I have been in contact with a couple guys who believe that they caused permanent discoloration of their scalps because they exposed their heads to direct sunlight too soon after their procedure.

    I don't think getting a sun tan is worth risking the financial or emotional investment it takes to undergo surgical hair restoration.

    Hope this helps!
    Spencer Kobren
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Host, The Bald Truth Radio Show

    I am not a physician. My opinions and knowledge concerning hair loss and its treatment are based on extensive research and reporting on the subject as a consumer advocate and hair loss educator. My views and comments on the subject should not be taken as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a medical professional when considering medical and surgical treatment.

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    Senior Member Dr. Feller's Avatar
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    I usually tell my patients to avoid direct sunlight for a minimum of 4 months. There are a few very good reasons for this:

    1. The first is that ANYTIME the skin is cut it may become more sensitive to light, particularly ultraviolet.

    2. The second is that while the native skin around the transplant is capable of protecting itself from over-exposure to sunlight in the first few months after surgery, the newly implanted transplants are NOT.

    I had a patient who received a sunburn within a month after his transplant. He visited the office because of the swelling and asked me to treat it. What I noticed was that while the skin around the transplants became VERY red, the sites where the grafts were implanted were totally WHITE. This meant that the skin could darken to somewhat protect itself, but the skin of the grafts had not regained this protective ability yet.

    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.

    I treated this pateint with steroids successfully and he made a full recovery. Eight months later he visited for a follow up and experience thick growth as if nothing had happened. I wrote the case up and it was published in our industry journal around 1995.

    In the end, the scalp is VERY resilient, but it is best NOT to test it. I can think of no vacation venue that takes place in the sun where a hat or bandana couldn't be worn to protect your new hair.

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    Senior Member gillenator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_B_Davis View Post
    I am trying to schedule a hair transplant during my vacation time toward the end of the year and I was wondering how long after the hair transplant do I have to wait to go out in the sun without my head being covered? Would it be more than two weeks?

    Thanks.
    JB,

    Glad to see you received some helpful, practical replies. This question comes up quite a bit.

    I just wanted to make a distinction. It's not that you can never expose your head to sunlight post-op, it's more how and the duration. I think it's a good idea to cover one's head if one decides to be in the direct sunlight for more than momentary, say five minutes or so. It's a good idea to cover your head whether you have HT surgery or not. That's why you hear the medical professionals state to never allow ANY skin to direct exposure to harmful UV rays without using adequate sun block products or in the case of the scalp, a hat.

    Let's say it's a bright sunny day in July and you decide to step out your front door to get your mail at the end of the driveway (100 feet) and come right back. Do you need to cover your head? Not really IMHO. But let's say you are going to cut your grass which is obviously going to expose your scalp much longer. WEAR A HAT.

    Dr. Feller, I have also heard that immdediate over-exposure to UV rays can prevent the transplanted follicles from establishing to their new blood supply and they can subsequently perish from this. Do you agree?
    "Gillenator"
    Independent Patient Advocate
    more.hair@verizon.net

    NOTE: I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice nor are they the opinions of the following endorsing physicians: Dr. Glenn Charles, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Bob True & Dr. Bob Dorin

  5. #5
    IAHRS Recommended Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr. Glenn Charles's Avatar
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    Default Dr. Glenn Charles

    I get this question several times a week. Probably because I live and practice medicine in Florida. In the past I have always told patients not to allow any direct sun exposure to the scalpt until they can look in the mirror and not see any redness or discoloration from the procedure. Any time you expose already abnormally pigmented skin to direct sunlight you taking a risk that permanant changes will occur. Meaning there is a chance that there could be some degree of permanant redness. However, after having a similar experience with a patient that Dr. Feller had I now suggest to patients that they wait an additional 1-2 months to insure that the pigment of the skin immediatly surrounding the newly grafted tissue will repond in a similar fashion to the adjacent tissue.
    Dr. Glenn Charles
    Member, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
    View my IAHRS Profile

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    Senior Member Dr. Feller's Avatar
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    "Dr. Feller, I have also heard that immdediate over-exposure to UV rays can prevent the transplanted follicles from establishing to their new blood supply and they can subsequently perish from this. Do you agree?"

    I've never heard that Gil.
    I doubt it's true.

    Dr. F

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    Senior Member bigmac's Avatar
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    Good informative post and very helpful.

    Dr Feller you said that what you noticed was that while the skin around the transplants became VERY red, the sites where the grafts were implanted were totally WHITE. This meant that the skin could darken to somewhat protect itself, but the skin of the grafts had not regained this protective ability yet.

    Could this be due to the skin where the grafts are placed is scar tissue however small and this tissue reacts differently to sun exposure.I may be totally wrong of course.

    Thanks bm.

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    Senior Member gillenator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Feller View Post
    "Dr. Feller, I have also heard that immdediate over-exposure to UV rays can prevent the transplanted follicles from establishing to their new blood supply and they can subsequently perish from this. Do you agree?"

    I've never heard that Gil.
    I doubt it's true.

    Dr. F
    Thanks, I received an e-mail from a guy who went to S. Florida immediately post-op from a 2300 strip and went out on a launch for four hours without his head covered, bad sunburn throughout recipient area and subsequently had virtually no yield. He went to a well known reputable surgeon so it was not a question of the surgeon's skills, and this was his second HT. The first he had was 1500 grafts with good re-growth.

    He did not have the pics from when he first got sunburn, he did not contact me until 15 months post-op. He thinks it was from the sunburn because he said he had some blistering on his scalp the next day and lots of pain. He said he had some existing hair in the recipient area so he did not know he had that intense suburn until they came into shore and he went inside.

    I don't know what else it could be other than his newly transplanted follicles were damaged, his exisitng hair and the hair from his first HT are still there. He says he feels looks the same if not a little worse than his pre-op pics which he did e-maill to me along with his 15 month post-op pics and I have to agree with him that he did not gain anything in visual coverage.

    When I saw this thread, it reminded me of his case.
    "Gillenator"
    Independent Patient Advocate
    more.hair@verizon.net

    NOTE: I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice nor are they the opinions of the following endorsing physicians: Dr. Glenn Charles, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Bob True & Dr. Bob Dorin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Feller View Post
    "Dr. Feller, I have also heard that immdediate over-exposure to UV rays can prevent the transplanted follicles from establishing to their new blood supply and they can subsequently perish from this. Do you agree?"

    I've never heard that Gil.
    I doubt it's true.

    Dr. F
    Good informative post and very helpful.

    Dr Feller you said that what you noticed was that while the skin around the transplants became VERY red, the sites where the grafts were implanted were totally WHITE. This meant that the skin could darken to somewhat protect itself, but the skin of the grafts had not regained this protective ability yet.

    Could this be due to the skin where the grafts are placed is scar tissue however small and this tissue reacts differently to sun exposure.I may be totally wrong of course.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gillenator's Avatar
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    The tips of the grafts at each recipient site can appear "white" because of the lack of blood flow in that portion of the tissue. It is the tip that eventually dries out and becomes a crust which falls off in 7-10 days post-op.
    "Gillenator"
    Independent Patient Advocate
    more.hair@verizon.net

    NOTE: I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice nor are they the opinions of the following endorsing physicians: Dr. Glenn Charles, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Bob True & Dr. Bob Dorin

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