As a facial plastic surgeon in sunny Orlando, FL, one question I hear often is, “Are some cosmetic procedures better suited to certain times of the year?” The answer, like a lot of things in cosmetic surgery, is, “it depends.
” Many procedures require that patients limit their sun exposure both before and after. Non-ablative laser resurfacing, for instance, requires that patients stay out of the sun for at least a few days prior to the procedure. This ups the safety and effectiveness of the powerful laser I use during these treatments. After a surgical procedure, I often advise patients to stay out of the sun. Not only can exposure slow the healing of scars, but certain prescription medicines can make skin overly sensitive to UV rays.
Though some surgeons in other parts of the country may see a slight uptick in surgical and non-surgical procedures in the winter, central Florida can be another story. The regular rainstorms and intense heat of our summer afternoons keep us indoors at a time when the sun is usually at its most intense. And our beautiful, crisp winter weather often lures us outside for hours on end. So, while doctors in some areas might ask patients whether they’re sure about getting a sun-limiting procedure during the summer, we have different considerations here. It’s best to be realistic with yourself and your surgeon about when the time is right for you. Many of my laser skin resurfacing patients, for instance, have gotten great results at all different times of year.
Your lifestyle also plays a role in your decision to undergo a procedure. If you work a 9-to-5 desk job or work out in a gym, excessive sun exposure probably isn’t a major concern for you. But if you have a job or hobby that keeps you outdoors for large parts of the day, it might be wise to schedule your procedure for a time when you can take a break from those activities. Whether that’s during the holiday season or in the dog days of summer depends on you.