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jay9

Will sunburn affect my HT results?

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Hi all,

I reached 6 months post-op a few days ago. Last week I was in the sun for about 3 1/2 hours without a hat or any sun protection. I received a pretty bad burn and subsequently had skin peeling. The peeling was in my thin crown area though, not in the mid-frontal area where my grafts were placed. I messaged my dr and he said there is no way to tell right now whether i did damage to the grafts, i just have to wait and see.

 

Does anyone have thoughts on whether a 6 month post-op HT could still have his transplant messed up by a sunburn? Also what is meant by "graft damage" from a sunburn? I thought the follicle was underneath the layer of skin affected by a sunburn...

 

Thanks all!

J

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I think you'll be ok. As long as your recipient wasn't ridiculously burned. Don't do that though.


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The post op care pamphlet I received from Dr Hasson stated to avoid sun exposure for 6 months as burns would prevent growth, and to use an SPF of 30 or higher for the first 3 months.. Looks like you just avoided possible issues being at the 6 month mark... Were you not given any post op care instructions by your Dr?

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My post care instructions say 5 months to avoid the sun, so by this estimation you'll be fine. I think people actually don't really know; there's just a sense that sunburn can damage the grafts and thus it should be avoided. If you do lots of research you'll find the odd reputable doctor saying he had a case where a patient of his got a really bad sunburn a couple of days after the procedure and consequently didn't experience any growth.....but so far I haven't read anything about a patient getting sunburnt so long after and not experiencing growth. It's guesswork I'm afraid to say.

 

Besides, at 6 months, haven't most of the grafts already grown?

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Sorry for late reply...thanks for the responses guys.

 

options, yes I do believe most of the grafts have already grown in. My dr was very vague with my queston and only said that "it could damage the grafts." At 6 months, I think most grafts are grown and frankly, I don't know what "damage" would look like...

 

Thanks again for the input...

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I think you'll be okay. The one-off sunburn may be worrying but like everything else on your body, you'll recover from an occasional overexposure. Just try not to do it again!


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Well at least a good part of your grafts already grew in and if your recipient area did not burn, that's also much better than having a substantial sunburn in that zone.

 

The healing beneath the epidermis (outer layer) is the dermis layer where the blood supply to your grafts exist. It takes longer for the healing in the dermis layer to take place and the transplanted follicles are dependent on that blood supply to survive. A substantial burn can potentially do damage to the follicles in the six months following a HT procedure.

 

You still have some growth left and as long as you continue to see that, you should be fine.


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Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

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I think the first couple weeks is the most crucial where the scalp is very sensitive.. Up to 6 months from what I've heard. (You should wear a cap.)

 

After 6 months you shouldn't worry. Ask your doctor!


Paulygon is a former patient of Dr. Parsa Mohebi

 

My regimen includes:

HT #1 2710 grafts at Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration in Los Angeles in 2012

Rogaine foam 2x daily, since 2012 (stopped ~10/2015)

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HT #2 3238 grafts at Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration in Los Angeles in Jun. 2016

Started Rogaine and Propecia in July. 2016 after being off of them for about a year.

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6 months is a good general rule, so my guess is you should be fine as well.

 

Definitely be careful with the sun though, hair transplant or not. Sunscreen and hats are our friends. :)


I am a patient advocate for Dr. Parsa Mohebi in Los Angeles, CA. My views/opinions are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Mohebi and his staff.

 

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I wrote an article that was published in our industry journal about the issue of sunburn.

 

In the nineties I had a patient who decided to play tennis for several hours between 10 am and 4pm at the start of the spring. He did so without a hat and received a massive sunburn. The works, hyper redness and swelling. Classic case. And like you he came to office in a panic worried that it might hurt his grafts.

 

Upon exam his skin was very red with very white dots representing where the grafts were placed. The skin was very tender to the touch and puffy with swelling. Almost as if he had just had a transplant within the last few days.

 

When your skin turns red in the sun it's not because you are baking like a turkey. The color change is a protective response to the sun. The heavier the tan, the greater the response. There are cells in the skin called Chromophores. These cells, when activated, create the color change. But after a hair transplant these cells are not active within the transplanted tissue. They are likely not even alive. So when the sun strikes the skin, the healthy skin around the transplants become red, but the graft tissue itself remains uncolored. This is why you should stay out of the sun for the first six months-because the grafts can't protect themselves from heavy sunlight like they could before the transplant.

 

That's the bad news, the good news is that new Chromophores will develop in the graft tissue and begin to start allowing even the grafted tissue to tan and protect itself.

 

Back to my patient from the nineties. So I gave him some oral steroids to help with the inflammation and sent him home. he visited months later and guess what... all his grafts grew with no problem at all.

 

So even with only 6 weeks of healing time the grafts endured a second degree sunburn and "laughed it off". So I should imagine that at 6 months your transplants are fine.

 

I'll post the article I wrote about it here after surgery today.

 

Hang in there and grow well.

 

Dr. Feller


Feller Medical, PC

Great Neck, NY

 

Dr. Alan Feller is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians

 

Providing FUT, FUE, and mFUE

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I wrote an article that was published in our industry journal about the issue of sunburn.

 

In the nineties I had a patient who decided to play tennis for several hours between 10 am and 4pm at the start of the spring. He did so without a hat and received a massive sunburn. The works, hyper redness and swelling. Classic case. And like you he came to office in a panic worried that it might hurt his grafts.

 

Upon exam his skin was very red with very white dots representing where the grafts were placed. The skin was very tender to the touch and puffy with swelling. Almost as if he had just had a transplant within the last few days.

 

When your skin turns red in the sun it's not because you are baking like a turkey. The color change is a protective response to the sun. The heavier the tan, the greater the response. There are cells in the skin called Chromophores. These cells, when activated, create the color change. But after a hair transplant these cells are not active within the transplanted tissue. They are likely not even alive. So when the sun strikes the skin, the healthy skin around the transplants become red, but the graft tissue itself remains uncolored. This is why you should stay out of the sun for the first six months-because the grafts can't protect themselves from heavy sunlight like they could before the transplant.

 

That's the bad news, the good news is that new Chromophores will develop in the graft tissue and begin to start allowing even the grafted tissue to tan and protect itself.

 

Back to my patient from the nineties. So I gave him some oral steroids to help with the inflammation and sent him home. he visited months later and guess what... all his grafts grew with no problem at all.

 

So even with only 6 weeks of healing time the grafts endured a second degree sunburn and "laughed it off". So I should imagine that at 6 months your transplants are fine.

 

I'll post the article I wrote about it here after surgery today.

 

Hang in there and grow well.

 

Dr. Feller

 

What an informative post. Thank you.

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Thanks Dr. Feller and all who responded...

 

one last quick question: if I did suffer damage to grafts due to sun exposure at the 6 month mark, can anyone tell me what it would look like? Is it hair falling out or what?

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If damage was done, it would IMHO mostly impact the rest of the regrowth process, not necessarily hair falling out.


Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians:  Dr. Robert True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

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this may seem stupid but now that I am closely monitoring my hair after the sunburn 2 months ago, I am noticing some very short hairs maybe 1 or 1 1/2 inches long coming out during my daily shed. Could these short hairs being shed be a result of damage done ? Man, I am worried...

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I didnt want to start another thread so i wanted to clarify here if thats ok.

 

What if post HT (fut no head shave,fair amount of hair still covering head but a patch totally exposed where hairline was lowered) u cant avoid being out in the sun for a couple of hours with no hat ,and u do get a mild suntan on your face but u never feel burning on the scalp just mild to medium sun heat and u never get sun burned,just the unexposed scalp area gets sun tanned? I live in the uk so its hardly blistering sun more 16-20 degrees centigrade.........have i still put the ht at risk?

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if that was your first time, i think you will be fine but if you have been indulging in this activity for a while, there might be adverse effect.

 

Just wait and watch and avoid this happening again

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