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In regards to sun exposure, the general consensus seems to be avoidance of direct sun exposure during the post-op healing period, and you should cover the recipient area and/or wear sunscreen on the recipient for a year - the reason being that the skin is very susceptible to sunburn/damage while its repairing.

What I can't seem to find an answer to is how literal these instructions need to be adhered to. Does this mean that the recipient needs to be covered at *all* times - including, for example, if you are walking outside during the day in the sun for a few minutes or driving in a car when there is sun out? It would seem to be that a common sense approach here is appropriate. If you are going to have prolonged direct sun exposure (more than 15 minutes?), you should cover up or wear sunscreen - essentially just treat your skin as if it can be very easily sunburned.

Or should I be treating sunlight like its a death plague and treat all sunlight as if every second is burning my grafts to death?

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According to my dermatologist, 3.5 minutes of direct sunlight begins to effect the skin.  If you're going out in the sun, you should wear a hat.

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You should avoid direct long term sun on recipient zone for a couple of months.  Multiple docs ive spoken to suggest it can be detrimental and elevate risk to the grafts.  

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What if you’re in a car for several hours and it’s sunny outside? No direct sun light but uv rays are still able to penetrate the windows.

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Doctors ive spoken to have mentioned more direct constant rays.  It is quite natural to get some sun, whether you are sitting in your office and some light shines through windows or driving and having some sunlight on and off.  

But standing on a bright sunny day with direct sunlight for more than 10 minutes and no shade on a sidewalk will probably not be in your best interest.  Some docs suggest wearing caps when grafts are safely anchored per their own guidlines.  

There are two sides to this, if your body is without any sun and you are active only in the evening hours-like dracula- you are risking lower levels of vitamin d, which, can be detrimental to your hair as well.  

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Good info . Im 4 month post and almost forgot about the sun exposure. Summer is coming up will be more careful and diligent using some sunscreen on scalp. anyone have some suggstions 30-40-60 SPF? Regular sunscreen? or maybe a moisturizer cream more like a cosmetic product?

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Don't overthink things, if you're walking to work from your car without a hat you're okay. Lately, it's been raining here in California, so it isn't a huge issue at the moment. Now if you're gonna go fishing or spending a day at the beach where your head will be exposed for hours, then definitely wear a hat.

If you would wear sunscreen, wear a hat keep it simple like that. I don't put on sunscreen to go to the store, but if I'm going on a hike I bring sunscreen.


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

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This is my biggest fear as I'll be outside a lot and have a few beach vacations planned.  Do you need to get a baseball cap that has upf protection or is that a marketing ploy?  I know you shouldn't be wearing a mesh or trucker hat, but will a normal baseball cap be sufficient?  

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You need a hat with an SPF of 50, a baseball cap is largely ineffective at blocking UV rays.

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On 3/15/2019 at 2:03 AM, PlzRespond said:

What if you’re in a car for several hours and it’s sunny outside? No direct sun light but uv rays are still able to penetrate the windows.

I was at a baseball game Thursday, it was windy and I was in the shade the entire time and still got a mild sunburn.  What you say is true.  I am 6.5 months post transplant so I am not worried, and my hair is getting kind of long any way.


"Imagination frames events unknown in wild fantastic shapes of hideous ruin, and what it fears, creates." Hannah More

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The windows on a car will not block UV, they are too thin.  The windshield will block most UV rays because it is thicker.  If you are fair skinned it is worth spending the money on a quality window tint that will block 98% UVa and UVb, especially for the side windows.  Incidentally, when it is cloudy outside, about 80% of normal UV still comes through.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Curious said:

The windows on a car will not block UV, they are too thin.  The windshield will block most UV rays because it is thicker.  If you are fair skinned it is worth spending the money on a quality window tint that will block 98% UVa and UVb, especially for the side windows.  Incidentally, when it is cloudy outside, about 80% of normal UV still comes through.

According to the skin cancer foundation, front windows on a car block UVA and UVB rays. Side windows block UVB (which burns skin) but doesnt block UVA which is known for aging skin and damaging the deeper layers. I dont have first hand knowledge on this but just posting what I read.

 

Image result for do side car windows block uv rays

Edited by jj51702

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Posted (edited)

@jj51702 I’ve also read in a number of places that side windows don’t block UVA. However, the only real study I’ve seen on the topic indicates there is at least partial UVA protection in the side windows of most cars these days. 

An ophthalmologist tested 29 different car models 5 years ago and published a study with the results. The average side window UVA blockage was 71% (range 44-96%). The average windshield UVA blockage was 96%. 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2522190

 

Edited by Spaceman
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On 3/16/2019 at 9:23 AM, Curious said:

You need a hat with an SPF of 50, a baseball cap is largely ineffective at blocking UV rays.

Standard baseball hats are made from tightly woven polyester or wool, both of which are excellent at blocking UV light.

As a rule, hold any fabric up to a bright light like the sun and see how much light gets through. The more light that gets through the lower the SPF. A flimsy white T-shirt has an SPF of about 5. A standard weight, dark polyester or wool baseball cap has an SPF around 50.

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8 hours ago, Spaceman said:

@jj51702 I’ve also read in a number of places that side windows don’t block UVA. However, the only real study I’ve seen on the topic indicates there is at least partial UVA protection in the side windows of most cars these days. 

An ophthalmologist tested 29 different car models 5 years ago and published a study with the results. The average side window UVA blockage was 71% (range 44-96%). The average windshield UVA blockage was 96%. 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2522190

 

Good info! Do both uva and uvb harm grafts? I thought uvb is the main issue as it causes sunburn?

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UVB causes sunburn on the surface but UVA penetrates much deeper and can cause premature aging, cancer, etc. Best to avoid both I think.

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