What do Bruising, Sunlight and Surgery have in common?
What is bruising?
Bruising is blood in the skin. The breakdown products of blood can contain iron, in the form of a compound called Hemosiderin.
Under normal circumstances, various blood cells will remove the iron from the skin and the bruise will disappear.
However, under certain circumstances, if sunlight or ultraviolet light comes into contact with a bruised area then the deposition of Hemosiderin (and therefore iron) could become permanent. This will result in a dirty look to the skin. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to remove this iron staining from skin.
Patients are therefore reminded exposure to sunlight in the first three to six months after surgery needs to be done with great caution, and ideally there should be no exposure whatsoever.
Not everyone is the same and whilst there is a certain amount of unpredictability, the safest thing to do is to avoid sunlight completely for six months after surgery.