It’s been two weeks since my hair restoration surgery. Do you feel it is safe at this point, to take a dip in the ocean? How about pool water? Will the chlorine damage the grafts?
I swim a couple of miles a week and I have used various masks/goggles and I think just about all would apply undo stress to the donor area, possibly causing a wound separation. Additionally, the turning of the head from side to side will definitely stretch the donor area probably causing scar widening.
Having personally performed 2700 facelifts in addition to hair transplants I can absolutely say that wound stretching in the first few weeks after surgery is key to hypertrophic scar formation. I authored a paper back in 1995 on the treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloids in the Archives of Otolaryngology or the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery discussing this further if anyone has interest.
A second issue is sun exposure on recently operated upon skin can permanently stain the scar line, or cause the recipient area to become hyperpigmented, requiring bleaching agents or chemical peels as treatments.
So to conclude, if you have had a hair transplant, ease off stretching of the scalp and direct sun exposure for 4-6 weeks.
Dr. William Lindsey – McLean, VA
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.