Seasonal Cosmetic Surgery

There are football and baseball seasons. There are seasons for planting and seasons for skiing. But one thing you wouldn’t expect to be seasonal is cosmetic surgery. Any plastic surgeon, however, will tell you that the spring is the season for breast augmentations and liposuction, and the season for facelifts is right after Christmas. And many other procedures are more common during certain times of the year.

There are football and baseball seasons. There are seasons for planting and seasons for skiing. But one thing you wouldn’t expect to be seasonal is cosmetic surgery. Any plastic surgeon, however, will tell you that the spring is the season for breast augmentations and liposuction, and the season for facelifts is right after Christmas.  And many other procedures are more common during certain times of the year. 

The reasons for this seasonality become obvious when you consider each procedure. During the spring, women start thinking about that dreaded bathing suit.  They try them on and might notice a little fat that wasn’t there last year, or they might wish they filled it out better in certain areas. Since it takes a month or so to look reasonable in a bathing suit after cosmetic surgery, by July 4, if the surgery hasn’t been performed yet, many women wait until after the summer. 


When it comes to facial surgery, like face or eyelid lifts, fall or winter surgery is most common. While you should be able to face the public two weeks after a facelift, you might not really want to. You’ll have residual swelling and even a little bruising up to a month after the lift, and there’s always a chance of some odd lumps and bumps. It’s a lot easier to wear scarves or heavier makeup when it’s cold outside. When planning for cosmetic surgery, you might be pleasantly surprised at how fast you recover, but 5-10% of people have one thing or another that slows down their recovery. When planning out your schedule, you really have to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Recovery from larger procedures takes longer than recovery from smaller procedures. And older women take longer to bounce back than younger ones. And, of course, if you have significant medical problems, you have a much higher chance of a complication after surgery; you and your surgeon may decide to forgo surgery and improve your appearance with less invasive procedures that are less demanding on your body.

While some office procedures like Botox and Restylane are easier to do and really don’t have seasonality, not all types of procedures are suited for the summer. Chemical peels require strict avoidance of sun, so unless you live in a cave or are a vampire, you might consider having your peel during the winter months. If you live in California or Florida, your solution might just be a tube of SPF 30 sunscreen with zinc oxide.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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