HomeSurgery ArticlesAre Surgeons Allowed To Wear Makeup?

Are Surgeons Allowed To Wear Makeup?

You might be among the millions of viewers who enjoy watching Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor. If this is the case, you might also imagine surgeons as dazzling heroes in scrubs ready to save the day.

Surgeons indeed try to save lives as their duty. But what about the dazzling part? Is it true that surgeons can wear makeup and lipstick in the operating room?

The answer is no, and here are the reasons why surgeons cannot wear makeup during surgeries:

Cosmetics can pose hazards during the procedure.

False eyelashes can easily fall into the patient’s wound, causing infection and complications.

Makeup and cosmetics can irritate the eyes.

Surgeons must stay focused during procedures. They cannot afford to be distracted, for the patient’s life is at stake.

But mascara and other cosmetics for the eyelash can get into the surgeon’s eye, especially if she has contact lenses.

Imagine if the surgeons’ eyes get irritated during the surgery. They cannot just rub their eyes. When this happens, they have to endure the itch or scratch their eyes and scrub in again.

Sweating during operation can also become a risk.

Performing surgery in the operating room is stressful and tense. Although the room is well-ventilated, surgeons can sweat excessively inside their layers of surgical uniforms.

Because of this, foundation cream and powder can pose a risk. If surgeons perspire, such cosmetics can melt and run on their faces. This mud of makeup can irritate the surgeons’ eyes, noses, and mouths.

The same can happen with facial lotion and makeup.

Makeup can stain the surgical mask.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, surgical masks have become sparse. As new strains and outbreaks of this disease happen, safely conserving surgical masks has become paramount in certain hospitals.

But makeup renders reusing masks impossible. If the face mask is stained, the hospital declares it contaminated even with sterilization. Hence, wearing makeup can lead to an expensive mask shortage during the pandemic.

Makeup can compromise the masks’ effectiveness.

Surgical masks protect the surgeons and the patients from contamination and microbial infection by blocking droplets and bodily liquids.

But, according to research, makeup can damage the mask’s protective barrier. As this layer of protection wears out, it cannot filter the air properly.

The surgeon can catch the viruses and bacteria that he may encounter from the patient during the surgery. This factor puts everybody at risk, especially during pandemics. 

It is not only lipstick, makeup, or foundation that can compromise the surgical mask. Even aftershave, sunscreen, and lotions can also soil it.

But outside the operating room, this is not the case.

If the surgeons are not in surgery, they are allowed to wear makeup. This way, they can express themselves through cosmetics during hospital visitation and rounds.

Despite this, surgeons must still adhere to the hospital dress code. They are not allowed to apply heavy makeup, artificial nails, or colored nail polish.

Surgeons must also consider that applying makeup can be time-consuming if they shower before and after surgery.

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