Lasers and SUN! Why they don’t mix

Tagged: , , ,

Now that Spring is here and everyone is gearing up for the warmer weather and beach time, we want to remind all of our clients once more about the correlation between sun exposure and laser treatments, and why you can’t have had recent sun exposure before your laser treatment and directly after.

The reason for this is that when your skin is exposed to the sun, whether you are tanning, gardening, or have spent a day at the park, there is a layer of melanin that accumulates below the surface. This is your skin’s response to the sun, which it uses to change the color to a tan or burn to protect the outer layer of the skin from potential sun damage.

For this reason, it is highly important to wear an SPF every time that you are in the sun, and if you plan on having a laser hair removal treatment, it is also necessary to have no sun exposure or continuous sun exposure. The reason for this is that your level of sun exposure will create melanin underneath the surface of the skin.  Problems can occur when a client has had one or two times of unprotected sun exposure within 30 days, meaning that there are undetected layers of melanin below the surface of the skin. The reason that this is such a risk is because the laser hair removal technician will not be able to determine the actual color of the skin based on the melanin content since it is below the surface. This means that the laser settings could potentially be too high, potentially adversely affecting the client.

If you are being treated on the GentleYAG (for darker and tanned skin tones) you need a minimum of 2 weeks out of the sun, BEFORE & AFTER laser treatment

If you are being treated on the GentleLASE (for fair skin tones) you need a minimum of 4-6 weeks out of the sun BEFORE your treatment, and 2 weeks after laser treatment.

Some of our clients opt out of lasering over the summer in order to be safe, while others abstain from the sun in order to continue their treatments.  Whichever option you choose is up to you, and your treatments will not be affected.

 

10 Comments

  1. lauren

    thanks for a great post! if the areas that are being treated are NOT exposed to the sun (i.e. underarms) should we still wait 2-4 weeks?

    Reply

    • admin

      Thanks for your comment Lauren! Happy you are reading our blog and finding it informative. To answer your question, if the area you are treating is NOT exposed to the sun, then you do not need to wait for it to get treated. The concerns we have about sun would only be applicable if sun exposure was on the area to be treated.

      Reply

  2. Laser Hair Removal

    Thanks for sharing this useful post. If someone done laser & the other day that person go holiday on beach will that person get effected or that person should take consult from the technicians before going to holiday.

    Reply

    • admin

      Hi, and thanks for your comment! We suggest that people stay out of active sun exposure (long term, more than 1 hour per day) for 4-6 weeks before getting treated on the Alexandrite laser, and for 2 weeks before the YAG laser. We also ask that people stay out of the sun for 2 weeks after their treatments, as laser can make you light sensitive. The thing to keep in mind is that the skin does not need to display a dark tan to have melanin that is activated by the sun, so if you are very fair, even an hour or 2 of direct sun on the day before/after treatment can affect you. Your technician can certainly advise you should you have questions about a specific area or time period.

      Reply

  3. Laser hair removal

    Great article. Keep writing and shower your readers with such useful information. Keep it Up!!!

    Reply

  4. kathy

    I have a laser treatment in couple of days but I was at the beach for couple of hours few days ago but had 100 spf sunscreen on. Would it be ok to get the treatment? I am under time constrain and need to get my treatment done as soon as possible.

    Reply

    • admin

      Hi Kathy,

      Your best bet would be to call your laser provider and ask to come in to be looked at before your actual treatment. They may decide that it’s best that you wait. This is because even with sunscreen your melanin could be active in the area that you are planning to treat, and you could have a negative reaction to the laser. Laser is a process that shouldn’t be rushed, and even if you are under a time constraint, it’s best to do it safely rather than take a chance that could leave you with marks on your skin.

      Reply

  5. Dallas Implant Doctor

    Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a
    quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading
    through your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same
    topics? Thanks for your time!

    Reply

  6. Mahmod

    yes it hurts like hell. I have dark coarse hair on my face. It’s the pecreft hair for laser to target. But the more coarser your hair is the more it hurts. In the beginning when i started it hurted so much tears came running down my eyes. But as the treatments progressed it still hurted but a litttle less. I took the pain because i know the end result will be worth it less or no hair to shave on my face. Thank God i don’t have to shave my face anymore ever perhaps.

    Reply

  7. Steve

    Hi, I had the Candela Yag ND laser treatment for broken capillaries on my face. I live overseas and my doctor did not mention to me about NOT Having sun on my face before the treatment. Am I in trouble now? I jogged for 30 minutes at mid day on a Saturday (it’s winter here, so not bright sun, overcast, and cold), and had the procedure on Monday. I did not wear sunscreen. Second, after the procedure, the doc did not put sunscreen on my face after the laser, and I was in the sun unprotected for about 10 minutes outside (no sun, cloudy cold day) and then in a car for 20 min? Then, I was careful to stay in doors for 5 days. On the 5th day I had to drive somewhere for 30 minutes each way and there was sun outside but I was in he car, and in/out of a building. From what I described, will I have hyperpigmentation damage due to that since I had the laser treatment? I’m a bit worried now after reading your comments since my doctor did not seem to be too concerned about what I described above, since I was in a car and in/out of buildings even though I did not put sunscreen? Thoughts?

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will never be published or shared and required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).


*