How does sun exposure affect laser treatment?

It’s a bit of a mixed summer so far but that sunshine has been trying to make an appearance. Or you might be off to hotter climes.

So here’s a little insight on how the sun can affect laser treatments.

UVA and UVB rays in sunlight and the rays emitted by the laser are all light energy within the electromagnetic spectrum, just on different wavelengths.

Laser Tattoo Removal

It is really important to keep any sun exposure to your tattoo to the ABSOLUTE minimum. If at all possible, cover the tattoo with a dressing – easier if the tattoo is only small. If it’s larger, you may have to choose to wear clothing that covers the tattoo during the day. If your tattoo is too large to cover and you plan to be on the beach or by the poolside, then regular application of a waterproof sunblock of SPF 50 is recommended.

When the UV rays hit the skin, the production of melanin pigment is stimulated and this is what turns the skin brown. When the PicoSure laser is used to remove a tattoo, the ink should be the target and not the melanin pigment in your skin. If you are tanned, your laser treatment will be less effective at removing the tattoo. In addition, there is an increased risk of burning and blistering after treatment and also long term changes in the level of pigmentation in the treated skin.

Our team takes safety very seriously. If you have exposed your tattoo to the sun, we will not be able to perform a laser tattoo removal treatment for four weeks. We would also recommend that you wait four weeks after a treatment before going in the sun. This means that if you are mid-way through a course of laser tattoo removal you need to give careful consideration to how you are going to COMPLETELY AVOID sun exposure this summer.

Trust us, it will be worth the effort and there will be so many summers in the future for you to enjoy without your unwanted tattoo!

Laser Hair Removal

The Soprano Ice laser that we use is one of the few lasers that can safely be used on suntanned skin. However, if you are undergoing laser hair removal we do ask you to wait two weeks after sun exposure before having a treatment. You should have tanned sensibly using a suitable SPF factor; sunburn of the area to be treated needs special consideration.

With regard, to planning your treatment session before a holiday, it is best to leave it two weeks after a treatment before going in the sun. Sun exposure too soon after a treatment might lead to PIH (post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation), where the skin develops irregular dark patches.

So what precautions should you take? If you are having treatment on your face then ideally you should be wearing a face cream or make-up with at least SPF 30 EVERY DAY. Ask us as we stock Vitage Skin Defence SPF30, which offers high protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Here’s the technical but good-to-know bit…

Enriched with anti-inflammatory PhytoTerra Organic Mat and an Antioxidant-rich Rosamine Vitamin cocktail, Skin Defence SPF30 reduces the effects of daily sun damage and allows the skin to fight against environmental aggressors. Infused with Sodium Hyaluronate and Aloe Vera, it provides excellent skin protection and hydration and leaves the skin feeling lusciously soft, soothed and deeply hydrated. The lightweight, silky formula is suitable for all skin types and can be used daily for year-round protection.

Handy hint: Skin Defence SPF30 is ideal for outdoor pursuits and sports too.

The two-week rule (no unprotected sun exposure for two weeks before or after laser treatment) is very important for the face and most body areas, with the exception of the underarms – it is quite difficult to expose your armpits to the sun!

What about fake tan?

Absolutely fine to use and much better for your skin than potentially harmful and ageing UVB rays but, again, do stick to the two-week rule!

Got any questions or looking for some friendly advice? Call us on 01480 214442 or email info@claritaslaserclinic.co.uk