Most laser treatments require you to avoid the sun or very careful about the sun for a month or two after treatment. The best times for laser treatments are fall, winter and early spring when the sun’s UVA rays are lowest.
How does exposure to the sun affect these procedures?
There are a couple of reasons to avoid sun exposure with laser treatments:
1. Effectiveness. Laser hair removal requires light skin and dark hair for the most effective results. The laser targets the pigment in the hair and having skin with more pigment negatively impacts the effectiveness of the laser.
2. Increased sensitivity. A laser procedure will ablate or cause the top layers of your skin to peel and new skin can be photo-sensitive. Sun exposure will cause your skin to darken, freckle or become photo-damaged. In rare cases excess sun exposure after a laser procedure could cause hyperpigmentation.
3. Sun damage. Lasers are often used to combat the effects of aging and one of the worse causes of skin aging is sun exposure. Technology is available to quickly show patients the extent of sun damage in the deeper layers of their skin. We use the Reveal Imager to show patients the amount of damage that may be present.