Let’s Talk: Laser and sun exposure

Summer is at our door steps. The sun is shining, everyone is heading out to enjoy the nice summer heat, and you, well, you still have to be careful. If you are presently undergoing laser treatments, or you are considering it, you must first learn that the sun isn’t your friend. But, don’t despair! We’ll teach you how you can keep up with your laser treatments, all the while enjoying your summer!

Whether you are undergoing laser hair removal treatments or a series of fractional laser sessions, avoiding sun exposure is strongly recommended by Dermamode’s team. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is, everyone must protect their skin from sun rays, as we are all equally susceptible to the nasty side effects it can bring. Before jumping into your summer treatments, it is important that you know that the sun can cause skin sensitivity, making you more susceptible to bad reactions and side effects. These reactions can go anywhere from short-term irritation all the way to long-term hyperpigmentation, which is can be difficult to treat. So, before any appointment, make sure you do not have an active suntan on the areas you are treating. 

What is an active suntan?

An active suntan is a tan which is quite recent (within the past two to three weeks). This tan retains pigment, heat and sensitivity from the sun into the skin, meaning your skin is not ready for an advanced treatment. As the tan dissipates, the tone dulls down and loses its “summer glow,” which, in some cases, can receive a laser treatment. Here are the important guidelines to follow when undergoing laser treatments:

*Please note that your medical aesthetician can identify an active suntan at a glance. If you believe your tan might still be active, call and change your appointment. 

Before your appointment:

Make sure you protect the areas you are treating at least 2 weeks before your appointment. No laser treatments can be done on an active tan! If you don’t want to lose your appointment, protect your skin.

For this appointment, you must also stop active ingredients at least 3 days prior.

After your appointment:

After your appointment, you should keep protecting your skin, as it is now sensitive. We recommend no sun exposure on the treated areas for a minimum of 2 weeks post-treatment. 

For the use of any active ingredients, please ask your medical aesthetician for advice on when to start using them.

Sun protection 101

Unlike what you may have thought, you will not have to be confined to your house all summer for these laser treatments. With the right precautions, you can still enjoy the outdoors. So here are the guidelines:

  1. Apply SPF 30+ sunscreen every two hours. Whether you leave your house or not, you should wear sunscreen every single day. The sun comes in through your windows, so even if you aren’t taking a stroll outside, make sure you’ve applied your sunscreen!
  2. Wear clothing which covers the treated areas. Cover all the regions you are treating with clothing so you may minimize your chances of accidentally tanning.
  3. Find some shade. Whether you’re walking outside, eating a picnic or hiking, try to seek some shade. However, staying in the shade is no excuse to forget your sunscreen!

Remember: If you have an active suntan during your appointment, it may be cancelled.

A little extra attention for the face and neck

If you’re treating your face or neck during summer, you must be very careful, as these regions are the most likely to be exposed to the sun. In these cases, we strongly recommend both a rigorous sunscreen application and a wide-brimmed hat at all times.

You are now armed and ready for your summer laser treatments! By adhering to these guidelines, you can be confident that you have minimized your chances of having side effects, all the while taking some fresh air. If you do happen to have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact Dermamode, by email or by phone, so you may talk to a specialist.