Laser Hair Removal and Sun Exposure

Brian Lett
By Brian Lett
9 Min Read

What are the Consequences of laser hair removal after sun exposure

One of the essential rules of laser hair removal is avoiding sun exposure before and after treatments in order to prevent complications like hyper-pigmentation and burns.

Sunburnt skin is incompatible with laser treatments as their bolts of energy could only aggravate it further and lead to scarring and discolouration in the form of permanent scars and discolourations.

1. Hyperpigmentation

Laser hair removal treatments employ light beams which target melanin pigment. If your skin is too tanned, this makes it harder for the laser to absorb this pigment and treat hairs beneath the surface of the skin – which is why avoiding sun exposure before and after laser treatments, particularly if you have dark skin is advised.

It is wise to avoid exposure to sunlight two weeks prior to and 2-3 weeks following any laser hair removal session, and during any beach days or vacations planned around your treatments.

Although not pleasant to hear, following these instructions to reduce side effects is of the utmost importance and will help achieve superior results as well as protect your skin from permanent damage.

Before commencing laser hair removal sessions, it is also wise to avoid any creams which might lighten your skin tone and prevent the laser from targeting melanin deposits in your pores. These may include sunless tanning products, bleaching creams and any other form of lightener.

Your dermatologist is best qualified to determine how much sun exposure is safe before beginning treatments, and may advise using broad spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 rating.

If you choose to apply sunscreen, make sure you fully cover every inch of skin by massaging it into every crevice of your body and applying at least 30 minutes prior to leaving home.

After laser hair removal sessions, it’s wise not to swim or engage in water sports for 24-48 hours as your skin may be very delicate and exposure to water may result in blisters or burns.

2. Sunburn

Laser hair removal uses light energy to heat and destroy hair follicles responsible for hair growth. Because laser treatment leaves your skin vulnerable, it is wise to protect yourself from direct sunlight afterward as sunburn can increase risk for adverse reactions and hyperpigmentation while slowing the healing process. Therefore, it’s recommended that sun exposure be limited until fully recovered skin has returned.

Before your appointment with your technician, it is vitally important that you are honest about recent sun exposure. Any attempt at hiding sun damage from them will only backfire; to get the desired results it is best to allow your technician to assess which areas have been exposed to direct sunlight as well as chemicals used on them – this way they can determine whether laser treatment can proceed safely on your skin without adverse reactions or side effects.

One of the more unpleasant consequences of laser hair removal after sun exposure is sunburn. While it can be uncomfortable, sunburns can also damage skin in long term. They may cause hyperpigmentation, burns, scarring and various other issues.

Sunburn can be an extremely hazardous complication of laser hair removal. Sunburn makes your skin highly vulnerable to heat waves and makes the treatment less effective; potentially even leading to irreparable damage of the skin.

To maximize results from laser hair removal treatments, it’s crucial to protect yourself from sun exposure before and after treatments. Wear sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30+ when leaving the house each day, making sure to reapply it frequently throughout your day.

If you must go outside in the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved shirt. This will cover sensitive parts of your body while protecting from sunburn. Limit exposure by staying out of tanning beds altogether and following these simple steps; doing so can help ensure healthy, beautiful skin!

3. Dry Skin

Laser hair removal utilizes heat to destroy hair follicles and therefore stop future hair regrowth. Because laser energy absorbs dark pigment (melanin), sun exposure before your appointment could potentially make your skin tone uneven and cause ineffective treatment or even scarring; we advise limiting sun exposure for at least 72 hours beforehand to maximize effectiveness of any laser treatments.

After receiving laser treatments, it’s crucial that you protect yourself from excessive sun exposure by wearing broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and applying it frequently. If necessary, wear sunglasses while outdoors.

Once your treatment is over, it is best to avoid saunas, Jacuzzis and ocean environments for several days following it, while forgoing shower loofahs and sponges for at least a week or two as using these tools could irritate skin surface further.

Be mindful when applying makeup and body care products on the treated area, including makeup. Don’t pluck or wax any hairs, as this could prompt further regrowth. While exfoliation is still allowed, do so gently using a scrub with low pH levels for best results.

Though it may seem contrary to conventional wisdom, one of the best ways to ensure optimal results from laser hair removal treatments is to limit exposure to sunlight as much as possible. While this may be challenging, doing so is necessary in order to prevent hyperpigmentation, sunburn and irritated skin conditions from developing. Experts advise staying out of direct sunlight for 2-3 weeks prior and after laser sessions for best results from treatment.

4. Itching

Laser hair removal uses intense pulses of light energy to target and disable hair follicles beneath the skin’s surface, eliminating them as part of its natural cycle. Unfortunately, however, sunburnt or dry skin may react poorly with laser beams which emit intense pulses of heat; for this reason it’s wiser to book a later laser appointment or use a lotion specifically formulated to fade tanning before your appointment date.

Laser treatments often leave patients itching, which is completely normal as their light energy has disabled some pigment cells and caused irritation on your surface. Some areas, like legs or bikini area, may experience more noticeable itching; this should dissipate within a day or two.

If you experience itching after laser hair removal, it is important to resist the urge to scratch. Doing so will only worsen redness and swelling and slow the healing process; in lieu of scratching, try using a cool compress or an over-the-counter topical anesthetic as relief for pain and itching.

Itching can become more of a nuisance after repeated laser sessions or long-term sun exposure, throwing off your laser intervals and hindering progress towards desired results. To limit sun exposure during and post treatments, be sure to apply broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 protection or higher every day before and after treatments.

To reduce itching after laser hair removal, the most effective remedy is limiting sun exposure and using moisturizer with shea butter or aloe vera. Overexposure to UV rays draws moisture out of your skin and causes it to dry and flake – hindering its ability to target and destroy hair follicles with laser energy, leading to uneven complexions and an unpleasant experience for you as a patient.

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