Will Sun Damage Affect Laser Hair Removal?
Summer is an extremely popular time to get laser hair removal treatments. You’ll be outside more, with more of your body exposed, so it’s the perfect time to get rid of unwanted hair. The sun, however, can negatively affect your skin both before and after laser hair removal treatments. In this blog, the team of dermatologists at Skin Center of South Miami explain how sun damage can affect your hair removal treatments and outline precautions you should take:
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal utilizes highly concentrated beams of light into hair follicles where you don’t want hair. The light is absorbed by pigment in the follicle, where it destroys the hair and inhibits future growth. The procedure is highly effective, but several sessions may be needed to achieve the results you want.
Why should you limit sun exposure before and after treatments?
For the best results, sun exposure should be limited before and after laser treatments. Laser hair treatments work best on skin that’s not tanned and hair that hasn’t been sun-bleached. In addition, if you’ve recently been exposed to sunlight, your skin may be more likely to suffer damage during laser hair removal.
You’ll also need to protect your skin after you’ve undergone laser hair removal. It will be sensitive after your treatment and more susceptible than usual to sun damage. If you go out in the sun, slather on plenty of broad-protection sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and loose-fitting long pants and a long-sleeved shirt will also help protect your skin.
How can you prepare before laser hair removal for better results?
Your dermatologist will give you advice on what to do before laser hair removal, and you may be asked to do the following:
- Shave the area that’s being treated one to three days in advance.
- Don’t wear heavy perfumes or lotions on the day of your treatment.
- Don’t pluck or wax hairs prior to treatment, since this can remove the hair follicle root that needs to be targeted by the laser.
- Protect your skin by wearing broad-spectrum sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
- Avoid tanning beds for at least six weeks before your treatment
- Wear clothes that protect you from the sun, including wide-brimmed hat and a loose-fitting long-sleeved shirt and long pants when you’re out in the sun
How should you care for your skin after the procedure?
The following tips will help your treatment continue to work as well as possible and help protect your skin:
- Don’t pluck or wax hair on the treated area, because it could stimulate regrowth.
- Exfoliate about a week or two after your procedure.
- Avoid very hot baths and showers for 48 hours.
- Avoid direct sunlight for at least two to three weeks, and use sunscreen when you do receive sun exposure
- Skip deodorant for at least three days if you’ve received laser hair treatment under your arms.
- Wear only mineral makeup for the first 48 hours after treatment, or let your face go bare.
To find out more about laser hair removal, make an appointment today for an evaluation with Skin Center of South Miami. We’re home to top skin doctors who provided personalized, compassionate care in our state-of-the-art skin care center.