It’s that time of year again. I hear people saying they can’t get laser treatments because it is summer. I understand the thought behind it. Any time you have any laser treatment, you are told to avoid sunning for a week to two weeks, but somehow that has been interpreted that you cannot do anything in the sun at all if you are getting laser.
Some types of laser, such as BBL/IPL (which actually isn't a laser wavelength but is often referred to as "laser"), should be avoided if the patient has had prior sun exposure. Here is what is crucial. Sun exposure doesn’t mean riding your bike or going places in shorts. It means we are asking you not to be at the beach sun bathing for two weeks after your treatment. You can be outside in the sun, wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen clothing is a great idea even if you are not being lasered. It’s ongoing protection built into your clothing and has clothing for kids, men and women. www.coolibar.com is where you can look them up. I’ve worn their clothing pre and post laser treatments during the summer for years.
Other types of laser can be performed during the summer if the patient can avoid direct sun exposure during the treatment and recovery period. Sun screen and hats are recommended.
I’m from Louisiana. The land of the ten-month summer. The festivals, crawfish boils, beaches and of course New Orleans all insured that we had plenty of sun damage by the time we are 30 years old. If we had to wait for the cooler months to laser, no one would get it. We have learned that wearing hats and sunscreen
What about laser hair removal. This can be trickier because the laser is looking for the color of the hair and a sun tan, even if it is a suntan from creams or lotions can affect the skin and the treatment. I definitely ask people to avoid tanning two weeks prior and two weeks after. If they want to use tanning creams or lotions, they can resume that immediately after treatment but need to stop 10-14 days prior to the next treatment so the “tan” will have faded enough for a quality treatment.
Bottom line: there are plenty of ways to stay on your anti-aging and hair removal regime. Utilize them and stay smart!