Laser Hair Removal – Do I Need to Avoid the Sun?

January 26, 2011 in Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is generally a safe and efficient way of removing hair on most parts of the face and body. In the hands of an experienced practitioner, clients rarely have anything to worry about, and side effects other than slight irritation are rare. However, there is one thing that sometimes causes concern to prospective clients: being exposed to the sun. This is because in laser hair removal, the general advice is to not expose the area that needs to be treated to the sun, 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after treatment. But since many clients live in year around sunny weather, or like to tan or go on vacations, the question on if and how long the sun needs to be avoided becomes a more serious question.

To understand how the sun can affect an area that is about to undergo laser hair removal, or that has just received it, the way laser hair removal works must be understood. A laser hair removal machine has a handheld device which contains a laser that produces a high amount of heat. The heat is needed in order to burn and destroy the hair follicles at the root. At the same time this heat can also cause a mild burn to the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin. This burn can lead to skin irritation and anything that can aggravate this irritation must be avoided. The sun can easily burn the skin and exposing an area prior or after laser treatment to the sun is just not a good idea. This could result in a more severe burn that can cause pain and discomfort and will take longer time to heal.

The fact that the sun will most like aggravate the area that has been or will be treated by laser hair removal is the reason the sun should be avoided. But it is always possible to wear clothing over the area in order to protect it. Sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) can also be used, for extra protection. Making sure the area will not be exposed to sun will allow for a pleasant laser hair removal experience with faster healing.

In recent times, laser hair removal machines that can be used for tanned skin has been introduced. But while these machines can be good for someone who has a healthy tan, it does not mean that a person should deliberately expose themselves to the sun before or after a treatment. Too much sun can easily burn the skin, and burnt skin should never be treated by laser hair removal, because in addition to an extra amount of pain, discomfort and irritation, a more severe burn or blisters could follow. If you have been out in the sun and your skin feels irritated or is red, express this to the practitioner, because it is far better to reschedule an appointment than to live with a skin burn.

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