The Dayan team receives many patients who are worried about laser hair removal in the summer. Their concern comes from the idea that you can’t get laser treatments or laser hair removal during the summer at all. However, the myths developed from concerns regarding tanning, sun exposure, and their effects on laser hair removal. Today we’d like to address three misconceptions and expose the facts of each.
URBAN LEGEND 1: You Can’t Get Laser Treatments or Laser Hair Removal
During the Summer
This myth is completely false. Of course you can get laser treatments and laser hair removal during the summer. So how did this myth develop? It stems from the advice to stay out of the sun before any laser hair removal treatments. Here’s why:
Laser Hair Removal uses precise wavelengths that can focus on the melanin pigment and target it. These wavelengths are able to focus on the pigment while avoiding damage to the surrounding skin. When laser hair removal first started, the lasers used did not have a great ability to focus wavelengths and, the darker your skin, the harder it was to remove the hair. Obviously, most people tan in the summer which would make one assume that it would be harder to pinpoint the melanin within the hair follicle. This is somewhat true. Imagine a clean white piece of paper with a few grey pencil marks on it. It would be pretty easy to point out the marks, right? Now imagine that piece of paper is the same color as the pencil marks. It becomes much harder to distinguish the marks from the paper.
However, technology has advanced and newer generation lasers have been designed to safely bypass the skin and find the melanin pigments to safely remove the hair.
With that said, we don’t encourage you to run outside and start soaking in the rays. If you are planning on getting laser hair removal, it’s ideal to avoid sun exposure until after the treatment. Which brings us to our second myth…
URBAN LEGEND 2: You Can’t Get Laser Hair Removal With a Tan
This myth isn’t entirely false. You can get laser hair removal with a tan. With technology like the LightSheer Duet which has settings that allow technicians to more easily treat darker skin types to be treated easier, it is possible to tan and still receive laser hair removal. However, because the color of the skin is closer to the color of the pigment, the laser’s settings cannot be as aggressive as they would be if you didn’t tan. That means you’ll probably need to schedule more sessions to ensure all hair is completely removed.
Our advice is to wait on the tan until you’ve removed any hair that you wish to lose. If you already have tanned, it’s not a big issue, but we would advise to try staying out of the sun the week’s prior to your appointment to prepare for optimal results.
URBAN LEGEND 3: If You’ve Been Laying Out in the Sun 72 Hours Prior to a Laser Treatment, You Cannot Receive Treatment
This is actually true! That’s right, this is actually just a regular fact and should be taken with extreme seriousness. If you have been out in the sun 72 hours before laser treatments or laser hair removal, you cannot receive the treatment. In fact, it’s advised to completely stay out of the sun 72 hours before your treatment. That’s because you can run the risk of burning, scarring, and seriously damaging your skin. Whether you look tan or not, your skin can become much more sensitive to heat without you knowing it. If you plan to receive laser treatments, please stay out of the sun for 72 hours prior.
Last, though we talk of tanning and soaking in the warm summer sun, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to always apply sunscreen to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun. Though a golden tan may look good today, it can cause dry, wrinkly skin in the years to come. Zinc-based sunscreens with UVA/UVB protection are your best defense for your skin. Using antioxidants beneath the sunscreen can help to boost effectiveness. For healthy and young-looking skin, please, always use sunscreen.
If you’re interested in laser treatments or laser hair removal , call Dr Dayan’s Team today to schedule an appointment and help out your inner beauty.