Shedding light on an the old myth
Many patients have heard this myth, and it is completely false. With the one stipulation I will explain below, you CAN get laser treatments during the summer. This falsehood probably developed from the proper advice to stay out of the sun before any laser treatment. This is because lasers use 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 use first began, early lasers were not able to focus wavelengths and, the darker your skin, the harder it was to resolve troublesome areas. But today’s newer lasers are designed to safely bypass the skin and find the melanin pigments.
However, if you have been exposed to intense sunlight within 72 hours before laser treatments, your treating physician must be notified. This advice must be taken with extreme seriousness, as the laser settings must be modified. In fact, I strongly recommend that you restrict sun exposure for 72 hours before your treatment. This will significantly decrease the risk of burning, scarring, and seriously damaging your skin. Even if you don’t look tanned or burned, your skin can become much more sensitive to the laser light without you knowing it.
This reminds me to warn you and everyone how important it is to always apply sunscreen (preferably UVA/UVB protection) to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun. While your golden tan may look good today, UV can cause dry, wrinkly skin in the years to come, even permanent skin damage.
Contact us to set up your own consultation or answer any question you may have.
Dr. Paul Vanek MD, FACS
Vanek Plastic Surgery
9485 Mentor Ave #100
Mentor, OH 44060