The sun and laser tattoo removal have an uneasy relationship, and it’s important to understand how exposure to the sun affects the process before and after treatment. While factors such as skin tone, location, size, and age of your tattoo have a part to play, the sun is a crucial consideration, and you might wonder if you can go out in the sun after laser tattoo removal.
Let’s take a look at what happens when your skin is exposed to the sun, and what effects it can have on your laser tattoo removal plan.
What Happens to Your Skin When It’s Exposed to the Sun
The sun is a life-giving force, boosting our mood and even our immune system. It also makes your skin produce Vitamin D–which provides many health benefits–and melanin to protect your skin from its harmful rays.
- However, too much exposure to sunlight means more melanin production, which is what creates a tan or a burn for some, and this is an issue for laser tattoo removal.
- The laser does not work as well on tanned skin because the additional pigment added to your skin by the melanin also adds pigment to your tattoo. This extra pigmentation means more sessions, and more sessions can increase the potential of harming your skin.
- Laser treatment targets tattoo ink, and if you have a tan, there’s not enough contrast between the color of the ink and the color of your skin, which makes it difficult for the laser to know the difference.
Burning is another issue. If you burn in the sun, your skin has been weakened, and weakened skin doesn’t respond as well to the laser treatments. And, if you get sunburned during treatment, it could create scarring.
Fake tans are no better. They create extra work to get rid of toxic ingredients that conflict with laser treatment. This may mean additional sessions, and some spray tans and tanning lotions can create irregular pigmentation of the skin.
That’s how the sun affects your skin, and a little about how it affects your treatment. Let’s explore that angle a little further.
How Sun Exposure Affects Laser Tattoo Treatment
Laser tattoo removal is safe and effective and involves a laser that is designed specifically to target ink without affecting the skin. Too much sun exposure can change your treatment plan because how much melanin is in your skin determines what setting is used for the laser.
- The best chance of removing your tattoo completely is if your skin is as close to its natural color and tone as possible.
- If the skin is tanned or burned, the laser must be used at a lower setting so you are not scarred or discolored. This also means more sessions.
The bottom line is that it is important to stay out of the sun for at least six weeks before starting laser tattoo treatment. This means more effective removal, and you may even be able to cut out a session or two.
Aftercare and Laser Tattoo Removal Sun Exposure
When you first got your tattoo, you were told to stay out of the sun to avoid fading. Just like your original ink, your laser tattoo removal requires special care.
- Keep the area out of direct sunlight for at least two months. And no sun exposure during treatment, either.
- Be sure to wear protective clothing or a bandage, or both if necessary.
- If a bandage or clothing isn’t an option–at the pool for example–be sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher.
- Do not use fake tanning products for at least a month after treatment. You need a healthy immune system to heal, so you don’t want to add toxins to your body!
Remember: If you get a sunburn during or after laser treatment, you can cause serious damage to your skin in the form of scarring and hyperpigmentation. Keep exposure to 10 minutes or less daily if you possibly can.
That Tan Isn’t Worth the Risk
You might be a dedicated “sun worshiper,” but remember that you loved that tattoo when you got it, yet here you are. Don’t ruin the process or the results for the sake of something–let’s face it–that isn’t very good for your skin anyway. Keep these things in mind:
- Don’t risk damaging your skin by exposing it to the sun during or immediately after your laser treatments.
- You’ve committed to the process, so stick with it. Your lack of time out of the sun is only temporary.
To get the best possible results from your laser tattoo removal, you have to play your part. It takes patience to get rid of that awful ink that took only a few hours to get but plenty of time to regret. The results are worth it!
Feel Great In Your Own Skin
Lasers! Science! Our great team combines experience and science to get rid of that unsightly tattoo, leaving you with clean, clear skin. Don’t risk the skin you’re in–we’re trustworthy professionals with proven results.
Did we mention we offer a FREE consultation to discuss a treatment plan that gets you back out in the sun as soon as possible?