Spring break is around the corner, so if you have been considering laser hair removal, you will want to start treatment now. If you have had a laser hair removal consultation, you have likely heard that you should avoid the sun’s rays before the treatment. But what about after? Is it safe to have laser hair removal and then hit the beach right away?
Laser Hair Removal Treatment and UV Rays
There are two types of UV rays that the sun produces. UVA rays are at the same level, all year round. These rays penetrate deep into the layers of the skin, regardless of how bright or hot the sun feels. UVB rays are less powerful, and affect the top layers of the skin. These are the rays that cause tanning and burning, and also is what sunscreen with SPF protection blocks.
When you have a laser hair removal treatment done, a laser light energy is flashed at the skin. The light causes the melanin in the hair to absorb the light and turn it into heat. The dark hair on the body heats, and is destroyed. When you add UVB rays to skin that has recently been exposed to laser hair removal treatment, you risk the chance of serious sun burn, so it is recommended that you avoid the sun for three days, or keep yourself covered when you do go out doors.
Planning Laser Hair Removal Treatment
The most ideal time to have laser hair removal done is in the fall and winter, but most people don’t think about hair removal needs until bathing suit season approaches. It is important to discuss your travel plans during your consultation, so that your treatment can be timed in the best possible way, for optimal hair removal and safety in the sun.
Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President of Atlanta ENT