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Is it okay to have a lot of sun exposure after laser surgery for acne?

Our son is scheduled on a Caribbean cruise 3 days after this procedure. Is there any contraindication to prolonged sun exposure after this procedure?

Doctor Answers (7)

Avoid Sun Exposure After Laser Skin Resurfacing

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Thank you for the question.
The wounded treatment area will be pink and tender to the touch for at least 4 days and patients typically will be using a clear laser balm. Sun exposure will not be a good idea during this time period. We have removed the top layer of protective skin.
 After skin regrowth occurs, the skin will remain red for several weeks.
Proper care of the treated area while the skin is healing is extremely important. (SUN SCREEN IS VITAL)

Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Avoid sun exposure after laser surgery

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The general recommendation is to avoid sun exposure for at least a week, perhaps even longer, after a laser or IPL treatment.  It would be best to consult the person treating you regarding the recommendations for the treatment you were given.

No sun for 4 weeks post laser or scars WILL get darker.

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Depending on what laser is used and the depth and density, sun exposure will need to be avoided for a period of at least 4 weeks.  

If UV hits the area, PIH will occur- or darkening of the skin. This is not permanent scarring, but can result in unwanted skin colour contrasts. Your son may then need treatment for this. 

My suggestion- delay the procedure, or have strict sunprotection during the cruise...

Dr Davin Lim
Laser Dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

No Sun after Laser

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No Sun after laser. The skin still needs to heal and exposing it to UV light will harm the process and likely lead to darkened pigmentation.

I hope this was helpful,
Dr. Barrett
Beverly Hills, CA

Daniel Barrett, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Sun protection is very important

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After any procedure which causes injury to the skin, including lasers, it is especially important to protect the skin from sun exposure. Not only will this help prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, it will also protect the skin from wrinkles and skin cancer later on in life.

A mineral-based broad spectrum sunblock containing the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are best. They function as actual "blocks" to the sun as compared with sun "screens" such as oxybenzone and avobenzone. Recommended brands include CeraVe SPF 50 face lotion, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV, EltaMD SPF 41 UV Physical Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen.

Andrea Hui, MD
San Francisco Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Sun on lasered skin

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This is a difficult question to answer since there are many kinds of medical laser.
You need to ask the dermatologist or plastic surgeon treating him.
If he is having resurfacing, I expect the answer will be 'no sun.'
Best wishes.

Sun exposure after laser treatment for acne.

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Thank you for your question.  The simplest answered to your question is to ask the Dr. who is going to perform the treatment. 

Unfortunately without more information it is impossible to provide an appropriate answer.  Some laser treatments which actually target acne lesions do not require son avoidance within a few days of treatment.  In contrast, resurfacing procedures performed for treating acne scars require extensive recovery times in some situations.  Sun avoidance is extremely important following these procedures.  If you can provide more information about the type of treatment your son will be undergoing other physicians may also be able to give an opinion.

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.