How Long Should I Stay out of the Sun After Laser Hair Removal?

Hello, I received my first laser hair removal treatment for my underarms using the Alexandrite Candela GentleLase laser. The doctor advised me to avoid sun and to use sun block. I plan on using t-shirts with longer sleeves to cover up, but since it is summer how long do you think one has to wait before it is considered "safe" to have sun exposure.

Doctor Answers (5)

Laser hair removal and sun protection

+2

You don't want to get tanned or have sun exposure for a good six months minimum after laser hair removal if you are prone to getting hyperpigmentation as a response to trauma (acne, burns, scratches, etc.). Also, if you have a tan, then you can't be treated with laser hair removal until the tan goes away otherwise there may be an increased risk of complications.


Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Avoid Sun before and after Laser Hair Removal

+1
Following a laser hair removal procedure, you do need to avoid the sun for several weeks – otherwise you risk the chance of pigment problems in the treatment areas and other adverse events which you do not want. After the treatment, you are more prone to sunburns  so you need to be careful – shirts and cover-ups are key for this – and you need not be tanned for any of your sessions – as this is a no-no for laser hair removal and something we do not treat over – so no tans before laser hair removal either.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Sun Avoidance and Laser Hair Removal

+1
After laser hair removal, it is usually recommended to avoid sun exposure for at least 7-10 days. This will reduce the chance of complications. Sun avoidance and sunblock use are recommended in general while doing laser hair removal treatments to minimize the risk of side effects such as burns and pigment changes because tanned skin can be more prone to complications with laser hair removal.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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No sun exposure for at least two weeks after Laser Hair Removal

+1

Tanning is not recommended for almost any laser treatment, but especially Laser Hair Removal. After the laser hair removal your skin is more sensitive and you can burn easily if you go tanning. When you tan before the laser treatment the chances of side effects such as hyper pigmentation and scarring are much higher. Using sun protection every day is very important and if you do tan you should wait a while until your tan fades before doing another treatment.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Laser hair removal and sunscreen

+1

For most laser procedures, a good rule of thumb is very strong sun protection for 1 week after the procedure because your skin will be much more sensitive to irritation and photodamage.  We recommend keeping the treated area out of the sun and using sunscreens high in zinc oxide such as EltaMD.  Of course, tanning is always discouraged and liberal use of sun protection and sunscreen is ALWAYS encouraged.  The other reason to stay out of the sun is that laser hair removal requires multiple consecutive treatments, and if your skin becomes more tan between the treatments, you will increase your chances of complications like burning, or your provider may not even be able to perform your next treatment.

Narin (Dr.Joe) Apisarnthanarax, MD
Houston Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 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.