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 16


Hello, for my patients I recommend avoidance and limitation of sun exposure for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after any laser treatments. Thanks,  

Dr P

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

Thank you for your question. Sun exposure should be avoided after Laser treatments. It would be best to delay your treatment until you can commit to avoiding the sun. Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a safe and effective treatment plan.

Melarase before and after an acne scar laser

Laser can sensitize to the sun. I would suggest a physical sunscreen and a skin lightener before and after the laser such as Melarase creams. 

Dr. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

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Sun exposure after lasers

I generally recommend sun avoidance after a laser treatment.  I would recommend that he delay this treatment until after the cruise.

Consider Laser Surgery After the Cruise

It is hard to make sun exposure recommendations without knowing the type of laser surgery you had. As a rule, sun protection is essential whether this can be accomplished by sun avoidance, protective clothing or sunscreens. I would recommend the laser treatment be considered after the Caribbean cruise.

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Pigmentation from excessive sun after facial laser treatments

Sun protection after facial laser treatments is a must even if these lasers do not break the skin surface. The key is to use clothing, avoiding the sun and a broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection).
With excessive sun exposure, one can develop increased and uneven pigmentation that, in some cases, may last forever.
I hope that helps and best regards, Dr. Sapijaszko.

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Sun exposure shortly after laser surgery

A laser is a controlled second degree burn.  You do not see the blister but, initially you are red and wet and then red and dry at which point the focus is moisturizing and avoiding the sun. Recently burned areas are much more sensitive to the sun then your normal skin.  If you go out in the sun in the first 4-6 months you are definitely more sensitive and will burn more easily. I encourage you to use aggressive sunscreen, hats and avoid the sun on this upcoming trip to any areas that have been layered.

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Laser Treatment and Sun Exposure

It is advisable to avoid excessive sun exposure after most laser based treatments.  Clearly, it would be best if he was to postpone his treatment until he returns. Whether it is a resurfacing treatment or a nonablative treatment, intense sun exposure would be counter productive and perhaps compromise the results. Furthermore, on return it would be important to delay initiating treatment for several weeks as intense sunlight triggers a host of processes that contribute to inflammation and up regulation of production of melanin. Treating with a laser can intensify the pigment changes in the skin or even injure these cells resulting in long term loss of pigment.  I hope you encouraged him to speak to the facility about his intended plans.


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We Always Recommend Patients Avoid Sun Exposure

Thanks for your question and understand that no matter if the laser is for acne, or wrinkles, or skin tightening, we always recommend that patients avoid sun exposure for a period of time after having the procedure, as lasers and light sources make the skin more susceptible to the sun, and over exposure to the sun can lead to an increase risk of adverse events, mainly too much pigment, which we call hyperpigmentation, and this can be difficult to make go away, which in itself is a problem. If your son has acne, avoid the laser before going to the Caribbean. The natural sunlight there will help some with the acne, and if the acne is still there when you return, he can always have the laser then.

Consult with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to learn your best options.

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Avoid Sun Exposure After Laser Skin Resurfacing

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)

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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.