What Are The Dangers of Sunexposure After Laser Without Sunscreen?

hello,i heve taken 2 q switched nd yag laser sessions on some nevi to lighten them and 6 non ablative nd yag laser sesssions on post acne scars.during the last 4 months i couldnot apply the sunscreen regularly and it was about 200 hours collectvly of indirect sunlight sxposure coming from the window as well as heavy white light at night but no direct sun exposure at all.can this lead to melanoma of the lasered neni or any malignant transformation of skin?can this pass in peace?many many thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Strict Sun Avoidance after Laser Treatments Is Always Best

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It is never a good idea to spend time in the sun without protection, especially after having had a laser treatment. I recommend sun avoidance if possible, otherwise a broad-based sunscreen (UVA and UVB coverage) with an SPF of at least 35. The risks of sun exposure after a laser treatment are poor healing, inflammation of the skin (dermatitis), a sunburn, permanent discoloration(mostly from what we call post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and possibly scarring.  All of these things can be very difficult to correct and are better off being avoided. I give all my laser patients very specific instructions on post-treatment skincare which includes sun avoidance or strict sun protection.

Dangers of Sun Exposure After Laser Without Sunscreen

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Sun exposure can lead to exaggerated sunburn, which can lead to inflammation and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a darkening of the skin in the area lasered.  It may take months to go away and bleaching creams may be needed.  People with olive or darker complexions are especially prone to this condition.  Therefore it is much better to be safe and always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen which blocks UVA and UVB rays after laser treatment.

Deborah Sarnoff, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Sun exposure after Laser

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It is vital to use sunscreen and a hat after laser since sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation and possible scarring.  It is best to use an SPF 50 or above to prevent any complications and strict sun avoidance after laser.  Best, Dr. Green

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.