How long after CO2 fully ablative laser can I go to take a sun bath?

I know tanning is a bad thing, but i say it just for an example. If i go for a co2 fully ablative laser. When i can fully restore my lifestyle where i am not using any SPF and can expose myself to sun as i am doing it now, before the laser. With 0 chance of gettin a pigmentation? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

How long after CO2 fully ablative laser can I go to take a sun bath?

Thanks for your query. Co2 fractional laser comes with a downtime. After your scabs heal and your skin is rejuvenated you can go out in sun but with a good spf. A good sunscreen is mandatory after any procedure to prevent sun damage. There is never 0 chance of pigmentation in sun without chemical and physical protection. Hope it helps.


All The Best


India Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

C02 Ablative Laser

The CO2 laser is a very powerful laser that resurfaces your skin, stimulating collagen.
The CO2 laser removes small columns of tissue in your skin in which new skin is generated (leaving those lines that you notice). Some of this regeneration happens immediately, but the bulk of the collagen will generate within three months. To protect your newly generated skin, I would certainly wait about 6 months before proceeding with any direct unprotected sun exposure. Sunscreen should be a fundamental part of your daily routine regardless of any skin treatments. If you choose not to wear any sunscreen, it would be up to your discretion, but do wait a minimum of 3 months to retain the benefits from your procedure. 

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Tanning after co2 laser resurficing

Thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

Tanning and resurfacing are in my mind incompatible. It is like having teeth cleaning, and not flossing afterwards. Specific to your question it could take up to 6 months to a year to stabilize the pigment cells after a co2 laser treatment. SPF is a must at all times even if you do not tan.

Finally, make sure that you have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Tanning after fully ablative CO2

If you are insisting on tanning afterwards , why not undergo a fractionated CO2 vs the fully ablative. This will reduce your downtime and reduce risks associated with hyper pigmentation from suntanning right after the procedure. I suggest a good compromise for you is to undergo lighter fractionated micro peels, to minimize your risks of complications while maintaing your lifestyle. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

How Long After Fully Ablative CO2 Laser Can You Sunbathe?

Thank you for an important question with a very simple answer, which is never.  You will be most photosensitive during the first 6-8 weeks, at which point sun exposure can induce transient inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.  After clearance from your Doctor, you can resume active outdoor activities, using SPF of 30 or greater, accompanied by other sun protection measure such as a hat, buff, scarf, etc. 

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Go with a spray tan!

You should always wear SPF to protect yourself from the sun's damaging rays. I don't recommend tanning beds at all.  But, covering with a UV protective clothing item and a physical blocking sunscreen would help. I recommend a spray tan or a self tanning product which will give the same look but will not give ultraviolet radiation damage.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Laser resurfacing

The right answer here is NEVER.  You are considering a fantastic procedure to reverse sun damage.  For you not to protect your skin from now on from further sun damage doesn't make any sense.  Wouldn't you like to look younger for a long time?  The aging you see in your face is sun damage-not birthdays.  Not only should you not sunbathe, you should be putting on a sunscreen that blocks UVA every day!

Peter J. Jenkin, MD, FAAD, FRCPC
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.