Laser Tattoo Removal and Sun Exposure

Laser tattoo removal can be a simple procedure when done by a professional, but it often takes the recipient a while to make the decision to move forward with the process. Even though you may be feeling desperate to get rid of your ink, it is important to remember that patience is crucial to achieving the safest and most successful results. 

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time outside or loves being outdoors in the summer, then you may want to hold off on starting your laser tattoo removal process. Why? Sun exposure isn’t exactly conducive to laser tattoo removal. 

Is sun exposure ok before and after my laser tattoo removal? 

As we mentioned above, it’s not the best choice for those undergoing any type of laser procedure. We recommend no sun exposure to the tattoo for at least one week leading up to a treatment and for a minimum of two weeks post-treatment. However, every person’s case is unique, and during your free consultation, our Certified Laser Technician can give you more appropriate guidelines. 

So if you have a beach vacation planned or you’re hoping to squeeze in a few lake days before the end of summer, you may want to hold off on starting the process.  

How does the sun affect your skin after laser tattoo removal? 

To put it plainly, too much sun exposure can slow the healing process. For one, you want your skin to be as healthy as possible. A strong immune system and healthy skin are favorable to a faster healing process. Imagine if you get a sunburn before laser tattoo removal. We will not treat the tattoo if the area around it has been sunburned, and you will have to wait until your skin heals before you can start treatments. 

On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time in the sun and become darker, it can be difficult as the laser operates by targeting tattoo ink, and if there’s not much contrast between your tattoo ink and skin tone, the laser will not be able to tell the difference between the ink and your skin. 

How does laser tattoo removal work on tanned skin? 

The more melanin in the body, the lower the setting needed on the laser. If the skin around the tattoo is tanned, the laser can get confused and pull the pigment leaving hypopigmentation. This will help avoid any unnecessary side effects like scarring or skin pigment. Having your skin as close to the natural skin tone will give us more possibilities to remove your tattoo in fewer treatments.  

Do fake tans/spray tans affect laser tattoo removal?

You may be surprised by this, but yes! Having a fake tan can lead to the same challenges as someone who has had sun exposure. Avoid using fake tanning products at least two weeks before and after your laser tattoo removal.

Can I use a tanning bed after laser tattoo removal?

Yes, but we recommend waiting at least two weeks after treatment. If you frequently use a tanning bed or have plans to use one around the time of your treatment, please let your Certified Laser Technician know during your consultation so they may give you proper advice.

What to do if you must be in the sun 

The idea of a laser can be intimidating to first-time clients, but the important thing to keep in mind is that the laser will go after the ink and not your skin.

The laser targets the ink pigment by delivering light at very high energy for just a fraction of a second. This breaks up the large tattoo pigments which will later be carried out of your body, naturally over a period of time. Because your immune system will play a large part in getting rid of the tattoo, it’s crucial that you follow proper aftercare as well as take good care of yourself to ensure a successful process. Staying hydrated, eating well, getting good sleep, etc., are all great ways to help move the tattoo removal process along. 

If sun exposure is unavoidable, whether it’s because of your job or any other reason before or after your treatment, then try to keep your tattoo covered as much as possible when outside. Depending on the location of your tattoo, you can do this with loose clothing or even a bandaid. You should also utilize sunscreen and limit time in the sun as much as possible. 

There are many reasons why sun exposure can delay your laser tattoo removal or even harm your skin, but we’re here to help! The very best way to ensure you don’t experience any discomfort during and after your laser treatments is to follow the aftercare given by your Certified Laser Technician.  

Call the Tattoo Removal Specialists Today! 

Have questions about our experience or our lasers? Or are you ready to schedule your FREE consultation? Get in touch with MEDermis Laser Clinics today by calling our Austin clinic at 512-637-5277, the San Antonio clinic at 210-402-4030, or by filling out our online contact form