Timing Your Treatments To Get The Most Out Of Your Hair Reduction Results 

Paige Talking To A Laser Therapy Patient About The Risks Of Sun Damage

When it comes to laser treatments, the sun is not your friend!

Your skin is left in a sensitive state after a laser hair reduction treatment, making you more susceptible to sunburns, sunspots and other types of damage. For the sake of convenience, aesthetics, and your skin’s health, we typically advise patients to hold off on getting laser hair reduction until the fall

To help you time your treatments right, we have compiled a number of additional considerations to make before booking your first cycle – especially if you don’t want to wait until football season to feel your best! 

Understanding The Risks Of Sun Damage

Laser hair reduction is designed to rid a specific area of hair while also limiting regrowth and making it easier to manage when it does start to grow back. Because your skin is in a vulnerable state after being exposed to the high-powered laser, it is essential to follow all instructions given to you by your provider.

The number one rule to follow? Use proper sun protection.

If you go outside, make sure the area is covered and apply sunscreen every two hours for additional protection. You should avoid direct sun exposure for about 3-4 weeks after treatment.

Tans Prevent Effectiveness

The Forever BARE BBL hair reduction laser (created by Sciton) targets dark brown and black pigment. In this case, the target is your hair and follicles. Because of this, we advise that you do not have tan skin when going in for your laser treatment. The laser will pick up on the melanin and mistake it for unwanted dark pigment. Even sunless tanning products will cause the same issue.

Your skin should be free of any kind of tan when getting any laser treatment or the area will be at risk of developing hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and sunburns.

Underarm Laser Hair Removal Columbus

An Added Inconvenience During The Outdoor Months 

We totally understand that you want to show off your smooth skin after you’ve completed all of your cycles! Unfortunately, some of the aftercare instructions involved with laser hair reduction can sometimes make enjoying the summer weather less convenient.

For maximum efficacy, this procedure is performed in a series of treatments. We typically recommend a total of six treatments spaced four weeks apart. This is done to ensure that the area is being treated during the active parts of the hair growth cycle.

On top of avoiding sun exposure after a laser due to safety, you also should not wax or pluck hair in between treatments.

What To Expect After Your Treatment

After your treatments, you’ll see redness and the area may feel a little warm. The redness should go away 24 hours after treatment. There aren’t any activity restrictions after laser hair reduction; however, depending on the area and your skin sensitivity, you may want to take it easy after your first few treatments to see how your skin reacts.

Laser Hair Removal For Armpits

Proper Aftercare Is A Must 

No matter the season, precautions must be taken to ensure skin safety and meaningful results. Wearing sunscreen is a must before and after laser treatments. You should avoid direct sun exposure for about a month after a laser treatment. If you go outside, cover the area and reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Do not pluck hair or wax in between treatments. The laser must locate the follicle in order to be effective. You should also limit retinol use and exfoliation. Proper care instructions will be provided to you during your appointment.

Your Laser Hair Removal Experts In Columbus, Ohio

We understand that aesthetic treatments are an investment, so we want you to see the very best results from yours. That’s why our team of Columbus, Ohio laser hair removal experts will give you all the information you need upfront to decide when you move forward with your plan.

Schedule to meet with Paige, Stacie or Adrienne to learn about laser therapy treatments and develop the right aesthetic plan for you!

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Updated on October 14th, 2020 by Dr. Michelle Sieffert

Cooler weather, leaves changing color, pumpkin spice lattes back in your favorite coffee shop — there’s only one explanation. It must be fall! That means it’s time for you to swap your summer T-shirts for some cozy sweaters, and time for us to roll out the lasers.

Yes, we technically have our lasers on hand all year round, but fall is undeniably the best time to use them. For the next few months, we’re going to be ramping up our Halo, BBL and laser hair reduction treatments.

What is “Laser Season”?

You may have heard us refer to “Laser Season” here at Donaldson Plastic Surgery and wondered, “Why is there a specific time of year for laser skin treatments?”  Laser season refers to fall and winter, which are the times of year we suggest getting Halo, BBL, and hair reduction procedures. 

Using the Sciton laser platform, we have the ability to treat rosacea, broken blood vessels, capillary hemangiomas, small flesh colored moles, some pigmented moles, fine lines and superficial wrinkles, skin dullness and texture, and acne scarring. Over time, the repeated use of lasers also slows the process of aging by improving the collagen content of your skin and causing your cells to act more like they did in youth. If you haven’t met me, I’m a huge advocate of laser skin treatments, and will probably get a laser a year (at least) for the rest of my life. However, there truly are good and bad times to get treated. 

Why Fall and Winter Are the Best Seasons for Lasers

Laser treated skin is more sensitive than normal skin, and this increase in sensitivity lasts up to three months after a procedure. This means after any laser you are at higher risk for sunburns, the return and worsening of sun spots, and experiencing a higher intensity of the UV damage that causes skin cancer. As a result, I ask for a 3-month sun hiatus after any laser treatment.  This is much more easily done during the fall and winter months when the weather is bad, the sun is further away and often hidden behind clouds, and you’re less likely to be outdoors. 

If you’ve been wishing for glowing skin or more time between shaving, this is the time to book. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. You can wipe away summer’s sun damage

Who doesn’t love lounging by the pool, vacationing in tropical places or spending a warm day in the park with their family? Soaking up that warm summer sun always feels good in the moment … but it can take a toll on your skin.

We’re talking UV-induced dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The best way to avoid sun damage is to avoid it altogether — applying SPF, wearing a floppy hat and staying indoors during peak sun hours. But even if you did all of that, you likely didn’t escape summer completely unscathed.

Our Halo and BBL laser treatments specifically target the effects of sun damage. So if you got a little too much sun this summer and want to hit the reset button, these lasers are the perfect solution.

2. Lasers and the sun don’t really mix

The other reason fall (and winter, really) is such a great time to undergo laser treatments is that the cooler weather keeps us bundled in our sweaters and jeans or indoors altogether. You see, the sun can cause all kinds of trouble for recently-lasered skin.

During the spring and summer, with the weather in the Midwest is beautiful, it’s sunny more often, and it’s hard to stay indoors and avoid sun!   Even if you’re religiously wearing hats and sunscreens, your sun exposure is still higher than during the winter months.

Treatment of tanned or sunburned skin puts you at an increased risk of blistering, while post-treatment sun exposure can leave you with permanent skin discoloration and even worse sun damage than you had before. This is why laser treatments are best scheduled during times of the year when we get less sun.

3. It takes time to get the full results

Lasers aren’t a one-and-done kind of treatment. To get optimal results, you’ll need to undergo a series of treatments and that takes time to do! You don’t want to start laser hair reduction in April and then not have your legs ready for that summer vacation, do you?

Here’s what the timeline looks like:

This is just a starting point. Depending on your needs and the results you’re looking for, you could need additional treatments beyond these recommendations. Starting your treatments in the fall and winter gives you plenty of time to complete your series before those coveted warm months return. It’s also a good idea to schedule a maintenance visit every year or so to maintain your results.

I am interested in achieving great outcomes for every person who comes through our office, and once you obtain those outcomes it’s my job to help you maintain them!  I would be remiss to let someone get a laser treatment to remove their sun spots, then have those sun spots return with a vengeance shortly thereafter!  Therefore, I don’t recommend pursuing laser treatments during spring and summer…I say just wait until laser season! 

If you’ve been curious about trying laser treatments, give us a call to set up a consultation. During your appointment, we’ll perform an assessment to ensure that you are a good candidate for the laser you’re interested in and determine your best course of treatment.