The laser hair removal used by doctors directs light emission to a target called a chromophore. “The chromophore is the name given to the melanocytes that we have in the follicles and that give color to the hair,” explains Ángel Luis Sierra, aesthetic doctor at the London Clinic in Madrid. The expert indicates that ” if we have a melanocyte barrier in the epidermis activated by solar radiation or UVA rays , it will cause the energy supplied to be absorbed, causing skin burns .”
This risk occurs in all types of lasers, since “what differentiates one type or another is the wavelength of light emission, which gives it properties that will make the treatment more or less effective depending on the type skin and patient ”.
Sierra mentions an exception: the modified diode laser, called the Soprano . “Although you have to avoid a few days of sun exposure in the area, you can work with a little tan.” “But beware,” he warns, “let’s not trust that it can also burn.”
When should sessions be stopped?
To avoid problems, “we usually recommend that after the laser session you wait a week without sun exposure. To resume them, we normally suggest a month without exposure. But this does not have to be mathematical, there are skins that tan a lot and, therefore, will need more time to be able to resume the sessions, “says Sierra.
The effectiveness of the laser is not affected by the delay of the sessions. “It further damages their progress, since the patient will have hair soon after not respecting the follicular cycles. The only thing is that the treatment will be extended a little more, but not due to an increase in the number of sessions ”. The number of sessions, in fact, is variable according to the area of the body to be treated and the type of patient.
The expert suggests using a good sun cream because, “in addition to protecting ourselves from the carcinogenic effects of the sun, photoaging and sun spots , it allows us to resume treatment earlier”.
In any case, the cosmetic doctor indicates that any time is good to start with the laser , as long as the skin is not tanned. “Keep in mind that it is a treatment based on several sessions and we will always have a summer in between.”
To avoid burns caused by the laser, it is essential not to use it on tanned skin, but also, what other tips do the experts give to take care of the skin impacted by the laser? Sierra gives the following recommendations:
- Shaving the hair instead of extracting it:after the sessions, when the new hair appears, you can do shaving, but not extraction of the hair, since the follicular cycles are changed.
- Be careful with the dyes of some garments:there are clothes that leave the skin colored or that release dark lint. This can make your skin more irritated.
- Do not wear tight-fitting, hard-knit garments:jeans for example. On the day of the session and the day after, other clothes should be chosen, since the tight ones can irritate the friction areas, such as the groin.
- Use breathable clothing: itis recommended to wear garments that allow aeration of the newly treated area for heat dissipation. For example, you should avoid putting on a cowboy inside a closed boot after the mid-calf session.