After a long and drawn out winter (snowstorm in April, anyone?) we are finally approaching warm weather in Milwaukee, which means that more people are getting outside to enjoy the weather. For those of us that are undergoing laser tattoo removal or want to keep current tattoos fresh looking, sunscreen is very important during this time. Here are three things you need to know before heading outside this spring and summer.
Apply Sunscreen Correctly
Sunscreen is only effective when it is applied correctly. This means that using it in the morning only or applying it after you have already been outside isn’t going to cut it. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and then every 2 hours while outside, more if you are swimming or sweating. Sunscreen should also be applied generously – most people don’t use enough. It should take an adult a full palm of sunscreen to cover their entire body.
Cover it up
Don’t rely on sunscreen alone! Staying out of the sun, seeking shade and clothing offer better protection. If you are out in the sun a lot, consider purchasing special clothing that has UPF in the fabric to keep UV rays off the skin. There are many designs and styles of clothing that can fit any budget. Most UPF clothes are made to wick moisture and can go in and out of the water, making them ideal coverage for water sports or other types of exercise.
Another idea that works for smaller tattoos is to cover them with a bandage – though this may result is some funky looking tan lines. In our opinion, tan lines are better than UV rays and bandages work well as a physical sun barrier. It is also important to remember that UPF clothing is a great option and works great for keeping skin out of the sun, but it works best when used with sunscreen so that you are protecting exposed skin as well.
Consider Extra Protection
Zinc oxide is often a first choice for superior sun protection. It offers excellent protection, doesn’t break down when exposed to sun and is has relatively few health concerns associated with use. Years ago, zinc was commonly seen on lifeguards with the white chalky noses. Today many sunscreen companies mix zinc with lotion so that it blends more easily into the skin. There are many sunscreens on the market that offer zinc based sunscreens that are specifically for tattoos. If you are getting your tattoo removed or want to keep your tattoo bright, consider using a zinc-based sunscreen year round.
As summer approaches, it is important to remember that sun protection is a key factor in getting the best results from laser tattoo removal. You can continue with your laser tattoo removal treatments over the summer, but only if you use adequate sun protection. We may have to postpone a treatment for tanned or burnt skin. Remember – Remove a Tattoo – laser tattoo removal clinic is an excellent option for those in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Contact us today!