The weather is finally warming up in Milwaukee, which means good things are on the horizon: open windows, beaches, bike rides, grilling, baseball and the sun! This is an important time to think about protecting your skin and tattoos that are exposed to the sun. It is crucial that brand-new tattoos and tattoos receiving laser treatments are protected from the sun as much as possible.
How does the sun affect laser tattoo removal?
When you go out in the sun you receive exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV). This increases production of Vitamin D and melanin in the body. Vitamin D is a good thing – it helps absorb calcium and iron and helps regulate the immune system. Melanin is what turns the skin darker. The amount of melanin in the skin makes the skin appear either tan or pink; lower levels of melanin can cause the skin to be more vulnerable to sun damage; higher levels of melanin are protective of sun damage but can make it harder to remove tattoos.
Can I receive laser tattoo removal treatments after tanning/sun exposure?
The answer is yes and no. You can receive laser tattoo removal treatments after tanning/sun exposure, but they will not be as effective and could potentially cause damage to the skin. If you have a sun burn you will not be able to have laser treatment; sun burned skin is sensitized and will react with more blistering and trauma to the laser than non-burned skin. It is recommended that you keep the area receiving treatment out of the sun for 6 weeks prior to your treatment to receive optimal results.
The increased melanin in your skin makes tattoo removal difficult because it is harder for the lasers to target the pigment in the tattoo. However, this does not mean that you have to live indoors for the summer if you are receiving laser tattoo removal treatments. It just requires some thought and careful planning.
Can I go in the sun/tanning after my treatments?
It is recommended that you keep the treated area out of the sun for at least 4 weeks following your laser treatment session. It is important that the treated tattoo gets a full recovery. Exposure to lots of sun could cause burning and blistering and potentially scarring. It could also decrease the effectiveness of the laser tattoo session, requiring more sessions and a longer total removal time!
Part two of the series on the sun will focus on sunscreen, cover-up options and ways to keep your tattoo out of the sun in the summer. We want to make sure you get the best results from your tattoo removal session at Remove a Tattoo – a laser tattoo removal clinic, serving the greater Milwaukee area. Give us a call today at 414-617-2849 to start the tattoo removal process.