West Houston Dermatology

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Tanning Negatively Affects Laser Hair Removal Treatments

It’s important to know the little tips of the trade with dermatology, especially when those tips can affect your laser hair removal procedure.  Summer is here again and that means that many in Houston are bound to hit the outdoors and expose themselves to the sun. Cosmetic dermatology providers in Houston are certain to see a fair share of potential sun worshipers looking to lose the unwanted hair. We here at West Houston Dermatology just ask that you enjoy yourself out there but respect your skin.  That means that if you are a candidate for laser hair removal, you refrain from taking in the sun before your treatments begin—they will increase the number of procedures you require to see the results you desire.  Scientific reasoning behind the procedure may better explain why and how you might be able to save money.

The primary conditions that directly affect the outcome of an individual laser hair removal treatment are your skin type and the color of the hair treated.  Fairer skin tones take fewer treatments to experience the same results as darker skin tones with many more treatments.  The pigment in the skin actually absorbs the laser light and shields the hair follicle from receiving the root-deadening energy.  The less pigment in the skin the more light that reaches the root and the quicker the results.

The same principle of pigment absorption of laser light energy can be applied to assessment of the patient’s hair color.  Only in the case of hair color, the darker and more coarse the hair, the quicker the results.  In this instance, the pigment located in the hair shaft absorb the laser light energy and transfers the energy directly to the root.  The more pigment, the quicker the results.  Black hair is more responsive than brown.  Brown more responsive than blonder hair, and so on–each possibly requiring another treatment.  Grey or white hair may be completely unresponsive.

Given that summer is quickly approaching it is also important to prepare your skin before treatment.  All laser hair removal patients should strive to achieve their lightest skin tone for the time of treatment.  Having even the slightest tan can make it harder for the laser light to pass through your skin in order to heat the hair follicle.  Being a light skinned person with a light tan makes the treatment more difficult than being a darker skinned person who has no tan or sun exposure at all.  It’s common for people to think about getting treated after their first few times out in the sun and at the beginning of swimwear season.  Just let the tan fade and if necessary, a mild topical bleaching medication may be prescribed to prepare your skin for the treatment.

At West Houston Dermatology, the premiere cosmetic dermatology Houston location, we are prepared to fully assess all your dermatology and laser hair removal needs.  Call for an appointment and we will begin a consultation to set you on the path to success.  Enjoy the summer!