Whether you’re considering laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal, laser skin resurfacing, or another of the many available options, yes, fall is actually an ideal time to get started, and here’s why:
Sunlight and pigmentation:
Laser skin treatments may be done for a cosmetic purpose, but they’re still true medical procedures that need to be handled with care. While side effects from laser procedures are typically mild and temporary, sun exposure increases them many times over. If you’re exposed to the sun before or after your laser treatment, it increases the likelihood that your skin will develop unwanted dark spots(hyperpigmentation) or light spots (hypopigmentation), and these pigment problems can be very long-lasting. For laser procedures that repair surface damage by exfoliating damaged skin cells (like traditional or fractionated laser skin resurfacing), your skin will also be very sensitive to sun damage after your procedure, so you run other risks as well.
The main reason why the cooler months of fall and winter make it much easier for patients to take advantage of laser treatments is because the amount of time spent out in the sun is considerably different.
At Nouvelle Peau Medispa we recommend our patients to protect their skin from the sun for 4-6 weeks before and after any laser skin treatment. This means avoiding spending a lot of time outside in the sun, wearing sunscreen daily and reapplying it as instructed, and wearing sun-protective clothing as well as sunscreen when you do go outside. As you can imagine, this can be difficult and inconvenient during the spring and summer when you want to spend your weekends lounging around a pool, enjoying the park, going to barbecues, and otherwise taking advantage of the warm weather. The powerful rays of the sun can cause irreversible harm to your skin while it is recovering from laser treatment. However, during the fall season, daylight hours are shorter, which is why you don’t have to spend more time outside. Your skin gets plenty of time to recover and restore your complexion without undue exposure to UVB and UVA rays that could damage vulnerable post-treatment skin.
Both fall and winter are the ideal seasons for laser treatments.
If you are wondering then, why not wait until December or January? We have the answer: While some laser treatments are primarily done as solitary procedures (like the more extensive laser resurfacing options), many laser procedures are actually done in a series. For example, laser hair removal usually produces its best results after about six sessions (though this varies per patient). Because these appointments need to be spaced 4-6 weeks apart, it can take six months or more to complete a laser hair removal cycle. For some patients it can take even longer, depending on their hormones, the resiliency of their hair follicles, their ability to maintain consistent appointments, and other factors. This is why we recommend that patients start their laser treatment series in the fall – because if you start in October, you may be able to finish your treatments by April, which is just in time to be able to enjoy the summer with exciting results, without the added inconvenience of summertime laser precautions.