Tattoo Removal and Sun Exposure
If you have a tattoo that you want to be removed, it’s important to learn how sun exposure can impact the process. Having this knowledge will be especially crucial if you sunbathe or use a tanning bed often to try to darken your complexion.
How the Sun Affects Your Skin
You’ve likely heard about the benefits of sunlight and how it produces more vitamin D in your body to support immune system health, but the sun can also have harmful effects from overexposure. Too much ultraviolet light from the sun’s rays can burn your skin, and you may need to wait to have your tattoo removed with laser technology until after your sunburn heals.
Another factor to consider is the extra melanin that your skin produces when it’s exposed to sunlight. The increased melanin production is what turns your skin darker and helps you tan. The browning effects from the extra melanin that your skin experiences from being in the sun may seem like a good thing, but this additional melanin can also make tattoo removal more challenging.
Protecting Your Skin Better from Sun Exposure
Being out in the sun is a natural part of life for most people, and you don’t have to deprive yourself entirely of sunlight if you want to have a tattoo removed in the near future. By limiting your time in the sun and using a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50, you’ll stand a better chance of preventing the burning or tanning of your skin that will make removing your tattoo more time-consuming and difficult.
Sun Exposure Tips When Preparing for Treatment
Before getting your tattoo removed, you should try to stay out of the sun and avoid sunbathing as often as possible for at least six weeks leading up to your appointment. It’s also advisable that you limit sun exposure for at least four weeks after your tattoo is removed to avoid additional skin irritation that sunlight may cause. Along with applying sunscreen before you go out in the sun, you can wear specially designed SPF clothing to give your skin further protection.
The Fake Tan Dilemma
You might be considering using a self-tanner, or “fake” tan solution, to try to give your skin that sun-kissed glow, but doing so at a time that’s close to when you want to have your tattoo removed could be a bad idea. Tattoo removal is often more challenging on darker skin, and even a fake tan can slow the process. Furthermore, your skin may be more vulnerable to infection and other problems if you use a self-tanning solution that contains toxic ingredients. However, if you still want to have a fake tan, you should refrain from applying any self-tanning solutions to your skin at least two weeks before and two weeks after your tattoo removal.
Reducing your sun exposure in the days leading up to your tattoo removal can be worth the sacrifice. By keeping your skin protected before and after your treatment, you can speed up the healing process and return to enjoying your time in the sun again sooner.