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What to skip for the summer

Posted August 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

While we talk about everything that people do to get ready for the summer and during the summer, its just as important to know what is ok to skip for the warmer months.  Some skin care treatments are better to plan for months with less sun and heat.

Laser Hair removal

We think about getting laser hair removal when we put on the bathing suit for the first time and remember how much we have to shave!  However, we will not perform laser hair removal on someone who has a tan.  It is best to wait until you are at your lightest color.  The laser picks up the pigment in the hair better if there is more contrast between it and your skin.  Also, the chance of having any problems with pigmentation changes goes up with darker skin, particularly tanned skin.  Also, you want to keep your skin cool and out of the sun for at least a week after the treatment.  If the skin is immediately in a hot car, your skin is not able to dissipate the heat from the treatment appropriately and can result in a more intense treatment and problems with pigmentation.  The same can happen with being in the sun during a run, bike ride or outside event during that first week or so.  So, you definitely want to avoid this!  Furthermore, this generally takes 6-12 treatments at 4-6 weeks apart so you will have to wait for the next summer to enjoy the results anyway.

Skin resurfacing treatments

Intense lasers or peels to improve the texture of your skin that you have to apply an antibiotic ointment or Aquafor are best done in the fall or winter.  If they are intense enough to depend on your body’s healing of the surface of the skin, your skin will be very sensitive during and after the process.  You may have more chance of increased pigmentation, particularly if you are olive toned, if you are in the sun too soon after these treatments.  Also, you don’t want to spend the time and money on these kind of treatments, then have a beach vacation that you cannot enjoy.  I tell my patients to enjoy their summer (with sunscreen of course), then come back for any treatments for sun damage.

Topical treatments

Some topical treatments can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.  For anyone, but especially if you are new to using Retin-A, retinol, or glycolic acid, you want to avoid the sun.  You will be more prone to sunburns and sun damage, exactly the opposite of what you want.  Hydroquinone is a great prescription for dark spots.  It is combined with Retin-A and a steroid in Tri-Luma, which is also a wonderful product for many people.  However, this can make your skin very sensitive.  Since you want to give your skin a 3 month break after using hydroquinone for 12 weeks to avoid the risk of having any worsening in the dark spots, the summer is a perfect time to take a break.  Use some gentler products, like a serum with growth factors or kojic acid, for the summer.

Summer is a great time to simplify your routine, take a break from the intense creams and treatments and always use sunscreen!

Posted in: Uncategorized