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Sun sensitivty after skin laser treatment

Q:

What is the meaning that the skin will be sensitive to sun after laser resurfacing? Is that mean the skin is prone to develop cancer after minimal sun exposure following laser treatment (even indirect sun)? What happen if sun block is not applied regularly after treatment?

A:

 

A laser often will ablate or destroy the top layers of your skin. New growing skin can be photo-sensitive. This means it can easily be damaged by sun exposure. The most common response to this exposure is for your skin to darken, freckle or become what we call photo-damaged. Severely photo-damaged skin can have a higher incidences of actinic keratosis and skin cancers. In approximately 6 to 8 weeks following treatment your skin has usually regenerated to a more youthful appearance. After this time regular sun exposure is usually OK. 

 

Remember, it is the burning/ blistering of your skin, the chronicity of sun exposure and your skin type that are the greatest determining factors as to whether you develop skin cancer not isolated laser treatments. Best,

 

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

Your skin will be red and maybe depigmented after laser resurfacing.  Sun light or UV radiation may more easily burn your skin.  It may be more sensitive to hot or cold after laser resurfacing.  You will be at risk for developing blotchy areas of hyperpigmentation in the few months following the procedure, depending on your skin type.  I don’t believe you will be more prone to skin cancer.  I would advise that you take extra care with sun block to protect your investment in yourself. 

A:

Sun Sensitivity After Laser – Sun sensitivity after laser treatment can last 6-12 months. One should use total sun block for the first 6-12 months. Use a sun block with UVB and UVA as well.

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