Sun Exposure and Your Tattoo Removal: What to Know Going Into Winter

A critical aftercare instruction for all of our tattoo removal clients is to stay out of the sun. We don’t stop stressing this point once fall and winter hit, either. The days may be shorter and there tend to be more gray days than sunny ones, but that doesn’t mean the sun can’t still negatively impact or impede a tattoo removal. 

“In some southern parts of the United States, the amount of UV radiation from the sun doesn’t drop a lot during winter months … The sun can be strong regardless of the season or temperature.” (Source: MD Anderson Cancer Center)

There are two main reasons sun exposure should be avoided during the laser tattoo removal process:

  1. Your treatment won’t be as effective.
    By exposing yourself to sunlight, your skin is absorbing ultraviolet radiation. Your melanin (the pigment that gives your skin, hair, and eyes their color) soaks up radiation and is what creates a tan. However, this is also what leads to a sunburn, which makes it less receptive to laser tattoo treatments. In order for laser tattoo removal to work effectively, skin color needs to be natural and healthy (i.e. untanned).
  2. Your removal process will take longer.
    If you have a sunburn – or even signs of a new tan – your treatment will be deferred to a later date. Depending on the extent of your tan/sunburn, you may be rescheduled up to 6 weeks from your original appointment date. By pushing your treatment date back, your skin is given time to heal to ensure your skin can handle a laser treatment and not incur any side-effects such as hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. 

Your winter sun protection should mirror your summer sun protection. Follow a smart skincare regimen to ensure your tattoo removal heals well and keeps your treatments moving along.

  1. Keep your tattoo area covered, either with a bandage or clothing. 
  2. If your tattoo is exposed, use a zinc-oxide based sunscreen that is SPF 50 or higher. Reapply frequently throughout the day.

At Eraser Clinic we are the tattoo removal experts. We offer free consultations and will happily answer any questions you may have about laser tattoo removal. So book your Free Consultation with us today!