Can Laser Effectively Remove Your Tan?

Ever heard of laser tan removal? Summer is nearly over and the thought that pesters you now is to how to get rid of that uneven tan and pigmentation that were gifted to you by the scorching heat and harsh rays of the sun. You wonder if there is a quick way to get rid of that unwanted tan and the pigmentation. That is when laser tan removal can come to the rescue.

Why does your skin tan in the first place?

The rays of the sun contain two kinds of radiations: The UVA and the UVB. While the UVB rays cause sunburns, the UVA radiation is responsible for tanning. The UVA rays trigger the melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment melanin. Melanin is a brown pigment that, when produced in sufficient quantities, gives that brown tinge to your complexion.

Why does your skin make melanin? Because melanin is a very effective absorbent of light and can help dissipate most of the harmful UV rays that it absorbs. This helps protect the subcutaneous layers of skin and inner tissue from damage due to UV radiation.

However, not even melanin can save you from too much exposure to the sun. These rays penetrate into the deep layers of the skin and can cause skin cancer. The sun rays are also a major cause of premature aging as they destroy the collagen fibers in your skin which lend it texture and tone.


Laser can help you remove your tan quickly and effectively

The laser treatment for tan removal makes use of a very mild red laser beam that helps promote the regenerative capacity of skin cells. This then helps remove damaged skin cells and promotes the growth of new skin cells. The process actually works by triggering an increase in the healing response of the skin as well as the immune response.

The laser beam is targeted at the tanned portion of the skin that you desire to lighten. The light pulses penetrate almost three inches into the skin, trigger the regenerative process of the skin tissue, promote blood circulation and also trigger the production of collagen and enzymes.

With the removal of damaged cells and production of new cells to replace them, there is a visible reduction in dark spots, tans and the tell-tale signs of sunburn. The laser treatment also helps reduce scars and thereby helps achieve a clear, spot free and even skin tone.

It is well known that the facial skin is far more sensitive than the skin on our body and, as a result, requires much deeper and sensitive care. This has given rise to a common misconception that laser treatment is unsuitable for tan removal on facial skin. It is important to understand that the laser energy used is very mild and will not harm the facial skin. It is equally safe for both the facial as well as the skin of the body and is equally effective. The results are relatively faster in case of laser tan removal treatments.


How does laser tan removal work?

A laser tan removal is typically carried out using the following steps:

  • A carbon peel is applied on the whole face before subjecting it to laser and is allowed to penetrate into the pores. This is removed by the laser which breaks the carbon into tiny bits. The reason this carbon peel is applied is that the carbon particles attract the laser light thereby allowing it to penetrate deep into the skin at which level most of the skin’s regenerative agents reside.
  • Before exposing the skin to laser, a pair of protective goggles is worn to protect it against laser.
  • The laser beams are then slowly and gently exposed on the skin surface, which can either be on the affected area or the whole area of the body part undergoing the treatment.

The laser treatment requires around 5-10 sessions with a gap of 4-6 weeks which will allow the skin to recover from the previous session while also preparing for the upcoming sessions.

How are you likely to feel after a laser tan removal treatment?

  • You may experience a redness in the area that underwent the treatment. However that will subside in few hours.
  • You may experience a slight stinging or burning sensation which is sure to subside in a day.
  • There might be mild swelling or itching in the area.


How do you take care of your skin after a laser tan removal?

While you’re under the treatment, it is important to follow the pre-treatment as well as the post-treatment care routine suggested by the dermatologist or specialist to get the best results while minimizing the side effects and discomfort post each session. Here are some common aftercare measures that you should follow:

  • Avoid the application of any cream/lotion unless recommended by your dermatologist.
  • Avoid long exposures in the sun.
  • Avoid waxing the treated area.
  • Avoid the use of any makeup, deodorant or any kind of chemical substances.
  • Avoid the use of swimming pools since they usually contain chlorine.
  • Before stepping out in the sun, make sure you use a high SPF sunscreen that is recommended by your dermatologist.

What are some of the side effects of laser tan removal treatment?

While the tan removal laser treatment effectively removes sun tan and dark spots, helping you achieve an even and spotless complexion, the treatment has its set of cons too. The intensity of the side effects varies from person to person and it is not necessarily true that you will experience any of the side effects. The common side effects that you are likely to face include:

  • A change in pigment called post-inflammatory pigmentation which makes the treated area lighter as compared to the rest of the area.
  • Redness and soreness.
  • Mild bruising.
  • A burning or stinging sensation.
  • Crusting of the skin.
  • Infection in the treated area.
  • Bleeding in the treated area.
  • Irregularities in the skin surface.
  • You might experience pain and swelling in the treated area.

What will a laser tan removal treatment cost you?

The cost of laser treatment for tan removal will depend on the surface area of skin that you want to be detanned. If you are undergoing only de-tanning for face it will cost you less than de-tanning for the entire body. It also depends on the number of sessions that will be required for you to achieve desirable results. The cost for each session could vary from $100-120.

It is also greatly dependent on the dermatologist that you choose to get treated by and the country that you intend to get treated in. Both South Korea and Thailand are well known for providing high quality laser tan removal treatment at competitive prices.

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