Sun protection is important at all times, but it becomes even more critical before and after undergoing a cosmetic treatment.
How The Sun Affects Your Skin
The UV rays of the sun can adversely affect skin health causing your skin to age. The sun emits different wavelengths of UV light, particularly ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).
UVA rays can be more damaging as they penetrate further, affecting the deeper dermal layer of the skin. A sunburn is your skin’s response to the UVA rays, which are also associated with skin cancer.
Over time, sun exposure can adversely impact the tone and texture of the skin, making it dull and dry. It also leads to sunburns and skin issues such as wrinkles, freckles, sun spots, moles and of course, has the potential to cause skin cancer. Sun protection should therefore be a part of any healthy skin routine.
Sun Protection Before Cosmetic Procedure
Many people don’t understand the need for proper sun protection before undergoing a cosmetic procedure. Too much sun exposure can result in a sunburn, and having a cosmetic procedure done on sunburned-skin can lead to discolourations and also irregular pigmentation in the areas that are subsequently treated. Some doctors advise patients to limit sun exposure for up to 2 months prior to the procedure. Be sure to apply sunscreen when you do go outdoors.
This is especially important in the case of laser treatments, because they target the dark pigments in the skin. Therefore, it’s possible that the skin may burn, or there may be some hyper pigmentation due to the laser treatment. As a result, most doctors won’t perform this type of treatment if the patient has not taken steps to protect the treated area.
Sun Protection Post Cosmetic Procedure
Not protecting your skin after having any type of cosmetic procedure done can cause unsatisfying results. This is because the skin is extremely sensitive after a cosmetic procedure. Consequently, it’s vulnerable to UV rays from the sun and also the heat.
Both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments cause some degree of trauma to the skin tissue and this makes it prone to damage from the sun’s rays. Sun exposure after a cosmetic treatment can result in skin discoloration and scarring, and may also lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles.
How To Effectively Protect Your Skin Post Cosmetic Procedure
Doctors generally recommend that patients avoid the sun as much as possible for 3-4 weeks after the procedure. If you have to go outdoors, it’s advisable to go either early in the morning or late afternoon, to avoid the mid-day sun when UV rays are most intense.
Ensure that your skin is protected using copious amounts of a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. You should also wear a large, wide-brimmed hat for added protection.
Of course, the best way to ensure that your skin will look fabulous while healing is to avoid the sun.