Sunburn: How It Can Affect Your IPL Treatments

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Ella Fedonenko

Sometimes it hits you —today is a beach day, you say. And in your frenzied excitement to get out the door, fuzzy beach towel in tow, you forget to apply sunscreen. Or maybe you remembered, but you failed to grab the bottle on your way out. Once you hit the beach, boiling sand quickly devouring your toes, those cool breezes sweeping in off the water lie to you. You forget about the intensity of the sun’s UV rays and fail to reapply sunblock a couple of hours later.

The result: an inflamed skin reaction otherwise known as sunburn. (And if you’re sunburned, you won’t be able to go forward with your IPL treatments in Los Angeles at the Your Laser Skin Care offices. But we’ll get to that later.)

Sunburn in and of itself is rarely a serious event. But it’s extremely uncomfortable. Your new concern, besides managing the symptoms, should be how it has increased your risk for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer. Younger individuals with pale/fair skin tones are at the greatest risk for such cancers. However, any skin tone can eventually succumb to sunburn with enough exposure.

Altitude, cloud coverage, ozone levels and, at least mentally, those deceiving beach breezes affect the intensity of UV rays. Sand and snow can reflect UVs back onto your skin.

Other sunburn facts to keep in mind:

• UV rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., especially during the summer months.

• Sunburn severity can range from mild redness to annoying and uncomfortable blisters.

• Various medications can increase your sensitivity to UV rays and can heighten sunburn risk. Check with your pharmacist when picking up new medication to see if you should have minimal sun exposure while taking the drugs. Common medications that can increase your risk include diuretics, heart medications and antibiotics.

• Being “tan” just means your skin has increased skin pigmentation. It’s a result of more melanin production thanks to UV exposure.

• Reduce the risks of UV exposure by covering up with clothing and using waterproof sunscreen with appropriate sun protection factor (SPF). At least 30 SPF is recommended.

• Cool water/compresses and oatmeal soaks can help alleviate some of the discomfort involved with sunburn. Taking NSAIDs (pronounced “en-saids”), or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen, immediately before or after sun exposure can reduce redness. However, their helpfulness decreases after sunburn has developed.

• At this time, corticosteroids and antihistamines are not recommended in treating sunburns due to their ineffectiveness, as in the former, and their possible toxicity, as in the latter. Current studies reveal little benefit to using aloe vera, as well.

Having a sunburn can also affect your Los Angeles IPL (or intense pulsed light) treatments, which are meant to combat blemishes originally caused by sun exposure. In fact, you should avoid any sunbathing for two weeks prior to the beginning of your treatment.

Your Laser Skin Care’s IPL PhotoFacial treatments diminish UV-related sun/age spots and premature wrinkles, as well as spider veins, rosacea, under-eye bags and large pores on the face, as well as other areas of the body. IPL treatments help prevent and fix these surface blemishes.

The intense pulsed light is emitted from a laser that penetrates the lower layers of the epidermis. The light is absorbed in higher amounts by darker pigments; therefore, normal skin is not affected. Treatments cause dark spots to crust over while they heal. The light also targets small capillaries in spider veins, which are heated to the point of coagulation. They are then absorbed by the body’s natural cleansing system.

Ultimately, our Los Angeles IPL treatments help kick-start the production of new collagen and other connective tissues in the skin, resulting in clearer, younger-looking skin.

To learn more about Your Laser Skin Care’s IPL treatments in Los Angeles, visit our website’s F&Qs page or call (323) 525-1516 for a free consultation. We also offer multiple skincare services, like Botox, Latisse, laser hair removal and skin tightening, among other procedures. Call us today to see how we can cater to your unique skincare needs.