I have been tanning for two months in preparation for a trip to the Turks and Caicos Island. I am planning to get laser hair removal at my bikini line. Will the tanning I have done interfere with the laser treatment?
The problem with laser hair removal is that the laser energy that is applied during the treatment “recognizes” darker pigment preferable to lighter pigment. In other words, tanning will likely darken your skin with melanin and this melanin will absorb the energy that the laser delivers to destroy the hair follicles. If your skin absorbs too much energy then you may have a superficial burn at the treatment areas. The laser that we currently use for hair removal is quite advanced and is able to tell the difference between dark hair follicles and pigmented skin but, my laser nurse will have to use lower energy during your hair removal treatment as long as you are tanned.
Posted by Dr. Philip Schoenfeld