Preparing Your Clients for the Summer Months

Preparing Your Clients for the Summer Months

The sun is on its way, people are smiling, moods are positive, and clients are preparing their calendars for all the fun to be had during the upcoming months. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the feeling of the sun caressing their skin after the passing of the cooler weather?

As much as we too enjoy the skin exposing months, this is the time to remind clients the importance of protecting their skin from damaging UVA & UVB rays.

Many people idolize the appearance of tanned skin, because that bronze glow does look great. However, once we look past the appearance and learn of the potential adverse effects caused from tanning, the opportunity cost between skin health and a temporary bronze look is quite dramatic.

While the production of Vitamin D and the overall pleasure factor are some benefits of sun exposure, there are other variables that must be considered. Over exposure to the sun can have an adverse impact to our health, aging process, and can negatively impact the outcomes of cosmetic/aesthetic treatments such as laser.

In order to educate your clients on the importance of maintaining good overall skin health and the potential adverse effects of tanning, you must equip them with the knowledge and understanding of what a tan is.

A tan in summary:

A tan is a defense mechanism triggered by one’s body in response to overexposure of damaging UVA/UVB rays. Everybody’s body tolerates unprotected sun exposure differently. Some people burn very easily and tan minimally, while others burn minimally and tan easily.

What are some of the adverse effects caused by tanning?

Here are just a few: various forms of skin cancer, an acceleration of the aging process, free radical damage and an interference with some aesthetic/cosmetic treatments.

How can tanning interfere with DPC, IR and Laser Treatments?

Tanning while undergoing phototherapy can directly impact the overall safety and efficacy of light-based treatments. It increases the risk of burning, pigmentation changes, sensitivity levels, etc. Clients must be aware of the safety related issues around tanning prior to commencing a series of treatments. It is recommended to have this conversation during the consultation process when initially discussing client compliance and pre- and post-treatment care.

What are the time frames that clients need to wait in between a tan/sun exposure and treatment?

The time frame may vary depending on the individual Fitzpatrick skin type of each client. For example:

Skin Types I-III need to wait at least 3-4 weeks post sun exposure prior to having treatments done, and 3-4 at least weeks post treatment.

Skin Types IV & V need to wait at least 6-8 weeks post sun exposure prior to having treatments done, and at least 3-4 weeks post treatment.

Remember, tanning post-phototherapy can enhance melanin regeneration and increase the risk of hyperpigmentation.

It is also important to remember that if the practitioner assesses more time is required to wait before performing a treatment (as the skin still appears too tanned/sensitive), they need to communicate that to the client and reschedule the appointment.

Reminding your fellow practitioners and educating your clients on the avoidance of sun exposure/artificial tanning prior to, or post treatment, is crucial for maintaining the safety and efficacy of your clinical treatments. Sometimes a little bit of information can go a long way in achieving successful treatment outcomes.

We hope that you found this article helpful. For more information, please refer to your SharpLight Clinical Training Manual and User Manual.