For laser tattoo removal to be at its most effective, your skin should ideally be its natural, untanned color.
It is not recommended to have any unnecessary exposure to the sun before or after you undergo laser tattoo removal. There is no doubt that sun and uva exposure can make laser tattoo removal more difficult, but it also increases your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.
High melanin levels can leave your skin susceptible to burning. The darker the skin, the more challenging laser tattoo removal becomes.
Lasers target melanin and pigment within our skin cells, so the treatment works best on people whose skin highly contrasts the ink of their tattoo. If the laser cannot distinguish between the ink and skin tone, it may inadvertently damage healthy skin and cause unnecessary blisters, burns and other complications. Contrast between skin and ink is what makes the procedure effective.
Even self-tanner usage before any laser tattoo removal session is contraindicated to a treatment since it could impact the outcome as much as a real tan. Some self-tanners also contain activators that can react with laser treatments and lead to skin discolorations.
If it is necessary to be out and exposed to the sun after a Laser Tattoo Removal session, it is highly recommended that the treated area be covered with a piece of fabric thick enough to prevent any uva rays from penetrating the skin, otherwise it can cause hyper-pigmentation or sun damage. Simply wearing sunblock and having exposure to the sun is not sufficient.
The recovery process post laser tattoo removal is more crucial than the treatment, so you may wish to book your treatments over the winter, when your exposure to the sun will be much less.