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Is winter the best time for laser skin treatments?

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  • Published

    July 3, 2020

  • Written by

    Collins Cosmetic Clinic


We often get asked at the Collins Cosmetic Clinic when the best time of the year is to have Laser treatments. Sometimes there is not much choice as a Laser treatment may need to be done sooner rather than later, for example with patients that have significant sun damage with skin cancers and precancers. In this situation the treatment is just done as soon as possible. However, most Laser treatments we perform at the Collins Cosmetic Clinic are not urgent and subsequently we schedule them at a time of day and year that best suits the individual patient. For these elective Laser treatments, the key determinant, for the majority of our patients in deciding when to have a treatment, is how much skin reaction is expected. This is because a skin reaction can result in the potential for downtime from work or interfere with important social occasions.

Many of our Laser treatments involve minimal or no downtime and hence the timing of the treatment does not matter. The term “lunchtime procedure” is commonly used to describe these procedures that result in a negligible skin reaction. These Laser treatments can be done at any time as they have a minimal impact on a patient’s normal activities.

But for some Laser treatments there can be a skin reaction, and subsequently when these treatments are on the face, the timing of these Laser treatments becomes very important because a skin reaction can disrupt normal work and social events. The severity of the skin reaction from Laser treatments varies with treatment factors such as the type of Laser treatment, the power settings of the treatment and aftercare as well as patient factors such as your skin type, the severity of your condition being treated and skin preparation before treatment. The importance of any skin reaction and how it might affect someone varies with the work and social commitments of an individual patient. For example, if you are on holidays some skin reaction may not matter whereas the same reaction if you had a job interview or were getting married in the next week could be critical.

At the Collins Cosmetic Clinic we have been performing laser treatments for over 30 years on thousands of patients and we are very experienced in adjusting laser treatment settings to take into account varying skin types and different environmental conditions. This helps us minimise skin reactions and enables us to treat patients with all our Laser treatments throughout the year.

However, we know from experience that it is sometimes best to schedule certain Laser treatments. particularly the more aggressive treatments or when patients have more sensitive skin, in the winter months. The 2 main advantages of having Laser treatments in the cooler weather are that skin reactions are often less severe and when skin reactions do occur, they are typically less socially disruptive.


Skin reactions are generally less severe in winter because the skin is less likely to be tanned before any Laser treatments and after Laser treatments patients are less likely to have sun exposure or be in a hot environment. When the skin is tanned Laser treatments can cause more skin reaction than usual. A tan represents stimulation of the pigments cells (melanocytes) which are mainly in the deep epidermal layer of the skin. When pigment cells have been stimulated through tanning, they are then more reactive to the light and the heat effects of laser treatments. The skin reaction of tanned skin to laser can be quite unpredictable. In some people it can result in uneven darkening of the skin because of increased pigment production (hyperpigmentation). In others it can result in white patches of skin because of a shock effect to the pigment cells causing them to stop producing any natural pigment (hypopigmentation). Most Laser treatments on tanned skin should be avoided until the tan has largely resolved. For example, with laser hair removal treatments we recommend you should wait at least 4 weeks after tanning before having laser treatments.


Reaction after laser treatment on Tanned skin

The heat effects of Laser can potentially be exacerbated and prolonged by hot weather and sun exposure after treatment. Laser is a heat treatment and post treatment swelling and skin reaction, such as prolonged redness, can be exacerbated both in severity and duration with treatments during the hot weather. When we perform Laser treatments during summer, we often recommend rescheduling certain facial treatments on very hot days especially for patients who work outdoors. For example, with Vascular Laser treatments to the face we recommend deferring treatments if the outside temperature is above 30 degrees Celsius.


If body areas are being treated by Laser in the cold weather any skin reaction can be more easily covered by clothing. If facial areas are being treated in winter, then generally any skin reactions after Laser treatments are less inconvenient. There are fewer major social events during winter and generally most people tend to go out less often in winter. A 2019 USA study of 2000 adults found 35% of people said they were more likely to avoid socialising in the winter months compared to summer and 60% admitted to backing out of a social event due to bad weather in winter.


For most Laser treatments there is minimal downtime so the time of year does not matter and it is just about booking an appointment time that suits you. With certain skin types and conditions however, there can be a skin reaction and then downtime after Laser treatment and hence the timing of treatments can be important. Whilst at the Collins Cosmetic Clinic we perform all of our Laser treatments throughout the year, for some Laser treatments, especially facial Laser treatments in patients with sensitive skin, winter can be the best time to schedule treatments. For more information on our range of Laser treatments and when the best time might be for you to have a treatment feel free to ring us on 96545720 , use our contact page contact us or email us on

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