Your guide to laser treatments for darker skin tones
Lasers are totally amazing! One of the top nonsurgical cosmetic treatments in the US, lasers can soften scars, erase blotchiness, remove hair, and tighten skin. But, lasers weren't always accessible to everyone. For decades, they were exclusively recommended for lighter skin tones. That's because the lasers that were used often targeted pigment in the skin. In the past, this damaged dark skin, increasing the risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation.
The good news is that lasers have come a long way since then! Today, they are safe and effective on almost all skin types and most skin and hair combinations. Here's everything you should know about laser treatments if you have darker skin.
Laser treatment for redness
The V-Beam is a pulsed-dye laser that tackles red pigment, like the redness found in spider veins and rosacea. Instead of dismissing this laser as an option for darker skin tones, it can be used on nearly all complexions if its speed and temperature are dialed down. If you have doubts, you can always request that a test be done somewhere unnoticeable, like underneath the jawline.
Laser for dark skin hyperpigmentation
The pico laser, known by its brand names as PicoWay, PicoSure, and Pico Genesis, zaps away sun spots, scars, hyperpigmentation, and birthmarks on pretty much any skin tone. Its pulses are faster and less heat-generating than previous models, which means there's less of a risk of scarring on darker skin tones.
Laser treatment for stretch marks
The Palomar 1540-nanometer fractional laser is used to treat stretch marks. It works by creating columns of light that penetrate a millimeter or more into the skin. This causes the skin to produce more collagen below and around the surface, diffusing the look of stretch marks. Those with darker skin can explore this as an option, as long as they take a slow and steady approach. According to most dermatologists, it's safest to deliver energy to darker skin at slower, less traumatic speeds.
Laser hair removal
Nd:YAG lasers, such as Cutera Excel HR 1064, Cynosure Apogee Elite, and Sciton Joule 1064, are used for laser hair removal. They are great alternatives to older pigment-targeting lasers. While these lasers still target melanin, they focus on the hair follicle rather than the skin surface above, allowing dark skin tones to be treated safely.
Laser skin resurfacing
Fractional lasers, like Fraxel and Clear + Brilliant, stimulate new collagen, resulting in smoother, firmer skin. These lasers are safe and effective on all skin types and tones. But, since the skin is still being hit with heat and energy, there is always a risk of hyperpigmentation. In general, Clear + Brilliant tends to be gentler and requires less recovery time compared to Fraxel since it doesn't penetrate the skin as deep. Topical therapies, like hydroquinone, can help minimize hyperpigmentation by relaxing pigment-making cells.
Can't decide which treatment is right for you? Leave it to the skin experts
Want to learn more about these laser treatments? Contact your local LaserAway today to begin your journey towards your healthiest skin yet. Using innovative techniques and cutting-edge laser technology, LaserAway aims to make every experience comfortable, enjoyable, and satisfying. Plus, all treatments are performed by registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or physician associates. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today at LaserAway.com.