Thursday, October 30, 2008

A few thoughts on laser hair removal & dark skin

Colin Stewart of In Your Face out in California had a great post the other day about laser hair removal for darker-skinned patients. From the article:

"Devices that have been FDA-approved for removing hair from darker-skinned people, Dierickx said, include:

  • LightSheer diode laser from Coherent
  • SLP diode laser from Palomar
  • CoolGlide Nd-YAG laser from Cutera (photo below)
  • A new generation of Lyra Nd-YAG lasers from Laserscope
  • GentleYAG Nd-YAG laser from Candela
  • Filtered Flashlamp IPL from ESC

Hair removal treatments can produce burns, scarring, or pigment changes in patients with darker skin, said dermatologist Dr. Teresa Soriano, associate clinical professor of dermatology and co-director of the Dermatologic Surgery and Laser Center at UCLA.

“However, the advent of longer wavelength devices with longer pulse durations has made laser-assisted hair removal safe and effective in persons with darker skin,” she told the Dermatology Times."

Laser hair removal for darker skinned patients (including people with dark tans, which is quite common in Boca) is challenging, but combining the right tools with experienced hands leads to satisfied patients.

We use a 1064nm Nd:YAG laser that is very safe, thanks to its longer wavelength. Most of our darker skinned patients have hair that grows curly and can get ingrown and infected very easily, which makes this procedure very necessary.

If you have darker skin and are interested in this, make sure you ask about a longer wavelength laser! Dr. Goldberg, who literally wrote the only textbook on laser hair removal, recently had a patient who is a professional model. Unfortunately, she had bad scars from a previous doctor's laser work, which can happen if you don't go to an expert. Once Dr. Goldberg switched the model to the right laser, she had great results.

Dr. Jason Pozner
Sanctuary Plastic Surgery

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