Myth Buster- Dark Skin and Laser

By 19 October 2018 Articles & Media

Laser treatments have been around in the beauty and medical aesthetics industry for many years and many people have often been hesitant to explore that avenue from either lack of knowledge or the fear of the unknown. A valid question that is often raised is, “Would that be safe for my color skin?”. I have put together this article to bust some of the myths about treating dark skin and laser.


What Are Differences between Light and Dark Skin?

As laser’s were first introduced into the industry it was a new concept and technology that many had to still become familiar with whilst learning how to treat skin both safely and effectively. As everyone’s skin is similarly structured, the only distinctive differentiating factor was the amount of color, also known as melanin, was found in the skin making it either lighter or darker. Whilst lighter skins had less melanin it made it easier to remove excess pigmentation found in the skin or target darker hair’s found in the follicles. This concept was more difficult when treating darker skins as both the hair and skin contains melanin, which made it difficult for the laser to tell the difference between the two, therefore adding too much heat to the surface of the skin.

Old Technology vs New Technology:

As laser treatments deliver a certain amount of heat into the darker areas of the skin to treat either hair or excess hyper-pigmentation, earlier models often lacked the ability to differentiate the color of the skin from the targeted treatment area which often lead to a build-up of heat in darker skin, making the treatment uncomfortable and not getting the desired effects. Laser has evolved over the years, updating its technology by implementing cooling systems to make laser treatments safe and effective for all skin types to be able to treat most skin concerns.

Indications for Laser:

Our skins continue to function and grow every single day and as we grow to be more aware of the changes your skin goes through you may have noticed some things that have either developed over time or you’ve lived with it your entire life. Laser has become a multi-faceted treatment that is able to treat most skin concerns often found on dark skin types such as:

  • DPN (Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra)
  • Skin Tags
  • Hair Removal (For both men and woman)
  • Ingrown Hairs
  • Acne and Acne Scarring
  • Freckles/ Hyper-pigmentation
  • Port Wine Stain
  • Keloid Scars

Myths About Darker Skin Tones:

1. No Sun Protection Needed for Darker Skin Types

Darker skin types do to a point have the upper hand on having a natural sun protection factor because of the melanin that is naturally found in the skin. However darker skin can still burn and develop blemish marks/pigmentation if they are not protected further while using an SPF and sun protective clothing.

2. Laser or Chemical Peels can’t be done on Darker Skins

Darker skins can most certainly have laser and chemical peels done. As laser technology and peel ingredients have become so advanced, offering a much wider variety of treatments to treating dark skin concerns effectively and safely.

3. The Darker our Skin, The Less we Age

It is often a process that is delayed in darker skins but all skins however at some point do age. It is important to ensure that the health of the skin is well maintained through skin treatments and effective home care.

What lasers are safe for dark skin?

Nd:YAG: 

This laser is a more familiar name that is frequently used amongst dark skin individuals as it has been around in the industry for many years and has always been considered to be a much safer option for hair removal for darker skins. The Nd:YAG laser uses a long pulse to target dark superficial as well as deeper

Hairs within the follicles. Whilst heat is added directly to the hair a cooling system is in place to ensure that the temperature of the skin stays consistently low. This treatment is better suited for individuals with dark and thick hair.

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Broad Band Light (BBL):

BBL is a much newer technology in comparison to the above mentioned laser as it incorporates the use of smart filters that target to a specific depth within the skin to treat specific concerns such as pigmentation, acne, skin tightening and hair removal. The BBL also regulates the surface temperature of the skin during treatment, making it safe for treating most dark skin concerns. This form of treatment is better suited for hair removal maintenance once the hair has become too light for the Nd:YAG to treat. It is also effective in treating freckles and blemish marks for most, given that the individual’s skin is suitable for the treatment.

CO2 Laser Resurfacing:

This form of laser uses that uses light energy to treat one spot per shot, allowing for a more precise and controlled treatment to effectively remove and treat smaller areas such as skin tags, DPN and Acne scars.

Profractional XC:

This form of laser uses the newest technology to create small micro-channels within the skin to stimulate collagen production for tighter and youthful looking skin. It is also an extremely effective technique used to break down old scar tissue to promote the skin to heal correctly, creating a smoother and more even appearance. This treatment is able to work much deeper into the skin to promote a longer lasting result.

At Dermology we pride ourselves in treating all skin’s safely and effectively and invite you to come explore that new avenue where we can help you in taking your skin to better and more Beautiful places.

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