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Are Laser and Light Treatments Safe for Skin of Color?

Posted March 16, 2021 in Fractional Laser Treatments, Laser Treatments

2 Minute Read: 

As you are probably aware, not all skin types—and skin shades—can be treated the same. Skin treatments work best when considering a person’s unique skin persona—skin color, skin type, and skin problems.

In recent years, laser and light treatments have become incredibly popular. However, many people are under the impression that these treatments are not safe for skin of color. 

Woman with skin of color getting a laser treatment on her chin.

Well, the answer is both yes and no. 

Defining “Skin of Color”

The Skin of Color Society was established in 2004 “to promote awareness and excellence within the area of special interest in dermatology—skin of color.” 

This organization understands that most people in the United States don’t have white skin; they have pigmented skin (skin of color). And skin treatments should be considering how results will differ for white versus pigmented skin. 

Skin of color refers to people with skin tones that are tan, olive, brown, or black.

Are Laser and Light Treatments Safe for Skin of Color?

The simple answer is yes. These treatments are safe for skin of color—if done correctly. 

Patients need to be very careful about the type of treatment they are getting and who they are getting treatment from. Make sure you book your treatments with a board-certified doctor who can show before-and after-photos that prove they have safely worked with skin of color before, especially with patients who look like you. 

Every skin tone is slightly different, so you want to ensure that your provider has achieved ideal results with others of similar skin color.

What Types of Laser Treatments Should be Avoided?

Certain light-based modalities can be harmful to skin of color. Luckily, with the right guidance, patients can make a safe and satisfying choice when selecting their treatments.

Lasers can cause permanent scarring and marks on darker skin tones. That is because putting heat on a skin type that already has a tendency to pigment will only make the problem worse. Skin of color patients should avoid some Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments, Fraxel lasers, and lasers with a shorter wavelength. 

The wrong treatment can cause post-inflammatory pigmentation.

What Laser and Light Treatments Are Safe for Skin of Color?

Skin of color patients should seek laser and light treatments that use a longer wavelength. This means that the energy does not affect the top layer of the skin, which is prone to hyperpigmentation and other damage.

Some lasers that are safe for skin of color include the triniti™ Plus, the elōs® SUBLIME, the elōs® Sublative RF, and LaseMD™ laser systems

Interested in Learning More?

The Aspire MediSpa clinic is proud to offer laser treatments that are safe for skin of color. Book a consultation to discuss your concerns and find out more. 

Schedule an appointment by calling 559-435-8477 or filling out this form.