Can you do laser hair removal on dark skin?
Laser hair removal may have an unwarranted reputation for damaging darker skin, but the truth is that advances in laser technology and techniques have made it possible to treat nearly all skin tones and types of hair. One such laser is the GentleYag (a long-pulsed Nd:Yag laser) which effectively and safely treats black and brown skin tones.
Which laser is for me? (Do I have “dark” skin?)
In dermatology we classify all patients as having a certain “Fitzpatrick Skin Type (1 thru 6)”. When we say “dark skin”, we mean patients with skin types 4, 5, or 6 (see chart below). This includes many patients of Latin, Asian, or African descent. But ultimately, the doctor will choose the best laser for your skin type.
|Fitzpatricks Classification (which best describes YOUR skin?):|
|Type I||(very white or freckled) – Always burn, Never Tan|
|Type II||(very white or freckled) – Always burn, Never Tan|
|Type III||(white to olive) – Sometimes burn, Average Tan|
|Type IV||(brown skin) – Rarely burn, Tan with Ease|
|Type V||(dark brown) – Very rarely burn, Tan Very Easily|
|Type VI||(black skin) – Never burn, Tan Very Easily|
Experience treating dark skin:
All of our providers have expertise and extensive experience in treating brown and black skin. Darker skin requires special consideration. For example, African-American women often develop pigmentation on their face (especially their chin) from plucking and shaving. You may need laser hair removal AND a strong prescription fading cream from a specialty pharmacy to achieve the even tone that you desire.
A laser specifically for hair removal on dark skin:
The doctors’ interest and experience in treating dark skin is further exemplified by the fact that they own a laser that is specifically designed to remove hair from dark skin: the GentleYag (a long-pulsed Nd:Yag laser). The key to laser hair removal in brown and black skin is to use a laser that is both SAFE and EFFECTIVE. A long-pulsed Nd:Yag laser is the “gold standard” for safe and effective hair removal in black skin. It is the ONLY laser they would use on type V or VI skin (see above).
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