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Laser-assisted hair removal for patients with skin of color

October 14, 2008 |

Advances in technology have allowed popular cutaneous laser surgery procedures to be performed safely and effectively in persons with skin of color, according to Teresa Soriano, M.D. “Unwanted absorption of laser energy by epidermal melanin in darker skin types increases risks of thermal injury, postinflammatory pigmentatary alterations and scarring,” she says. “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.

“In addition, with its unique delivery of energy, erbium nonablative fractional photothermolysis offers a viable method for photorejuvenation and treatment of atrophic and acne scars,” adds Dr. Soriano, associate clinical professor of dermatology and co-director, Dermatologic Surgery and Laser Center, University of California, Los Angeles.



Laser-assisted hair removal in skin of color is performed using an 800 nm diode laser with a 100 ms pulse duration or long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser.

Patients are counseled that multiple treatments will be necessary, but no specifics on the number of sessions or interval between them should be provided.

“These variables differ among individuals, and so we tell patients simply to return for the next session when there is enough hair growth to retreat,” Dr. Soriano tells Dermatology Times.

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