It’s natural to have fears or concerns about any treatment that removes unwanted hair, wrinkles or other skin problems. This is especially true if you have darker skin.
But though this may have been true in the past, recent advancements in laser technologies have caused an explosion in the demand for laser hair removal treatments by consumers with darker skin types and tones. As long as you take some precautions, your results should still be excellent. Before agreeing to undergo laser hair removal, there are some things you should know:
- If you’re considering laser hair removal, consider this: it’s not always a sure thing. While the results can be great, if you’re treated with the wrong laser or if it’s on the wrong setting, you won’t get the maximum hair reduction. And you might end up with burns, hyperpigmentation, and even increased hair growth.
- Make sure you see an experienced, reputable aesthetician or dermatologist. Many state medical boards allow non-physicians to use lasers, and there’s little oversight of the many aestheticians performing treatments.
- Always ensure that the laser hair removal technician matches the appropriate laser with your skin tone. The technician should be able to articulate why a particular laser is the best match for you, taking into account your skin tone, hair texture, and color. For individuals with darker skin and hair, lasers such as the Nd:YAG laser can safely and effectively eliminate unwanted hair. The Nd:YAG laser has a longer wavelength, and is highly sensitive to all color and melanin. This means it can more precisely penetrate hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissue.
- Be aware of potential side effects, and inform your physician if you experience any problems. Blisters are rare but are more likely in people with darker complexions. Other potential side effects are swelling, redness and scarring. Permanent scarring or changes in skin color are rare.
- Remember to care for your skin afterward and to follow all aftercare instructions. It’s especially important to avoid direct sun exposure. You should also wear sunblock with a high SPF for several weeks afterward. If you don’t use SPF, and you have darker skin, you may be at an increased risk of hypo-or hyperpigmentation.
- Laser hair removal isn’t effective on very light colored or white hair. Even the more advanced laser technologies, like the Nd:YAG, which is effective on all skin types and tones, requires that your hair have some sort of pigment. Attempts to dye the hair follicle before laser hair removal have been unsuccessful. If you have light colored hair, you should seek out other hair removal methods, such as electrolysis or waxing.
- Be aware that some skin types aren’t suitable for laser hair removal. People who suffer from conditions such as keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring are not suitable for laser hair removal treatment. African Americans tend to be at an increased risk of keloid scarring. Laser treatment on such skin can result in serious complications and scarring.
- Some medications can make you more susceptible to scarring after laser hair removal treatment. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is the most common drug in this category. It is advised that you stop taking this drug at least six months to a year before having laser hair removal treatment. Patients who are taking the drug and have laser hair removal treatment are likely to get atypical scarring.
Are you interested in learning more about laser hair removal? Then visit your local LaserAway. We use only the most cutting-edge technology, including the Nd: YAG laser, which is suitable for all skin types and tones. We aim to make your medical spa experience comfortable, enjoyable and satisfying. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by emailing LaserAway.com or calling the staff at LaserAway at (888) 965-2737. LaserAway looks forward to making sure you never have to shave or wax again.