In Los Angeles it seems as if everyone is tan. With the sun almost constantly shining, it’s hard to avoid getting some color while you’re outside. If you’re considering laser hair removal, however, you might want to stay inside. Why? Laser hair removal works more effectively with lighter skin tones. Though darker skin tones aren’t impossible to work with – trained laser surgeons can use a combination of lasers and techniques to avoid discoloration – there is some risk of skin damage with the procedure.
Los Angeles Brings Out the Best in Laser Surgeons
Let’s face it…with Hollywood within its limits, the Los Angeles area is rife with beauty and cosmetic experts. In fact, some of the world’s best cosmetic and aesthetic surgeons practice in the area. With competition like that, Los Angeles’s laser hair removal surgeons need to be on top of their game. What this means for you is that you can find highly trained specialists that can work with darker pigmented skin with less risk of side effects.
How a Tan Affects the Laser
Skin and hair get their color from melanin, or pigment. Tanning releases melanin into the skin cells to protect them from the sun’s rays. Darker skin tones naturally contain more melanin than lighter skin tones. The lasers used for laser hair removal are designed to target melanin in the hair follicle. The laser creates heat which travels down the hair into the follicle, disrupting its growth. However, the laser doesn’t have the ability to discern between melanin in the skin and melanin in the hair. Your doctor must choose the correct lasers and set them to the correct frequencies to ensure your skin is not affected.
What happens when the skin absorbs the laser rather than the hair? Burning and blistering can result, as well as scarring if burns aren’t treated properly. Fortunately, technology has advanced enough to make the laser hair removal procedure safer for patients with darker skin tones. A laser’s wavelength can be adjusted; the longer the wavelength, the safer it is for melanin-rich skin.
Experience Pays Off
Make sure your Los Angeles-based laser surgeon has a great deal of experience using a laser on your skin type. Talk to this physician about the types of lasers used in his or her practice, and what types are best for your skin. Ask to speak with other patients to get first-hand feedback before you decide to undergo laser hair removal.