Laser Hair Removal for Skin of Color
More than a third of the US population is comprised of people of color. The bulk of aesthetic products and laser treatments in the marketplace are not designed for ethnic consumers and are largely ineffective or even harmful for people of color.
People of color have unique skin and hair conditions related to hair growth, and frequently have more pigmentation problems related to previous trauma, hormones, or sun exposure. Some of these conditions are post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, and dermatosis papulosa nigra.
Excessive hair is a common problem among people of color. Tightly curled hair frequently causes ingrown hairs and result in painful "razor bumps" that can occur in any area of the body that is shaved. These razor bumps can lead to hyperpigmentation or darker spots in the areas that were previously inflamed.
Traditional hair removal lasers are not ideal for treating people of color. As a matter of fact: People of color will have complications from any lasers in unskilled hands that lack sufficient knowledge regarding ethic skin. The laser wavelengths that are used in many of the traditional lasers are attracted to melanin, and since the melanin content in ethnic skin is higher than that of fair skinned people, people of color sustain more adverse effects such as burning, blistering, pigmentation changes, and scarring.
This has led to the perpetuation of rumors that lasers cannot treat dark skin. In reality, darker skin responds differently to cosmetic anti-aging and surgical procedures and requires a new and innovative approach.
While lasers have been used successfully to remove excessive hair in people with light skin for many years, only recently, with the advent of "color-blind" lasers, are they becoming a good option for people with darker skin. Because darker skin attracts more of the light from short wavelength lasers, using them on people with skin of color can cause side effects such as blistering, changes in skin pigment, and scarring.
With the latest FDA approved laser technology, ethnic skin can be treated safely and with good results. These new lasers are "color-blind" and are not attracted to the melanin of the skin to the extent that the traditional hair removal lasers are. These new color blind lasers use a longer wavelength that penetrates deeper into the skin, minimizing potential adverse effects while simultaneously providing aggressive cooling to prevent discoloration of the natural pigment. These lasers are safe and effective for helping people with skin of color eliminate unwanted hair. They also are being used for skin rejuvenation and scar therapy.
Doctors Chandra Britt Armstrong and Joan Harden both have extensive experience treating people of color. Their experience enables them to recognize that ethnic skin has subtle differences even within each ethnicity.
Since 2005 our physicians have performed countless hair removal procedures providing excellent results to their patients. They have focused on becoming experts in treating ethnic skin and have studied with well-known laser physician researchers including Dr. Eliot Battle and Dr. Monte O. Harris. Our Board Certified Physicians thoroughly understand the unique responses of ethnic skin and prides themselves on their expertise in treating skin of color.