Advances in laser hair removal in skin of color
Laser hair removal, previously contraindicated in patients with ethnically dark (phototypes IV–VI) or sun-tanned skin, is now recognized as a safe and effective method of permanent hair reduction in all patients. Longer wavelengths, conservative fluences, longer pulse durations and appropriate cooling methods are necessary to minimize untoward side effects and maximize efficacy. The longer-wavelength Nd:YAG laser is considered safest in treating darker skin of color. An added benefit of laser epilation is that side effects of conventional hair removal such as pseudo-folliculitis barbae and post inflammatory dyspigmentation, more commonly seen in skin of color, may also respond favorably to the laser, thus increasing the potential for patient satisfaction.
J Drugs Dermatol. 2011;10(11):1235-1239.