Everyone can benefit from laser hair removal. Saving time in the morning and feeling confident that you’re always sundress-ready is a wonderful feeling. That’s why at Reflections we’ve made it our mission to curate a vast collection of laser systems in order to have safe options for any complexion.
Why were laser treatments considered unsafe for deeper skin tones in the past?
Laser hair was originally done using IPL (intense pulsed light) many years ago. Some practices continue to use IPL as a hair removal method even though better options have come along. If you’re familiar with IPL treatments, you may know that they are only safe for Fitzpatrick skin types 1-4. For patients any deeper in complexion than a Fitzpatrick 4, including those with Asian, Indian, or African heritage, this device is not a safe treatment option.
Now with the expansion of technology into Nd:Yag 1064 lasers, patients of all skin colors were able to get hair removal not only safely, but as effectively. This is a really important note, because the first lasers that hit the market could treat skin of color, but they had to be turned down to very low settings in order to be safe – and when they weren’t, that’s when we started seeing bad complications, like burns, from laser hair removal. Unfortunately, many practices still use these older technologies, because they are less expensive for the practice to invest in, and the manufacturers make claims that they work on skin types – which they do, just not effectively. This is where the myth that skin of color can’t have laser hair removal came from. Luckily, Nd:Yag lasers work differently, and are able to be just as effective on the deepest skin tones as some other lasers are for the palest skin.
What laser systems do Reflections have that is safe for Indian skin tones?
Deciding on the right laser system will depend on the Fitzpatrick level of skin tone. Indian skin tones have a range; the very lightest may be a type 4 and the very darkest may be pushing a 6, however, most are likely a 5.
The GentleYAG laser is the type of new technology that Dr. Ellern was referring to when talking about the new developments catering to a wider range of skin types. The GentleYAG laser is especially good for treating patients with darker or sun-tanned skin. Its unique wavelength makes it just as effective on darker skin, while also being completely safe.
Is the treatment process or cycle length any different for Indian skin tones?
The treatment process is the same for all skin types, other than choosing the correct device and settings for each skin tone. The number of treatments needed is no more for any laser treatment based solely on skin color alone.
To deactivate the hair follicles, the wavelength of light targets the pigment of the hair (which must be darker, however slightly, than the skin) heating the hair down to the follicle and killing the hair at the source. All devices require 6-10 treatments spaced apart at regular intervals. Facial treatments are done every 4 to 6 weeks, Body is done every 6 to 8 weeks, and for the legs every 8 to 10 weeks.
What’s important to note here is that the hair you want to have removed has to be darker than its surrounding skin. This really isn’t a problem, usually, except in cases of white and grey hair. If you are unsure, it’s best to just come in for free consultation with the doctor, so they can evaluate you.
Choosing a cosmetic physician for laser hair removal on Indian skin tones
Patients of Indian descent know how sensitive their skin can be, and how easy it is to create dark discoloration, even from something as simple as a pimple or bug bite. Lasers do pose a risk for creating these same kinds of pigmentary changes, so patients are right to be careful when selecting a doctor for their laser treatments.
When having cosmetic skin care treatments done, it is important to do your research on your provider and their training. Highly trained cosmetic physicians will understand how to treat all kinds of skin tones by causing adverse reactions.
Dr. Ellern, as with all of our cosmetic physicians, has received extensive training in how to best treat skin of all colors and tones. Because our Medical Director, Dr. Mitchell Chasin, has become a world-renowned laser specialist who often trains other physicians and consults on the research and development of new lasers, our team of physicians is incredibly knowledgeable about how to use lasers in a safe and effective manner.
Your consultation at Reflections
Laser hair removal is a great way to streamline your grooming routine, giving you one less thing to worry about while getting ready. The best time to have laser hair removal treatments is when your sun exposure will be limited before, during and after treatment cycles. During your free consultation, your cosmetic physician will examine your skin and hair to come up with a treatment plan. Once you’ve set your appointments, it is important that you have your subsequent treatments within the recommended intervals for best results.
If you are interested in learning more about laser hair removal and which laser system is best for your skin type, contact Reflections today to schedule your consultation with one of our physicians.