Why it's taken so long to create lasers for dark skin
23rd June 2015
Since its approval by the FDA in 1997, laser hair removal has improved significantly, both in its effectiveness and efficiency. The first-laser based hair removal system was ruby-based and wasn’t welcomed with much enthusiasm as it was slow and only suitable for those with very light coloured skin and dark hairs.
This is because the rays targeted the melanin that pigments the hair, and unlike fair skin, darker skin tones contain melanin in both the skin and hair. Darker skin would therefore require higher‑precision devices that can distinguish between melanin in the hair and melanin in the skin. Whether the skin is suitable for laser is usually determined by the Fitzpatrick Scale (see below).
After significant research into Ethnic Dermatology, mostly conducted in the USA and with the help of advanced technology, the Nd Yag laser was formed. This works by by-passing the surface of the skin and targeting the melanin n the root hair, therefore damaging the root itself by heating up its blood supply. As a result, patients can witness the impressive results of finer, softer and lower quantities of hair.
Sk:n Clinics also specialize in performing laser hair removal on Asian skin as pale skin with high pigmentation can be more tricky suggesting that the treatment is most effective on darker skin types. Talk to one of our dermatologists about whether laser hair removal is suitable for you.