Morsani College of Medicine

Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery

Cosmetics and Lasers for Skin of Color

Cosmetics and lasers for skin of color

Open up a cosmetic online forum or an aesthetic magazine and you are bound to read horror stories which recount laser treatments gone wrong on those with skin of color.  Unfortunately, when laser is placed in the hands of poorly trained individuals or an inappropriate device is used, adverse reactions can occur in darker skin types.  The truth is that people who have an olive complexion or even darker skin color can still have a good majority of the laser treatments available to lighter skinned individuals; however, the provider must use the appropriate device for their skin type.  At USF Health Cosmetic & Laser Center, we use 1064 wavelength lasers to treat our patients with darker complexions.  Using this type of device and customized, conservative energy settings, we can treat target lesions such as hair or texture with a much lower risk of causing severe burns or hypo/hyperpigmentation.  With a 1064 wavelength device, we enable our laser to focus on the target and less on the pigment in darker skin. While no procedure is 100% without risk, a conservative approach with the right tools and consistent follow up is the most effective way to prevent complications.

Another common misunderstanding we hear in patients with skin of color is that they have been told there are very few cosmetic treatments appropriate for their skin type. While some treatments may remain off limits, there is still a plethora of cosmetic goodies and procedures that can be used on darker complexions.  In addition to cosmetic procedures, we offer customized skin care plans and products safe for use on skin of color.  At USF Health Cosmetic & Laser Center we can help darker skin types with issues such as:

  • Botox
  • Dermal fillers
  • Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Skin Care
  • Melasma
  • Active acne
  • Acne scarring
  • Oily skin
  • Texture
  • Nail fungus
  • Skin tightening
  • Tattoo removal
  • Hair removal

If you have a darker skin complexion and cosmetic concerns, stop by or call to set up a consultation.  It is important to meet with one of our providers to further assess your skin’s needs and develop a comprehensive plan tailored to your specific skin type.

by:Erika Dare, ARNP-C, cosmetic/dermatology practitioner at USF Health Cosmetic and Laser Center