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    Debunking the myths of laser treatments for darker skin



    More than vanity

    For the past 15 years, laser hair removal has been the most popular noninvasive cosmetic procedure performed at his center, with a minimum of eight sessions, spaced about one month apart. It is part vanity treatment, part medical treatment and part quality of life treatment.

    Patients with tight curly hair have an increased risk of hair bumps or pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB). “Even with the most meticulous hair removal methods such as shaving, plucking, depilatories, waxing and threading, patients with curly hair often acquire PFB. Laser hair removal has been an excellent treatment option for PFB,” Dr. Battle says.

    Of the three FDA-approved laser hair removal wavelengths to treat skin of color — 805-nm, 1060-nm and 1064-nm — Dr. Battle believes the 1064-nm Nd:YAG wavelength is the safest.

    There are many 1064-nm laser manufacturers, but Dr. Battle favors Cynosure, Cutera and Candela, while for the 805-nm diode laser, it is Lumenis, followed by InMode, Solta and Alma.  His choice for the 1060-nm laser is Lumenis, which is relatively closely comparable to the Nd:YAG.

    “Because of the large spot size of the Lumenis LightSheer Infinity 1060-nm laser for large areas like legs and backs and arms, we often gravitate toward that laser,” he says.

    However, it is not just the wavelength that needs to be evaluated. “The mode of cooling is as important,” Dr. Battle says. “Most lasers cool by contact, cryogen spray or air cooling, each with its own nuances.”


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