Laser Hair Removal and your Skin Type

fitzpatrick skin type chart with color boxesYour skin type is determined mostly by your ethnicity and heredity, and can vary from person to person.  Melanin is what gives your skin it’s color, and some people simply have more melanin in their skin than others.   When considering laser treatments, your skin type will come into play because not all lasers work on all skin types.

Until recently, the majority of laser treatments, including hair removal, were only deemed for lighter skin types.  Older laser technology tended to damage darker skin, and a majority of Americans were not deemed great candidates.  The new Cynosure Elite Plus laser now gives us the unique ability to treat all skin types due to it’s duel wavelength technology.  Therefore, with having two different lasers we can now create customized treatments for anyone, regardless of their skin type.

Thomas B. Fitzpatrick is the famed doctor that worked on, and published the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale. This scale is the same scale we use today at VADERMA, and is one of the key factors we use to help determine our patients’ skin type and ultimately, their candidacy for laser treatments.

Here are some basic characteristics due to skin type:

  • Skin type 1: You cannot tan without burning if you are a Skin Type I. In North America, less than 5 percent of people fall into this category.
  • Skin type 2: You will sunburn easily, but can develop a tan. The ability to tan differentiates this group from type 1.
  • Skin type 3: You will tan easily, but still sunburn. This is the most common skin type in North America.
  • Skin type 4: You will almost never sunburn, and tan very easily. This is a typical skin type to people from a Hispanic, Middle Eastern, or Asian decent.
  • Skin type 5:  You have brownish skin that darkens when exposed to sunlight. They rarely sunburn and tan very easily. This is the most common skin type of African-Americans.
  • Skin type 6: You have dark brown or black skin that will still darken when exposed to intense sunlight. They almost never sunburn.  This is typical to darker African-Americans.

You can use this skin-type assessment test to see what skin type you are here.

FAQ’s about skin types and Laser Hair Removal

What does skin type have to do with laser hair removal?

Answer:  The laser is attracted to color and if your hair is darker than your skin tone, the laser will target this color in your hair follicles, leaving your skin completely unharmed.

Who is the ideal candidate for laser hair removal?

Answer:  Anyone that has darker hair than their skin. 9 out of 10 Americans are great candidates for laser hair removal.

What laser would you use if I am a lighter skin tone with dark coarse hair?

Answer: The Alexandrite laser is by far the best and most efficient laser today for hair removal.  The combination of lighter skin types and darker hair than skin make the Cynosure Elite Plus a perfect choice.

 What laser would you use if I am a darker skin tone?

Answer: Our long pulse Nd: YAG laser is great for darker skin types.  The ability to treat all skin types is what makes Vaderma different.  Having two lasers is essential to safely treating anyone with unwanted hair.

At your initial consultation, you will given our hassle-free pricing information and what results can be expected. We will go over your medical history, give you a complimentary skin assessment, and deem your candidacy for laser treatments.  If you are a good candidate, you can even start that same day if you would like.

Get started To book a free consultation you can call us at 757-321-0775, or book one on-line at our consultation page.