Wendy Roberts, MD, Cheryl Burgess, MD, Dr. Arusha Campbell-Chambers, Suneel Chilukuri, MD, Michelle Henry, MD, Nazanin Saedi, MD
Individuals with skin of color (SOC) are among the most rapidly growing portion of the cosmetic procedures market.1 In 2016, ethnic minorities received 24.5% of total cosmetic procedures compared to 22% in 2014 and 15% in 1997.1,2 SOC denotes people of Fitzpatrick skin types IV through VI. Worldwide, these groups include Asians, Latinos, Africans, African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Native Americans, Middle Easterners, Pacific Islanders, Alaskan natives, Native Hawaiians, and Mediterraneans.3
Lasers in Skin of Color
In SOC patients, medical and aesthetic skin conditions have been treated with limited success using topical or systemic therapies. These disorders are also difficult to treat with light-based therapy due to significant risks of treatment pain, epidermal burns, and hypo- or hyper-pigmentation. Physicians continue to search for a go-to device to safely and effectively treat skin conditions in SOC patients.
Such a device is the 650-microsecond 1064-nm laser (LightPod Neo®, Aerolase Corp., Tarrytown, NY) with a collimated beam of light. With this device, practitioners can safely treat important conditions such as acne, melasma, pseudofolliculitis barbae, and even psoriasis in SOC patients. They can also remove hair and rejuvenate skin. The procedure is rapid and sanitary because the handpiece does not touch the skin during treatment.