A: Intense pulse light is not a safe treatment for most patients of African American, and many of Native American, or Hispanic decent. The treatment could cause more damage than improvement possibly with hypo-pigmentation which is the loss of the skin color in areas that are treated. Most of the time I like to use Tazorac and Diamond Glow for dark skin patients because it evens the skin tone without lightening your natural color. Another safe option would be light chemical peels with Salicylic acid once a month in the fall/winter months. To maintain the result and prevent further pigmentation you should wear a daily sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Always avoid laser clinics where you do not see a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Q: Can IPL be used on all skin types?
A: IPL is primarily used for photorejuvenation for sun damaged skin in patients with skin types I. II and III. IPL improves that combination of red and brown blotchiness that is the hallmark of too much sun in your youth. Dilated capillaries, pores and fine lines are also improved after a series of 3-6 sessions. We usually space these sessions every 3 weeks and combine it with a skin care program designed to prevent future damage. People with darker skin types IV-VI, usually will not get the full benefits from IPL since their skin ages differently from people with lighter skin tones. In addition, Intense Pulsed Light is riskier for darker skin types. I would say in general that IPL best serves those with lighter skin tone. Darker skin patients benefit from other devices like Diamond Glow, Clear and Brilliant, and light chemical peels.
More Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Related Questions
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- Intense Pulse Light New Orleans LA - Hi Dr. Lupo, I am a 60 year old African American female; I have dark skin with hyper pigmentation from acne scars. I recently went to a local laser center for a consultation and was recommended that I receive multiple intense pulse light treatments. I am uneasy about this because I know that not all lasers are safe for African American skin. What is your personal opinion on this laser for someone of African American decent?
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Our mission at the Lupo Center is to provide patients with innovative, effective and ethical care to make each person look and feel their personal best. To fulfill our goal, we provide state-of-the-art medical, surgical and cosmetic treatments to all patients.
Board certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology Mary P. Lupo, MD has been a leader in the field of non-surgical rejuvenation since 1983. She travels internationally to teach her innovative techniques, and her reputation brings in patients from around the country. She started the first formal residency training program for injectables and peels in 1983 at Tulane Medical School and served as past president of Women’s Dermatologic Society, adjunct professor of dermatology at Tulane and a founder of Cosmetic Boot Camp. Dr. Lupo holds membership in many prestigious dermatology associations, participates in clinical trials for approval of new drugs and devices and acts as an advisor for numerous aesthetic-minded companies.