Lasers in Skin of Color

  • Heather Woolery-Lloyd
  • Nkanyezi Ferguson


The popularity of cutaneous laser surgery has soared, however, the use of lasers in patients with darker skin types has been quite challenging. The main obstacle with cutaneous laser surgery in darker skinned patients is epidermal melanin absorption of laser energy. The absorption spectrum of melanin ranges from 320 to 1200 nm with the greatest absorption observed in the lower end of this spectrum. The main objective in treating patients with skin of color is to avoid epidermal melanin absorption of laser energy and resultant thermal injury. Laser surgery in darker skinned patients must be approached carefully to avoid this unwanted side effect of post inflammatory pigment alteration. In this chapter, we will review the advances in lasers for ethnic skin with special emphasis on the treatment of acne scars, photorejuvenation, skin tightening, hair removal, tattoos, and body contouring.


Cutaneous laser surgery Skin of color Epidermal melanin absorption Acne scars Photorejuvenation Skin tightening Hair removal Body contouring Tattoos 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather Woolery-Lloyd
    • 1
  • Nkanyezi Ferguson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous SurgeryUniversity of Miami, Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Iowa Hospital and ClinicsIowa CityUSA

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