If you are considering laser hair removal, one of the questions that you may ask is whether or not it’s safe for your skin tone. At Laser Affair, our professionals provide laser hair removal for all skin types. However, doing so requires the appropriate laser and an experienced provider.
Let’s explore different skin tones and how laser hair removal can be used as an easy, safe, and convenient grooming method.
Laser Hair Removal and The Fitzpatrick Scale
Laser hair removal technology has come a long way since its inception. Previously, the Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV were considered the ideal laser hair removal candidates. This skin type includes people with light to medium pigmented skin and medium to dark-colored hair.
The Fitzpatrick Scale, which may also be called the Fitzpatrick Skin Typing Test or the Fitzpatrick Photo-Typing Scale, is a method of classifying the color of skin numerically. Created in 1975 by a Harvard dermatologist named Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, the purpose of this scale is to classify skin types’ responses to UV light. Be sure to note that skin type doesn’t change, as tanning from the sun changes the pigmentation, not the type.
Skin Types on the Fitzpatrick Scale are as follows:
- Type I: always burns, doesn’t tan
- Type II: burns easily, tans minimally
- Type III: sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown
- Type IV: burns minimally, always tans to moderate brown
- Type V: rarely burns, tans wells
- Type VI: never burns, deeply pigmented
In laser hair removal, we will consider your skin type on the Fitzpatrick Scale to determine the safest, most effective laser for you. The melanin, or color, in the hair shaft, is the natural target of the laser in hair removal. Additionally, the wavelength of a laser dictates the target for that specific laser. There’s also melanin in the epidermis of the skin. So, if the wrong laser wavelength is chosen for the patient’s skin type, the amount of melanin in the skin may challenge the energy of the laser. This can sabotage the results of treatment and increase the risk of skin damage.
At Laser Affair, we’ll match the laser’s wavelength, fluence, and pulse width to your skin type for the best possible results. Contact us today to learn more!