Laser skin rejuvenation in dark skin types

There seems to be an obsession at times with lasers, which are attributed some sort of magic in facial skin rejuvenation. “Laser skin” ranks constantly as one of the more popular search phrases hitting Trinidad Institute of Plastic Surgery’s website http://www.caribbeanplasticsurgery.net.

In dark skin types laser skin rejuvenation is a non option in my opinion as the resulting pigment abnormalities even when using lasers as an abrasion tool such as (fractional) CO2 lasers are prohibitive, particularly in Fitzpatrick V/VI skin types, which is predominant in the Caribbean. A popular way to deceive the costumer in laser skin rejuvenation is what we call the “TriniLaser”, mostly a flash light without any effect. Patients whom we see then for skin rejuvenation at our Caribbean plastic surgery clinic at Trinidad Institute of Plastic Surgery are very astonished about the apparent lack of effect of a modality to which they had attributed so much magic.

The high energy lasers like CO2 lasers, which do have proven anti aging effects in skin rejuvenation in Caucasians kill too many melanin producing cells in dark skinned individuals. Nobody would use those devices for skin rejuvenation in Europe or the US, where they are abundant, in dark skinned people and there is no reason to do so in the Caribbean with a 95% dark skinned population.

Only exception may be very superficial exfoliation with say low energy Er:YAG or similar. But that same effect can be achieved by superficial chemical or medium depth chemical peeling such as the famous Obagi Blue Peel, which we use regularly in (very) dark skinned patients. Obagi and numerous others have made the experience that chemical peeling is much safer and very effective for skin rejuvenation in darker skin tones. We could not agree more.

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Chemical peeling after appropriate skin preparation and in conjunction with a longterm skin care program has provided high rates of satisfaction in our clients from the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Miami, New York, London and Toronto.