Posted by: Lena | 2008/06/19

bikini line scars - options?

Hi doc I'm sure you've seen what happens to black skin which undergoes hair removal - bumps, scars, ingrowns, hyperpigmentation, the lot. I am a 34 yr old woman with the same problem on and around my bikini line which black men get on the face. No method of hair removal spares me bumps and ingrowns, including waxing. I exfoliate regularly and stil suffer the problem. Its totally ruined my love life as I feel too ashamed to be naked.
I've heard my best bet might be to have the hair lasered away then again use laser to treate the dark spots. But i am told not every laser is safe for black skin. What laser do you recommend for the two treatments, hair removal and scar removal? Would the whole process take very long and what costs can I expect (estimate)

thanks so much


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageAnti-ageing expert

Hi Lena, thank you for the question and sorry for the delay with your answer.

Hyperpigmentation and scarring is more prevalent with darker skin types following inflammatory reactions and as a result one should be careful especially when considering laser hair removal, scar removal, pigment removal and other procedures that may cause a localized reaction.
Two broad groups of lasers are considered to be safe for hair removal in darker skinned individuals:
The Nd: Yag laser systems: CoolGlide, Medlite IV, Varia, Athos, Lyra, and Image – not enough studies have been done to completely verify the effectiveness of Nd: Yag laser systems with hair removal and dark skinned patients.
The Diode laser systems: Syneron elight and emax, SLP 1000, F1 Diode, Light Sheer, MeDioStar, LaserLite, Epistar and Apex 800.

My preference is the Syneron emax (diode laser and IPL/Bi-Polar Radiofrequency technology) or elight (IPL/Bi-Polar Radiofrequency technology only) as this is the technology I have the most experience with. We have safely removed hair in darker skinned patients with no pigmentory changes thus far. Furthermore, this is the only technology I know of that does not use pigment as a modality to focus energy for hair removal and therefore this increases the safety of the procedure. The emax uses a non-ablative fractional diode laser (Matrix IR) for wrinkle and scar removal that can be safely used on darker skinned individuals.
Unfortunately it is difficult to even estimate the duration this would take but an average indication is 5 to 10 sessions for the hair removal, 3 to 5 sessions for the pigment and scar removal.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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