Higher Laser Settings Does Not Mean Better Results... Understanding Laser & Skin Types


fitzpatrick scale for Laser Hair Removal

If you've ever had a laser treatment and have heard your medical professional mention settings, he or she is referring to the intensity parameters specific to your skin type and particular treatment (Laser Hair Removal, Photo Facial / Photo Rejuvenation, Veins). Many people are misled in thinking that the higher the intensity, the better the results. The level of intensity is set by the medical professional after determining your skin type to ensure you have a safe, effective and pleasant treatment. Skin typing is analyzed through what is called a Fitzpatrick Scale, with skin types ranging from 1 to 6. Provided are the details below:

1 Pale skin, red hair, light eyes, burns easily and skin never tans.

2 Fair skin, blonde hair, blue, green or hazel eye color, usually burns, sometimes tans.

3 Fair skin, medium to dark hair, hazel to dark eye color, sometimes burns and gradually tans.

4 Olive, Mediterranean or Asian skin tone, rarely burns and tans with ease.

5 Medium brown, Middle Eastern skin tone, very rarely burns, tans very easily.

6 Deep, black skin tone.

It cannot be stressed enough that higher laser parameters will not ensure effective results, but it can put the patient at higher risk of burning, blistering, purpura (bruising) or scarring. If you have darker skin ranking between 3 to 6 on the Fitzpatrick scale, extra caution must be taken and as with all skin types, the laser targets only new hair growth, meaning hair that is actively growing and not in its shedding phase. Read on to learn more about 'How Laser Hair Removal Actually Works'.

If you have any questions regarding the Fitzpatrick Scale or Laser Hair Removal, please call us at (561) 255-0272.

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