Is the Palomar 500 Dangerous for Dark Skinned People?

Hi, I have an appointment for laser hair removal treatment. But I am scared of getting burned, I called up the clinic to see what kind of laser they used on dark skins and they said the Palomar 500. So I did some research but couldn't find much details on how effective it is on dark skin. Can you please reassure me or let me know if I shouldn't go through with the treatment. Thanks

Doctor Answers (2)

Laser Hair Removal (Palomar 500) for Darker Skin is Dangerous

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Laser Hair Removal with the Palomar 500 is dangerous for darker skin. In any case, it should first be determined if you are a good candidate for laser hair removal before you start treatment. The industry best practice for determining if you are a good candidate, and what energy level to use is the Fitzpatrick scale. It is best to schedule a consultation to find out where you fall on that scale. At the Victoria Park Medispa we offer complimentary consultations as well as a reduced rate after the initial six treatments (touch-up rate). Remember Laser Hair Removal will never get rid of 100% of the hair; it is a permanent hair reduction and you should be wary of anyone promising otherwise. The permanent reduction should be in the range of 80% to 95%.


Montreal Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

IPL hair removal with a Palomar StarLux can be difficult if your skin is too dark.

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In my practice, we have been using the Palomar IPL system for permanent hair reduction since 2007, and our results have been excellent. The device is approved for darker skin-types, but darker skin is easier to burn. Location is important as well, especially with darker skin types. Underarm and bikini hair responds well in nearly everyone; and these 2 locations have little or no sun-exposure which is beneficial. Coarse, fast-growing facial hair responds well, but a facial burn could be problematic.

You should make sure your physician is experienced in hair removal, and request a "test spot" to be performed in an inconspicuous area to see how your skin will react to IPL treatments.

All the best from NJ.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 278 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.