Treatments for Dark Complexions with Age Spots?

Is the Fraxel laser procedure the best choice for me to get clearer looking skin on my hands and face? My skin is dark.

Doctor Answers (3)

Fraxel Laser For Dark Skin and Age Spots

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In the past, Fraxel was not recommended for patients of color. All light therapies including lasers involve the absorption of light by a particular target such as pigment. Individuals with darker skin have more melanin. So they have the capacity to absorb more light which overheats the skin, causing scarring.

However,  as a rule of thumb, different laser wavelengths produce different effects.

Fraxel Dual is a relatively recent advancement in the family of Fraxel lasers. It uses the 1550nm and 1927nm wavelengths which are safe for all skin tones. The laser works on issues like age spots by breaking up the melanin pigment so that the body can eliminate it as waste.

Take a look at this video of a patient who has a warm skin tone. She received a Fraxel Dual treatment to clear brown spots on her face.


Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Reducing brown spots in dark skinned individuals

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The Fraxel laser can safely be used in darker skinned individuals when the proper precautions are taken. I would make sure you are on Retin A, and a akin bleaching cream at least a month prior to the treatment. Also anti-inflamatories have proven to help reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. Sometimes it is helpful to do a test patch to see how your skin will respond prior to doing the full face.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

If you have skin types I thru IV, age spots can be removed with lasers, IPL or Chemical peels.

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The treatment device needs to be appropriate for you skin type.  Lasers, IPL or chemical peels can be used safely in skilled hands to remove age spots on darker skin types.  Don't go to an inexperienced medispa with one-laser-fits-all!

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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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.