What can laser hair removal do to a darker skin with a tan?

I'm naturally dark / olive skin and I tan very easily. When I tan it takes months for my tan to fade. I had a consultation regarding laser hair removal and the practitioner at the clinic said it doesn't matter if I tan, as I will be in the category of darker skin any way, with the weaker laser. My question is will my skin get damaged / pigment when it's darker than usual?

Doctor Answers 2

Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

Laser hair removal can be done on darker skin people. To be safely done a 1064 wavelength would be used. Using the 1064 wavelength is has been known to not cause hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. You should not tan one month before or between laser hair removal treatments.

Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

What can laser hair removal do to darker skin with a tan?

Hello, thank you for your question.  Laser hair removal can be done safely on darker skin types with the correct wave length. 1064 wavelength is very successful in treating darker skin types without seeing the pigment in the skin and causing a burn, which can lead to hyper or hypopigmentation.  As far as being tanned, it is best to avoid sun exposure at least 1 week before and 1 week following a laser hair removal treatment. 

Good Luck!

Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 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.