Laser Resurfacing for Hispanic Skin?

Hi I'm looking into using laser resurfacing to get rid of smile lines I'm 32 years old with olive skin and I would like to know what laser would be good for me?

Doctor Answers 5

Smoothing out Smile lines for ethnic skin

While Laser Resurfacing can be quite helpful, combination of Botox or Dysport to minimize exacerbated facial expression and filler injection to replenish lost volume can be effective to minimize smile lines. All three approaches are considered minimally invasive, and can be synergistic under the care of an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Pre-treatment with bleaching cream and/or topical retinoid would be a must for all darker skin individuals contemplating laser resurfacing such as Fractional CO2 laser.

Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Fraxel restore laser for resurfacing of olive and dark skin types

To effectively but safely treat dark skin, olive or darker, the safest resurfacing laser can still cause postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (darker skin). The Fraxel Restore laser has the longest track record of treating melasma which is a condition that involves darker skin and is sthe safest in treating this condition, but does not guarantee that darkening won't occur after treatment.  Test spots may be used before treatment to see the reaction in your individual skin. Sunscreens are important and skin lightening creams may be needed after before, possibly, and after the treatment to decrease the amount of postinflammatory hyperpigmenation that may result.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Getting rid of smile lines


You can use Fraxel safely on Hispanic skin to stimulate collagen and improve smile lines.  Fillers like Restylane and Juvederm can improve some areas but are hard to use if the smile lines are very fine.  Botox can also be used to improve this area in low doses.  In many cases, I combine the treatments for optimal results. 

Best to have an experienced dermatologic surgeon or plastic surgeon look at the area you want treated and offer recommendations.  Good luck to you. 

Tomi L. Wall, MD
Oakland Dermatologic Surgeon

Fillers work better than lasers for smile lines

Smile lines form due to a soft tissue and bone loss in the face.  Replacing volume in the mid and lateral cheek, as well as in the smile lines themselves will help minimize them.

As far as laser resurfacing that is safe and effective for olive skin, fractional erbium laser can be used safely on all types of skin for improvement of texture and wrinkle reduction.  On skin types IV through VI, I have my patients use a hydroquinone cream for two weeks prior to and two weeks after the laser resurfacing procedure as well as have them follow a strict skin care and sun avoidance regimen to minimize any chance of discoloration.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Olive skin and facial resurfacing

Any laser can cause hyperpigmentation but the fraxel would be the least likely to do so.  I would certainly pretreat the skin for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment in order to minimize the risk.

One other thing to consider - you can use a soft filler like juvederm to increase the "glide plane" between the skin and the underlying muscle.  By doing this you can decrease the wrinkles both at rest and with motion - probably not perfect but a different way to approach it and it allows you to avoid the risks of laser treatment.

Douglas M. Stevens, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.