Mixed Ancestry Laser Hair Removal?

I have half Native American ancestry, and half white. But my skin is very fair. During my consultation I was told it doesnt matter if my skin is the same paleness as somebody who is of all 'white' ancestry, I will still be categorised as a "4" because I have Native ancestry. Should I be worried, or is this true?

Doctor Answers 3

What Skin Type am I?

Hi Jezebel.  Caucasian skin types are 1 or 2 and Native American are a 4.  So, it's very likely that you are at minimum a 3 and very possibly a 4.  Using skin type 4 usually means that the practitioner will take a more conservative approach to the process because darker skin types generally have more risk of side effects using Diode or Alexandrite lasers.  

We think the approach taken was correct.  The practitioner can always go up in energy if you are not getting the right result, but if they start too high, you cannot undo a burn or blister.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

What skin type am I?

In my opinion it is always best for a technician to be safer, and start with a higher skin typing for a person, than overly aggressive and everyone ends up unhappy, and you are burned. So, while a Caucasian is normally a 1 or 2, and a Native American is usually a 4, split the difference and you'd end up a 3. The settings really aren't that crazy different between a 3 and a 4, but it is best to start more conservative and your technician to reassess as your treatments go on, than start too high and burn you severely.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Skin typing and hair removal

Whether you are a type 3 or 4 doesn't matter as much as your ethnicity, in my opinion. If you want safe hair removal, I would see a physician who has a long pulsed ND:YAG for hair removal since it is relatively safe on all skin types. Good luck

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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