Pulsed-Dye Laser for Asian Skin Acne Scarring

Happy new years everyone! I am a 26 year old male half Italian and half Japanese with mild acne scarring.My dermatologist said he would use Pulsed-Dye Laser on my scarring but there is a chance I could get post hyper pigmentation because of my asian skin.He also told me to lose my tan before I come back. I'm very light skinned/pale naturally but in the summer I get pretty dark due to working in the sun.Would you guys recommend PDL treatment for me? Would hyper pigmentation be permanent?Thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Treating Acne Scars with Pulsed Dye Laser in Asian Skin

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It is important to make a distinction between true acne scars and discoloration from acne breakouts.  True acne scars will need to be treated with a resurfacing laser (not a pulsed dye laser), or other methods to "fill in" the scar.  The pulsed dye laser (Vbeam, etc) is effective in many patients who have pink, purple, or red discoloration from previous acne.  It is safe on Asian skin, as long as the settings are adjusted appropriately. You should always see a provider experienced with lasers and treating patients of all skin types.  There are also topical bleaching creams such as hydroquinone that can effective reduce the discoloration of acne.  

Pulsed-Dye Laser Can Work for Asian Skin

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Acne scarring on Asian skin may be treated by a Pulsed-Dye laser. The results cannot be predicted without a consultation. The effectiveness really depends on the darkness of your skin. Lighter skin will generally have a quicker result as fewer treatments at a higher intensity may be administered. When the skin is dark, it becomes difficult and a longer process with more treatments with a lower energy.

When you are ready to undergo any aesthetic procedure, it is best to have a consultation with a board certified cosmetic doctor or dermatologist who you trust. They will give you the honest answers for your unique situation (your starting point, your objectives and your budget). It is at this consultation that you will really find out if this is a good procedure for you.

At the Victoria Park Medispa, we take off the consultation fee from any appointment booked, therefore reducing a client’s risk of having a treatment performed without taking the time to think about what they really want. Any aesthetic tool needs to be in the right hands, to achieve the best possible results.

Steven Bernstein, MD
Montreal Dermatologic Surgeon

Pulsed Dye Laser for Asians?

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Hi Andrew.  Before we comment on whether or not the pulsed dye laser is appropriate for you, we would like to know if your MD is treating red based scars.  Pulsed dye lasers are most commonly used and are best for vascular (red) acne scars, as opposed to textured scars.

Your practitioner is correct in letting you know about hyperpigmentation and also that you should get this treatment when you are NOT tanned.  Hyperpgimentation is generally not permanent, but you should not undergo this treatment in the summer when you have lots of sun exposure.  You are a candidate and we commonly treat Asians with pulsed dye lasers.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 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.