Are the ALMA Soprano Lasers Good for Dark Skin?

are the ALMA Soprano lasers good for dark skin? for hair removal?

Doctor Answers 6

Best Laser Hair Removal Laser for Dark Skin Types

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The safest laser hair removal laser for patients with darker skin types is a 1064nm Nd:Yag laser.  Particularly for patients with darker skin types, it is important to have laser hair removal performed in a doctor's office, so that the wrong laser isn't used for the treatment.  Laser hair removal lasers target melanin (pigmented cells) in the hair, but can also affect the melanin cells in the skin, which can lead to burns and even scarring.  The Alma Soprano laser is an 810nm laser, which is sometimes used for laser hair removal on patients with darker skin types, but is not the safest option.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Alma Soprano Works for Dark Skin, but Other Lasers Preferred

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As a rule, we all recommend lasers that have a wavelength of 1064 nm for most of our dark-skinned patients. These lasers are the safest for dark skin but may take longer – more sessions – to achieve the results we are all after.

The Soprano as we know it is an 810 nm diode and is FDA cleared to treat all skin types so theoretically it can be used, in reality it has been used, and thus can be used by skilled technicians to treat unwanted hair. So the answer is yes, but most would start with something else.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

What laser is better for dark skin for hair removal?

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Hello, thanks for your question!


Laser machines use certain wavelengths of energy to heat and distort the hair follicle while limiting damage to the surface of the skin. It is well established that longer wavelengths are better suited to those with darker skin types. I cannot speak for this particular product which is an 810nm wavelength laser, but the ideal laser for darker skin for hair removal is the nD:YAG 1040nm laser and this has been proven in clinical trials. We have the Cutera 1064nm laser for hair removal and it has worked well for all skin types, but best for darker skin. Hope this helps!

Shankar Lakshman, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Be careful when considering laser hair removal with dark skin

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As has been mentioned, this laser is 810 nm,which sometimes can be used on darker skin, but the 1064nm Nd:Yag laser is preferrable in my opinion. The problem when doing laser hair removal on dark skin is that the laser is targeting the melanin in the hair follicle in order to kill the hair follicle _ but it first must pass through the skin which also has melanin pigment. If too much laser energy is absobed by the skin pigment a painful blister may occur which can heal with scarring. There are various " tricks " that can be done to make this treatment safe and effective. One of those is using a longer wavelength (ie,1064nm ).

Richard Fitzpatrick, MD (in memoriam)
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon

Alma Soprano lasers for dark skin

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Alma Soprano lasers are an 810 wavelength. The bonus of these machines is that they have settings that allow a constant pulse to go in rather than a hard targeted pulse, like other lasers. This means that with a good technician, who knows how to set the machine properly, this can result in better, stronger treatments for darker skinned people.

Laser Hair Removal

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Long Pulsed nd:yag lasers are safe and often very effective for dark skinned people. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 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.