Is V Beam Safe for Ethnic Skin?

Hi, I am 43, suffer from melasma and have tried Triluma, Cosmelan and a Vitamin C serum at different times for it with mixed results.

The first two made the hyperpigmentation worse as I didn't protect my skin adequately afterwards with a high enough SPF. Now I use Kotz total sunblock and wear hats everywhere.

I also have Rosacea and underneath the hyperpigmentation are broken red vessels. I'm considering getting V Beam laser for the redness but am worried about causing more hyperpigmentation issues. What should I do?

Doctor Answers 5

Pulsed dye lasers are not used in darker skin types

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Because melanin (pigment) blocks the transmission of the 595nm wavelength photons from the Vbeam pulsed dye laser, this laser is not used nor effective in darker skin types (types IV, V and VI). If your vessels are sizable, the long pulse Nd:YAG laser can be safely and effectively used in darker skin.

San Antonio Dermatologist

Yes as long as you are not tanning!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unless you are tanning (exposed to UV rays before and after the treatment) this should be a safe treatment for you.

Pulsed dye laser treatment is so safe that it has been used successfully for the treatment of port wine stains in infants and young children. The Vbeam skin laser can also be used to treat rosacea, stretch marks, warts and keloids, or even tiny spider veins on the legs or face.

After applying numbing cream, the laser light is applied to the patient’s skin. Vbeam skin laser treatment is relatively painless and does not require a long healing time. The most common reaction patients experience include just a few hours of mild redness.

Treatment with the Vbeam may consist of multiple treatments, depending upon the condition and needs of the patient’s body. For facial veins, one treatment may be sufficient for clearance (that said, additional treatments are not uncommon). These treatments occur on an average of every 4 weeks depending on the area and type of treatment.

Tanya Kormeili, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist

...depends on the settings.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Yes, V Beam can treat ethnic skin types safely PROVIDING THE SETTINGS ARE CORRECT- using extra cooling, lower energy levels, and increasing the pulse duration can all help. 

I have treated many Asian skin types (Im Asian myself and have had this treatment for my blood vessels on my nose). 

If you see a dermatologist comfortable in treating skin of colour, it can be safe. The other option is that we use what is known as a 755 Alex laser , or a 1064 Long pulse Nd yag. 


Dr Davin Lim 
Cosmetic and laser dermatologist (use to treating skin of colour)
Brisbane, Australia. 

VBeam not good for darker skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

VBeam targets blood in blood vessels. Unfortunately, it can cause severe hypopigmentation in skin of color. For this reason, we do not use VBeam in darker skin types. You can try the long pulse Nd:YAG for your vessels set with a long millisecond pulse width to try to decrease the risk of pigment alteration.

Kavita Mariwalla, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

VBeam on Dark Skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The darker your skin, the greater the chance of hyperpigmentation with a V-beam treatment. From your description, it sounds like you are not a good candidate for the V-beam. If you are on the borderline, a test spot or two might be helpful. I have seen post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occur with the V-beam in patients with skin as light as Fitzpatrick type III (e.g. hispanic), although it was always temporary, it sometimes lasted for months.

Todd Minars, MD
Miami Dermatologist

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.