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 4

Pulsed dye lasers are not used in darker skin types

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

...depends on the settings.

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. 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

VBeam not good for darker skin

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

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
3.7 out of 5 stars 6 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.