Treating brown spots on Asian skin

Are lasers to treat brown spots on Asian skin safe? -K

Dear K:

Asian skin is more susceptible to scarring and discoloration after laser treatments.  That being said, there are absolutely some great treatments for hyperpigmentation of Asian skin- a very common complaint.First and foremost you must always wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or above.  Remember to re-apply every couple of hours if out in the sun.  If possible, wear a broad brimmed hat and sunglasses.Secondly I recommend a series of in-office chemical peels and prescription lightening creams (the Obagi NuDerm System is an outstanding at home treatment for pigmentation).  If these treatments are inadequate, laser treatments are an option.  The laser used would depend on the type of pigment that you have (superficial pigment vs deeper hyperpigmentation).  In my Asian patients I typically use more conservative settings initially and gradually increase the settings if tolerated.  The IPL device (intense pulsed light) is good for superficial pigment.  The Fraxel laser (using the 1927 wavelength) is also excellent for more stubborn pigment.Please schedule a consultation with us at Pacific Dermatology and Cosmetic Center here in Renton so we can determine the best treatment for you!

Erica Linnell, MD

Pacific Dermatology and Cosmetic Center, Renton, WA

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