Nanosecond lasers restrict use in skin of color

Nanosecond lasers have restrictive use in skin of color due to the significant risk of PIH. With QS lasers, skin of color has a 25% risk of developing PIH.5 Risk is reported to increase to 47% when the treatment is specific for lentigines, possibly due to the melanocytic hyperplasia noted histologically in a lentigo.5

Picosecond technology avoids overheating of skin, minimizes risk in skin of color

Picosecond lasers can be used in a broader range of skin types than nanosecond lasers due to reduced risk of hyper- or hypopigmentation and scarring with picosecond photoacoustic versus photothermal effect. Shorter pulses and enhanced photoacoustic effect avoids overheating of skin and decreases risk of PIH. In skin of color, a clinical study with the picosecond laser demonstrated a low rate of PIH, at only 4.65% of the lesions.6

Special considerations when treating skin of color with lasers

Laser treatment considerations include:7,8

- a wavelength that is specific to and well absorbed by the chromosphere being treated, good skin penetration, and preferential absorption of melanin;
- a laser that doesn't overheat surrounding tissues;
- a laser that offers highly customizable treatment parameters (eg, adjustable power, spot size and fluence, no compromise of spot size for fluence);
- a laser treatment that requires a small or reduced number of treatment sessions, relative to other laser treatment options, with minimal treatment time and low fluence.

Resources for treating skin of color


Douglas Wu, MD, PhD, shares his insights and experience treating skin of color patients.

Treatment Guidelines

Learn more about treatment guidelines for the PicoWay system in skin of color.

Before & After Book

Remove Boldy. Treat Lightly.
See for yourself in the PicoWay B&A flipbook. 

Remove boldy. Treat lightly.

Meet the picosecond laser intentionally designed to work from the inside out.2,3,9-11 

The PicoWay® system delivers high peak power and the shortest pulse durationsa for a non-thermal, photoacoustic effect that transforms skin from the inside out.2,3,9-11

Want to learn more? Let a Candela product expert show you how the PicoWay system can help transform your patients - and your practice.

Learn how the PicoWay system works with skin of color

Hear from the experts

"Skin of color is where the PicoWay system really shines."
-Douglas Wu, MD, PhD

We invite you to hear industry experts share their insights and experience treating skin of color patients using the PicoWay system.

Still have questions about treating skin of color? Our reps have a wealth of additional tools that can help you learn more. 
References: 1. Colby SL, Ortman JM. Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060. US Census Bureau. March 2015. 2. PicoWay 510(k) clearance for tattoos (K142372), October 2014. 3. PicoWay 510(k) clearance for tattoos with 785 nm handpiece (K160607), July 2016. 4. Adatto MA, Amir R, Bhawalkar J, et al. New and advanced picosecond lasers for tattoo removal. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2017;52:113-123. 5. Wang CC, Sue YM, Yang CH, Chen CK. A comparison of Q-switched alexandrite laser and intense pulsed light for the treatment of freckles and lentigines in Asian persons: a randomized, physician-blinded, split-face comparative trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;54(5):804-810. 6. Negishi K, Akita H, Matsunaga Y. Prospective study of removing solar lentigines in Asians using a novel dual-wavelength and dual-pulse width picosecond laser. Lasers Surg Med. 2018;50(8):851-858. 7. Torjesen I. Cosmetic needs differ for skin of color patients. Dermatol Times. 2018;(39)6:1-2. 8. Alexis AF. Lasers and light-based therapies in ethnic skin: treatment options and recommendations for Fitzpatrick skin types V and VI. Br J Dermatol. 2013;169(suppl 3):91-97. 9. PicoWay 510(k) clearance for wrinkles (K170597), May 2017. 10. PicoWay 510(k) clearance for acne scars (K162454), February 2017. 11. PicoWay 510(k) clearance for benign pigmented lesions (K150326), April 2015. a. Based on available 510(k) summaries as of October 2017

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