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Cosmetic clinics offering laser treatments have long needed a solution to provide laser treatments to individuals with increased melanin production during the summertime. A study published in the 2011 edition of the journal “Lasers in surgery and medicine” demonstrates that this could be possible with a 1064-nm QSnd: YAG laser. 

What is the Fitzpatrick Scale?

Dermatologists and Medical aestheticians in the cosmetic industry are required to be extremely careful of the way in which they assess a client’s skin before a laser procedure. It is especially important to make sure that the kind of light they use on an individual’s skin is the right kind of strength to not cause any damage.

One classifying method that they use is the Fitzpatrick Scale that ranks the skin type according to the skin’s potential to get burned or tanned by the sun. The skin scaled classifies the skin from 1 to 6, with 1 being skin that is easily burned in the sun and is prone to cancer and the number 6 skin type having the least The differentiation on the scale is far more accurate when the skin is assessed by a dermatologist or a medical aesthetician. Studies have demonstrated that self-assessment done by a patient usually results in the wrong Fitzpatrick number. 

An issue with patients who have a higher Fitzpatrick number (4 to 6) is the increased melanin production in the sun, that can hinder positive effects of certain laser treatments and prevent individuals with this skin type to enjoy the benefits provided by laser.  

What options are there for people with a higher Fitzpatrick number?

A new type of laser in the market – the 1064-nm Q-switched neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (QS Nd:YAG) . This laser has shown to improve scarring in the skin for individuals with a Fitzpatrick skin score of 4 to 6 without hypo-pigmentating or hyper-pigmentating their skin. This study was carried out with 22 individuals. All the individuals showed an improvement in the pigmentation of their scar, a reduction in the appearance of their scar, and a boost in the appearance of their skin texture. 

Such studies attest to the fact that laser plays an advanced role in the improvement of skin conditions and these treatments can help a huge portion of the spectrum of skin types. 

At Inovo Medical, we use the Fotona Dynamis, a Nd:YAG laser that can be used on all skin types! Book a consultation with us now to learn more!

SOURCE: Landau, J. M., Vergilis‐Kalner, I., Goldberg, L. H., Geronemus, R. G., & Friedman, P. M. (2011). Treatment of Nevus of Ota in Fitzpatrick skin type VI with the 1064‐nm QS Nd: YAG laser. Lasers in surgery and medicine, 43(2), 65-67. 

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