Identify lesions first
Permanent improvements in pigmented lesions caused by sun damage and freckles can be achieved with laser treatments, but first, a proper diagnosis must be made prior to initiating treatment.
“Many dermatologic conditions and issues in skin of color can mimic benign everyday lesions, so if you do not know what you are treating, do not treat until you have a definitive diagnosis,” he said.
Skin computerized analysis using visible, ultraviolet (UV) and polarizing light filters can aid in appropriately identifying lesions. “UV light enhances the appearance of epidermal pigmentation and polarizing light enhances vascular markings,” Dr. Battle says.
Preventative and reparative
Laser treatment has also been successfully used to improve skin texture due to scars or enlarged pores.
Fractional microneedling UV devices like InMode’s fractora and INTRAcel have been shown to be effective in treating acne scarring in skin of color. “These procedures spare the epidermis from thermal heating by coating the epidermal part of the pins/needles and delivering the RF energy directly into the dermis,” Dr. Battle says. The typical treatment protocol is two to four sessions, spaced six weeks apart.
“Patients can expect to see probably a 10% to 20% improvement in acne scarring for each treatment. There is also an improvement in active acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” he says.