Even beautiful ethnic skin can show age related changes—jowls and deep wrinkles, as well as brown spots and collagen changes. In the past, the lasers used to resurface and rejuvenate skin (C02 and erbium lasers) were not safe for brown skin tones.
In recent years, laser technology has advanced and now has the capability to treat ethnic skin while protecting against discoloration and scarring.
Lasers for skin rejuvenation in ethnic skin:
I would recommend fractional non-ablative lasers. These lasers address numerous concerns – treating fine wrinkles, course texture, and prominent pores while evening out discoloration. Typically a series of treatments are needed (from 3-6) depending on the age and amount of sun damage.
Scientifically, these lasers work by creating microscopic areas of thermal injury, without affecting the epidermis (top surface of the skin). Because melanin is not a target, patients with darker skin types can be very safely treated.
Depending on the skin type, I recommend a prescription lightening agent (hydroquinone, kojic acid, or azelaic acid) 1-2 weeks before the procedure and 2 weeks after the procedure. This will insure that no discoloration results and will have the added benefit of evening the skin tone.
Examples of nonablative skin rejuvenation lasers include Fraxel Restore and the Affirm laser.