Fact or fiction? "You can't have laser if you have black skin"

Well the truth is, the statement should be "you can't have certain types of laser if you have black skin"

Laser treatments have proven to be very beneficial in the treatment of a variety of medical skin conditions and also useful for rejuvenation and cosmetic treatment. Lasers are widely used to treat birthmarks, broken veins, acne, acne scarring, ingrowing hairs, hair removal, keloid scars, pigmentation and the list goes on!

Only certain types of laser can be used safely in darker skin, as the risk of burning in darker skin is relatively high. We regularly meet patients who have attended a laser facility and been told they can't be treated. Or because of excessive caution and lack of understanding from the laser operator, the patient is treated with too little laser energy so even after multiple treatments they do not see any benefit. In worst cases, the patient may have treatment but end up with blisters, burns, scars and pigmenation changes from inappropriate lasering.

The myth "you can't have laser if you have black skin" arose from these clinics and practitioners who choose not to treat darker skinned individuals due to the type of lasers they have or lack of knowledge/experience.

Which lasers can be used?
To treat dark skin successfully, the main skill is to be able to pass the laser beam through the surface of the skin without burning the skin surface.

Lasers which have a short wavelength are widely used to treat light skinned patient but these will definitely burn darker skins.

Lasers which have a long wavelength, such as Nd:YAG or Erbium can pass through the surface of dark skin without burning it.

What can be treated?
Our most commonly requested laser treatments from dark skinned patients are for hair removal, pigmentation and scars. We can safely treat all of these conditions with the longer wavelength lasers.

Ingrowing facial hair
Carlton, 27 years old, has had ingrowing hairs on his neck for about 15 years. These are painful and frustrating because he develops infections and boils in the neck area where the hairs in-grow. Heโ€™s worried about getting keloid scarring has he has seen friends develop keloids on their face.

Solution: Nd:YAG laser hair removal to clear the neck of ingrowing hairs. He has thick strong black hair and African dark skin tone which will need a specialist long wavelength laser.

Acne scarring
Ebere, 32 years old, has been looking for treatment for her facial acne scars, which she finds get her down. Her acne has been successfully treated but the indented scars remain. She has previously looked into lasering and chemical peels, but has been told her skin is too dark.

Solution: Erbium:Glass laser to treat the acne scars and improve her facial contour. This laser can penetrate deeply enough to stimulate the collagen to improve the acne scars, but still not damage the skin surface of dark skinned patients.


More information:
If you would like more information on whether your skin is suitable for laser treatment or about lasering dark skin types, please contact us.

Sebacia Acne Treatment System - what is it all about?

Acne is an extremely common skin condition which affects almost all teens at some point. However when acne outbreaks continue in your 20s, 30s and even 40s it can have a debilitating impact on self esteem, not to mention increasing the risk of scarring and pigmentation changes.

Daily creams, long term antibiotics and other systemic pills are common treatments, although they do not work for everyone. And some people would prefer not to be on long term medication.

What causes acne?
Acne develops when hair follicles (pores) get plugged with debris (called hyperkeratinization)
and oil (called sebum). Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands that are attached to the pores.
Excess sebum and blocked pores create ideal conditions for acne bacteria to thrive and multiplyโ€“ triggering the blemishes we see on our skin.

What is different about Sebacia Acne Treatment?
The Sebacia Acne Treatment uses a specialized formulation containing gold microparticles (SEB-2 50). SEB-250 is a liquid topical that is applied and massaged into the skin. The procedure delivers SEB-250 into the pores and sebaceous glands. A hand-held laser is then applied to the skin, heating the Sebacia Microparticles in the pores and sebaceous glands. This targeted heating is designed to affect the sebaceous glands and pores to address the three factors causing acne and improve the appearance of your skin over time.

This makes the treatment non systemic as it is physically targeting the sebaceous gland and not affecting any other part of the body, nor does it rely you on ingesting a medication.

Advantages of the Sebacia Acne Treatment
Localised treatment that targets 3 of the underlying causes of acne (see crossectional image)
1. Oil production
2. Clogged pores
3. P. acnes bacteria
All of which contribute to 4. Inflammation in response to the bacteria
Only 3 procedures each lasting 30-45 minutes with no downtime from school or work
May eliminate the need for antibiotics or systemic prescription drugs

Effects of Sebacia Acne Treatment in SEB-003 European Study
Mean inflammatory lesion reduction at 12 weeks 49%
Mean inflammatory lesion reduction at 7 months 69%

Skin55 is accepting acne patients for evaluation trial of Sebacia Acne Treatment System. A limited number of places are available in this study, in which volunteers will receive the acne treatment free of charge. 

Volunteers are required to meet the selection criteria for this study.  Further details and enrolment information are available here or visit www.sebacia.com

Join us for a free skin and mole check - 30th October 2017

After the success and popularity of our free skin screening day in August we are running another event on 30th October. 

Skin cancer incidence continues to increase in the UK and over 100 000 people are newly diagnosed with the disease every year.

As part of your visit your skin will be examined, we will provide education on how to check your skin and what changes to look out for and also give advice on how to stay safe in the sun.
Should any lesions require further assessment you will be advised to book to see a dermatologist or visit your GP. 

You can walk in any time between 9am - 5pm but booking is advisable, as priority will be given to those who have booked. Call 0203 757 5631 to book your place.

Join us for a free skin and mole check - 21st August

We are offering free skin screening with our Skin Cancer Nurse Specialist Rebecca on 21st August.

Skin cancer incidence continues to increase in the UK and over 100 000 people are newly diagnosed with the disease every year.

As part of your visit your skin will be examined, we will provide education on how to check your skin and what changes to look out for and also give advice on how to stay safe in the sun.
Should any lesions require further assessment you will be advised to book to see a dermatologist or visit your GP. 

You can walk in any time between 9am - 5pm but booking is advisable, as priority will be given to those who have booked. Call 0203 757 5631 to book your place.

New walk in nursing service @ Skin55

We are pleased to announce our new walk in nursing service.

Our skilled dermatology nurses are now available without prior appointment on Wednesday and Thursday mornings between 9:30am - 11:30am.

Services available include:
Wound care and dressing changes
Suture/ clip removal
Pregnancy testing (including letter detailing results for patients on Roaccutane)
MRSA sceening and other swabs which may be required.
Blood pressure testing, height and weight measurement

Should you require an appointment to see our nurses outside of these times please call and we would be happy to accommodate you. 
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