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Laser Surgery in Dark Skin


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Tina S Alster, MD, Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, 1430 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, or e-mail:


Although challenging, effective laser surgery in patients with darker skin tones can be achieved despite a higher inherent risk of side effects. Although the incidence of undesirable postoperative sequelae has decreased with the development of advanced laser technology and individualized treatment parameters, these risks may never be eliminated completely. Consequently, thorough patient preoperative preparation and education regarding the risks of cutaneous laser therapy will remain an essential component of treatment in darkly pigmented patients. In the future, as more refined laser techniques evolve, the ability to safely and effectively treat these patients will improve.