Lasers for brown spots and asian skin

I am a 30 year old with light asian skin and am suffering from liver spots on my skin. I am using sunscreen faithfully (zinc oxide 10% or higher) and layering a vitamin C serum underneath every morning. At night, I used a vitamin C and retinol serum and Cerave for additional moisture. Is there anything else that I can do to prevent future spots and discolorations? I am seriously considering laser treatments and was wondering what your thoughts are - which is best for asian skin and are lasers a once-and-done deal?

I think you are wise to be concerned about lasers for brown spots and asian skin.  While lasers can be extremely helpful for brown spots caused by old sun damage in lighter skin types……….they can also cause or aggravate pigment problems.   Generally if a patient has darker eyes, darker hair and a history of having temporary skin pigment form after skin injuries, like a cut for example, then there is at least a potential for a laser to make pigment worse.

It’s important as to which laser is used absolutely……….but MORE  important is the experience, skill, technical knowledge and supervision of the person operating the laser.

That doctor or nurse who sees you should be taking a very detailed medical history.  This may include things like how much time you are outdoors, doing what activities, whether you are taking estrogens or oral contraceptives, a history of melasma, your history of pigment after skin injury, your current skin care regimen………..and more.   You get the idea!

Also, it’s very important to consider the time of year.  Certain lasers in darker skin types are much safer in the fall going into the winter season, than now for example, heading into the spring and summer.   Do you need pre or post treatment with a skin lightening agent like a hydroquinone? A lot of factors need to be taken into account!  And you’re right, those high zinc sunscreens, sometimes a double layer with a powder sunscreen, are important.

Hope this helps on the question of lasers for brown spots and asian skin,  Dr. Irwin

Powder sunscreen

Powder sunscreen


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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