Yes, Asian patients can indeed have intense pulsed light treatments. Obviously the device is set with a different filter and different energy settings to take into account the significant increased pigmentation that is in Asian skin. We further tend to take significant precautions with Asian skin to prevent postinflammatory hyperpigmentation as it is extremely common in this skin type. These precautions include very consistent use of a sunblock as well as consistent use of a hydroquinone product and frequently the additional use of a Retin-A type product as well. We want to be very careful that these products do not cause any irritation to the skin as the irritation can also contribute to postinflammatory hyperpigmentation; however, when this is performed properly in conjunction with the intense pulsed light, we can successfully treat very difficult skin conditions such as melasma even in Asian patients. They are counseled that even very brief amounts of sun exposure can cause the abnormal pigmentation to recur.
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