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Old 09-06-2005, 12:51 AM
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Default Treatment for PWS on a non caucasian


I'm afro-american with fairly tan skin and i have a PWS on the right side of my face. I have consulted a Cosmetic Physician about it. And he told me that laser treatment on me may cause lost of pigmentation after the treatment and cause it to be light in color on that area after the removal, due to lost of my regular pigmentation. Does anybody have any experience with this situation. I love to hear from anybody. Thank you

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Old 09-06-2005, 03:00 AM
hankbartenbach hankbartenbach is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 533
Default Re: Treatment for PWS on a non caucasian

Hi Emanuel,

I am 23 with facial PWS/SWS and have been doing laser treatment for about 18 years off and on.

With your skin color it is very possable for the laser treatment to turn the skin white.

Where do you live? You shoulc consult with a Dermatologies. He/she would be able to tell you exactly what would happen to your skin after laser treatment. There is a lot of good doctor in the resource section on this group if you would like to look for a physician.

The V-Beam Pulse Dye Laser is the most common used these days. Is that the laser the Cosmetic Physician was thinking of?

Hope this helps.

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Old 09-06-2005, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: Treatment for PWS on a non caucasian


Thank you for replying. Actually, the doctor has tried the treatment on small portion of my face but i forgot the type of laser. I'm do back to the doctor september 23 of this year. So, he could tell if we should go ahead with the treatment. I haven't noticed any discoloration so far, do you think i should still consult a dermatologist. I live in Honolulu Hawaii.

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Old 09-06-2005, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Treatment for PWS on a non caucasian

Hi !! I can't speak from personal experience but I would definately be sure that the Doctor is a specialist and he is awesome with that laser !!
Years ago, they did say that they could not and would not even attempt to treat very dark skin. The main reason is because the laser was not able to get "past" the skin due to the darker skin color absorbing the laser before it was even able to go deep enough to reach PWS vessels. Now, they are begininng to feel that it can be attempted if the Doctor feels comfortable with doing so, and the test spots show a favorable result. I have heard of a few children and adults that are afro-american and have had good laser results.
Personally, I can tell you that I am very fair but my husband is very olive. My daughter began laser at 6 weeks old and her doc was not sure how her skin would react. He looked at me, then back at my husband and decided to be very cautious at first. Do not be surprised if they are very careful at first, and keep the settings low. They will not treat you as agressively as they would treat a light complected infant.
Hypo- or hyperpigmentation is a risk that can happen with any skin coloring. It may be seen more often with darker skin tomes, but I have heard of very light complected people having pigmentation changes after laser. It is listed as one possible side effect on the waiver I sign before my daughter's laser treatment.
Just be sure that your Doctor has treated PWS- a lot-- and is very familiar with whatever laser he uses. You do not want someone just out of medical school coming after you with a laser !!!
Best of luck......
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Treatment for PWS on a non caucasian

Thank you Elena for replying. Your answer was informative and helpfull.

My doctor did the test spot with a YAG laser but after all the reading it seems to me that type of laser has a high risk of scaring. In fact, the test spot that was done to me had a scab, is that normal???? Does anyone know about this type of laser and how efficient it is to remove PWS??

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Old 09-07-2005, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Treatment for PWS on a non caucasian

Hi !!! Here in the US, the usual laser of choice at this time, is the Pulse Dye. There are Docs who still swear by the YAG. I know that people have had results with the Yag. It totally depends on your pws.
Scabbing is not exactly what you would want to see. I am not saying that it does not happen, because it does. I have heard of many people that get a scab with every treatment. The possible issue with a scab, is where you scab, you can scar.Not always , of course but it is a possibilty. Most people that have mentioned scarring after a laser tx, have the scar where they had a scab. It is a risk. Scarring can happen with any laser. Scabs can happen with any laser. It is just a risk every time you have a tx. You are at a risk for scarring, hypo-or hperpigmentation.
I would definately mention the scab to the Doctor when you go back. He may want to adjust the settings etc.
Most people with the current laser technology, can have fading of the pws but 100 percent eradication is not the norm. You can never tell though..
Some people have great results with a pdl laser, some have no results with a pdl but switch to a pdl for example, and they see results. Some adults even switch back and forth with different lasers. Some docs with use different lasers on different parts of your pws. It depends on the doc and what they feel is best for you.
Hank has had treatments with different lasers and I am sure that he can share some personal experiences with you.
You may have noticed this already with your research, but everyone tends to respond differently to tx, and almost everyone has their own opinion. That can be helpful to you -by asking questions, and talking to others, and getting all different opinions. Knowledge is power and it can help you make decisions for yourself...
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