The epidermis is the outer layer of skin that acts as a barrier between harmful pathogens in the environment and the body. Found directly above the dermis layer, the epidermis is most commonly known as the skin. Made up of a layer of flattened cells, it serves many essential functions, including the following:
- It regulates the amount of water (or sweat) the body releases.
- It protects the body from microbial pathogens.
- It blocks UV light and chemical compounds.
Original medical lasers weren’t able to target hair follicles without damaging the melanin, or the skin’s color. People with darker skin in particular were left with poor results because the lasers lifted the color right off of their skin—a condition called vesiculation. This was years ago, however, and technology has evolved.
Now, medical lasers work for all skin types and colors, without the risk of skin damage or discoloration. Instead of targeting all melanin, longer wavelengths allow the laser to only target melanin found in hair follicles.
Though technology has improved, laser hair removal’s reputation with those who have darker skin has been slow to turn around. Not all laser clinics use the latest equipment, so people who have darker skin still suffer adverse side effects. This is why it’s important for people to ask what equipment will be used before they undergo treatments at a laser center.