Ask the Dermatologist: Should I Go to Korea to Get Laser Treatments?

Ask the Dermatologist is a Best of Korea Column by Dr. Marie Jhin, Board Certified Dermatologist and author of “Asian Beauty Secrets”

Dr. Marie Jhin was born in Seoul, South Korea and is a graduate of Wellesley College and Cornell University Medical College. She is a board certified dermatologist, K-Beauty Skincare expert and director of Premier Dermatology in the San Francisco Bay area. 

Dr. Jhin is the author of “Asian Beauty Secrets: Ancient and Modern Tips from the Far East”, and her new book, “K-Beauty Secrets: Accessible Beauty For Every Woman” is now available for pre-order.

Help for Rosacea and Large Pores
Dear Dr. Jhin: I had fairly great skin until a few years ago when I mysteriously developed rosacea on my cheeks.  I’m covering up my rosacea with makeup but I’d love to be able to get rid of it for good. I’m also noticing that my pores are getting larger as I get older. Is there anything I can try at home or at a clinic to reduce the size of my pores?

Unfortunately, rosacea is a chronic condition and there’s no cure.  However, there are great medications that can control your rosacea that your dermatologist can prescribe.  Also with rosacea, it’s important to avoid triggers that make your skin flare. 

Rosacea triggers include anything that makes your blood vessels dilate or your face turn red or flush which can include: Hot drinks and spicy foods, red wine or other alcohol, extreme temperatures, sun, stress or emotions, exercising and spicy foods to name a few.

In terms of your pores getting larger, there’s unfortunately no cream that will make them smaller.  I don’t know of any at-home devices. Sometimes, we do laser treatments that help to tighten the pores and make them look smaller.  

Flying to Korea for Dermatology
Dear Dr. Jhin: Many of my friends go to Korea to get laser treatments like Fraxel and IPL saying that it’s so much cheaper there. Is it really worth it to go all the way to Korea to get these treatments? What are the pros and cons? 

Yes, laser and cosmetic treatments can be cheaper in Korea.  They also understand Asian skin and will use the best lasers for your skin type.  With that said, these treatments work best if done in a series typically 3-5 treatments to get the best results.  So in the long run, flying back and forth to Korea to get these treatments will end up being more expensive.  I suggest seeing a dermatologist who understands Asian skin and they can do these treatments for you in the US.

More answers from Dr. Jhin:

👉 Send your skincare questions to Dr. Jhin:

About Dr. Marie Jhin

Dr. Marie Jhin was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the United States at the age of 6.  She moved around the US (Hawaii, Michigan, Virginia and New York) due to her father’s work assignments.  Dr. Jhin graduated from Wellesley College and then went on to Cornell University Weill Medical School.  After medical school, Dr. Jhin finished a residency in Internal Medicine before doing her Dermatology residency.  Upon finishing her Dermatology residency, she moved to the SF Bay Area, which she now calls home.  She is blessed to have a blended family of five kids, a wonderful husband and two dogs.  In her spare time, she loves traveling and being very active in healthcare advocacy. Find her on Instagram @drjhinskin

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