ETHNIC SKIN CONCERNS

Specialised treatmensts for darker skin tones

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"Skin is not just skin"

Doctor Simi is Fitzpatrick type VI skin (the darkest skin classification) and with her 19 years of medical experience she understands the difficulties that can occur in finding skincare products that work well with darker skin tones and which give visible results.

“Often skin care products are made with caucasian skin types in mind and darker skin tones just make do”.

She beli that “Skin is not just skin”. Granted, that the basic structure of skin is the same irrespective of skin colour or tone. Skin has an epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. But there are noticeable differences between darker skin tones and lighter skin tones in terms of:

  • pigmentation disorders
  • reaction to sunlight
  • scarring
  • ageing
  • hair follicle related disorders

These differences are down to the differences in the components of the skin and these differences need to be understood and respected when caring for darker skin tones.”

COMMON  CONCERNS

Acne in darker skin

Acne in darker skin tone needs prompt treatment and the correct treatment. This is to minimise the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (the blemishes) that are left behind where the spot used to be. These can often be more problematic than the actual acne spots themselves as they can last months to years.

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peels, homecare products, medical prescriptions, LED light mask

Promade acne

Acne or breakouts which are worse around the forehead and hair line due to excessive oil from hair care products. These acne spots can lead to problems with pigmentation and scarring.

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peel, homecare products, microneedling, PRP

Acne scarring

Just as your face and body are unique to you, your treatment plan is personalised and developed just for you.

In creating this personalised plan we make a detailed assessment of your skin, area of concern, facial structure, what you are hoping to achieve and your budget in creating your very own personalised treatment plan.

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peel, homecare products, microneedling, PRP

Dark Spots

Also known as lentigo or liver spots these are individual areas of pigmentation. They appear as brown flat spots on sun exposed parts of the skin – face, backs of hands and shoulders.

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peel, homecare products,  Cyrotherapy

Hypertrophic scar

Scar tissue that is raised above the skin surface but the scar tissue that DOES NOT extend beyond the boundary of the original wound.

Treatment options: Personalised  treatment plan.

Keloid scar

Scar raised above skin surface and often has a rounded appearance. Scar tissue DOES extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound. Common in darker skin tones and on areas of the body that are on the chest and above the chest such as earlobe

Treatment options: Personalised  treatment plan.

Hyperpigmentation

This refers to excessive pigmentation of parts of the skin. This is commoner in darker skin tones which are genetically programmed to form more pigment. There are 3 main types: melasma, sun induced pigmentation, and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peels, homecare products, LED light mask, personalised home care treatments, cryotherapy.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Excessive pigment/blemishes or marks which are at sights of resolving spots or inflammation from injury, surgery, scalds or skin conditions. 

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peels, homecare products, LED light mask.

Traction alopecia - hair loss
Hair loss as a result of cultural hairstyles causing traction on the scalp and breakage of hair or pulling out of the hair from its roots.

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peels, homecare products, LED light mask.

Dermatosis papulosa nigrans

Dark, slightly raised oval or round skin lesions often on the face and neck in darker skin tones. (Think of the actor- Morgan Freeman). Rarely found in Caucasian skin. These are often mistaken for skin tags.

Treatment options: Cyrotherapy

Shaving bumps

Also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae this condition predominant affects black men and curly haired people. It presents with skin irritation and bumps caused by shaving the beard area. The curly beard hear when shaved grows back into the skin which sets off an inflammatory reaction causing hard lumps of the beard area.

Treatment options:

Salicylic acid peel (20-30%), glycolic acid peel, corticosteroid 1.% hydrocortisone Shaving/plucking cessation and information leaflet (charged £10 each) Hair release-sterile needle or tweezers Eflornithine

Melasma

Symmetrical patchy pigmentation usually affecting the forehead, cheeks and chin. Cause of often hormonal e.g. contraceptive pill, HRT, pregnancy.

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peels, homecare regime

Melanoma

A type of skin cancer often quotes to be sun related in Caucasian skin. There is convincing evidence that in darker skin tones most melanomas are not related to sun exposure because they tend to occur in non- sun exposed area such as palms of hands, soles of feet and on the nail bed. This means that melanomas tend to be diagnosed later and have therefore become more aggressive in darker skin tones

Treatment options: Specialist urgent refferal, education; being skin aware

Skin tags

Small fleshy often skin coloured spots on the skin. Can be raised or have a small stalk.

Treatment options: Cryotherapy 

Exogenous ochronosis

Blue black discolouration of the skin as a result of long term skin bleaching creams containing hydroquinone.

Treatment options: Laser

Stretch marks darker skin tones

Type of scar which occurs when the skin stretches too quickly causing the collagen and elastin fibres to break. In darker skin tones they can appear slightly lighter or darker than the natural skin tone, red or silvery.

Treatment options: microneedling with mesotherapy

Ageing in darker skin tones

Darker skin tones may ageless quickly however sign of premature skin ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, dull skin, rough texture pigmentation and uneven skin tone still occur.

Treatment options: Skin resurfacing, skin peels, home care kit, botox®, dermal fillers, mesotherapy, microneedling

Some of the differences seen with darker skin tones include the following:

  • They are more likely to suffer from hyperpigmentation
  • Hyperpigmentation is more difficulty to treat
  • They are more likely to develop keloid scarring and hypertrophic scars
  • Problems with ingrowing hairs are more common and these can also contribute to pigmentation and scarring conditions
  • The skin cancer (melanoma) tends to occurs on areas that are not exposed to sunlight such as the nail bed, palm of the hand and soles of the feet
  • When melanoma does occur it is often more aggressive
  • Inflammation can often not present as redness which can be more difficult to see in darker skin tones
  • Acne can be more of a problem in darker skin tone as it can result in pigmentation and keloid scaring

Video of Dr Simi’s patient treating acne and hyperpigmentation.