A few years ago, over 40% of licensed dermatologists disclosed that their medical training didn’t adequately prepare them for diagnosing skin issues specific to African Americans. Though this may seem shocking, it mirrors the overall healthcare disparity when it comes to treating Black people. Fortunately, there are dermatologists who have the necessary know-how and they want to make sure you have that information too.
1. Black Skin Is More Prone To Dark Spots
Something you may have already noticed is that pimples or rashes can be replaced with dark spots. These spots happen because the inflammation that comes from acne or skin conditions like eczema results in hyperpigmentation. In hyperpigmentation, the skin’s natural melanin is deposited in the area that was affected by inflammation. As such, you’ll see dark spots.
While it’s best to prevent the inflammation in the first place, you can treat dark spots using a gentle exfoliant. Products that contain mild alpha hydroxy acids and a retinoid can be helpful for lifting dark pigments.
2. Skin Conditions Can Look Different On Black Skin
Studies show that African Americans are more likely to be affected by skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Unfortunately, they sometimes go undiagnosed because the symptoms can look different than in other ethnicities.
For example, when Black people have psoriasis, the affected areas can appear violet with an ash gray tone. For comparison, white skin appears pink or red with the same disease.
3. You Should Be Careful With Laser Treatments
Many people opt for laser treatments to remove hair. However, not all lasers are great for Black skin. If the specialist doesn’t use the right laser, you may experience burns and scarring in the area that’s being treated.
Dermatologists recommend working with professionals who have conducted treatments on Black skin.
At the very least, they should be using the 1064 Nd: YAG laser, which operates at a wavelength that has been shown to be safe for darker skin tones.
4. Keloids Are More Likely In Black People
Studies show that the way Black skin heals can make you more prone to developing keloids. When the skin has been damaged, fibroblasts and healing cells are integral in the repair process. With African Americans, this process can go awry and result in