Skin conditions, black patients (1)

Black History Month: Identifying Common Skin Conditions in Black Patients

With February being Black History Month, let’s explore some of the most prevalent skin conditions that affect patients with darker complexions. Understanding the symptoms and the best treatments is key to keeping your skin healthy.

Acne in Skin of Color

Acne is one of the most common skin ailments among black patients or those with darker skin tones. The pimples and bumps associated with acne may appear dark purple rather than red and inflamed on darker skin. Post-acne hyperpigmentation is also very common. Topical ointments, oral medications, chemical peels, laser therapy, or specialized facials may help to clear acne and prevent permanent dark spots from forming.

Vitiligo and Pigment Disorders

Vitiligo is a chronic disorder where the skin loses melanin, causing lighter-pigment patches to appear. The condition is more noticeable in darker complexions. Topical creams, light therapy, and camouflage makeup can help manage concerns about the appearance of vitiligo. Always have new spots evaluated to rule out other pigment disorders like melasma or tinea versicolor, a fungal infection that causes discolored patches on the skin.

Alopecia and Hair Loss

Alopecia areata causes round patches of hair loss and occurs more frequently in black women. Traction alopecia is hair loss due to consistent tight hairstyles. Switch up your protective styles to avoid hair loss from tension on your hair follicles. Use sulfate-free shampoos and gentle hair care routines. For alopecia, treatment options like steroid injections, minoxidil, laser devices, or oral medications may be effective.

Keloids and Scarring

Keloids are raised, irregular scars that grow beyond the boundaries of an injury site. They are prevalent in black skin due to its propensity for overzealous collagen and scar tissue formation. Early intervention with steroid injections prevents keloids from worsening over time. Laser treatment, cryotherapy, radiation, silicone sheeting, and surgery are also options for improving the appearance of existing keloids.

Excess Facial Hair Growth in Women

Hirsutism, or excessive facial hair in women, often has a genetic component. The hair growth may appear coarse and curly on black skin. Laser hair removal provides a safe, long-lasting way to eliminate unwanted facial hair. Sometimes, however, it may be more than a cosmetic issue; it is important to determine any underlying hormonal or endocrine issues contributing to hirsutism.

Get Expert Skin Care Tailored to You

Black skin needs specialized care and attention. The dermatology professionals at Westchester Dermatology have extensive experience treating a variety of skin conditions for diverse skin types in Los Angeles, CA. Call 310-645-6001 today to book your appointment and get solutions for your unique skin health needs.

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