With a virtually infinite amount of skin types, there are an equally infinite number of potential issues to have with your skin. Many skin issues are colourblind; that is, they can affect people of all ethnic backgrounds. However, certain skin challenges are more frequent or severe for certain ethnicities and some treatments can do more harm than good . For example, there are some very specific issues and specific treatments for black skin.
Darker skin has several unique characteristics that mean it requires unique treatment. It’s comprised of a greater number of larger melanocytes, the cells that contain melanin. Melanin absorbs and scatters UV light, meaning darker skin is less likely to be damaged by the sun, less prone to the signs of early ageing and less prone to skin cancer.
On the other hand, black skin is much more likely to experience pigmentation issues, even from minor troubles such as big bites, cuts, scrapes, small burns and even eczema. For example, hyper-pigmentation can occur after laser surgery, dermabrasion and even Botox injections for those who aren’t careful.
It’s important to get it right when looking after dark skin; the wrong products or treatments can actually make skin worse. For example, those that over-dry skin can increase the severity of issues and in people of colour, skin irritation can result in months of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
Addressing common matters like acne on Black skin can be difficult; in fact, some skin care experts say it’s the greatest concern for darker skin. Excess oil and bacteria can cause inflammation, resulting in lesions like small bumps and cysts. Resulting lesions and scabs can cause pigmentation issues before the treatments for black skin.
Treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinoids for acne must be applied very carefully to darker skin but they’re safe as long as they’re used correctly with the correct home care or under the guidance of a senior skin specialist at a clinic. Even medications used to treat acne, like oral antibiotics, can make the situation worse. They might darken skin and highlight pigmentation scars.
What’s more, pseudofolliculitis (bumps under the skin’s surface) can often be confused with acne and treated incorrectly; this is common in both black and latin skin due to the distinct shape of hair follicles.
Eczema is also frequently seen in darker skin. It’s often misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly or lacks any treatment at all. Without proper care and attention, it can lead to trouble with pigmentation.
Some of the best and safest treatments for black skin include chemical peels and prescription treatments by DMK for example which need to be administered carefully by skincare professionals; these are best suited for surface skin problems.
The daily use of sunscreen is excellent for darker skin, in particular for helping prevent areas with pigmentation issues getting darker. Whatever your skin troubles, it’s important to see a skin care professional or dermatologist familiar with the unique needs of people of colour.
One of the best ways to ensure you get appropriate care is by investing in a thorough skin consultation. At Beausynergy in Hatfield, our team are experts in looking after all skin types and specialise in black sin. They use the Observ skin scanner to investigate skin health before suggesting any treatments for black skin, to help make the most correct, safe and effective suggestions for their clients.