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Keeping your African American skin healthy and radiant year-round

Keeping your African American skin healthy and radiant year-round

Posted by goodman-dermatology in Preventative Skin Care 12 Sep 2017

Protecting your melanin is just as important embracing it; a Dermatologist’s perspective on keeping your African American skin healthy and radiant year-round.

African-American skin comes in a multitude of beautiful shades, and the skin care regimen required to keep each patient’s skin glowing varies just as greatly. Melanin is the compound that determines an individuals’ level of pigmentation; it also serves an incredibly important role in protecting our cell’s DNA from harmful UV radiation. It is important to recognize that all skin types have approximately the same number of melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin), it is the amount and character of melanin produced that determines an individual’s skin tone. It is important to find a Dermatologist well versed in the unique requirements African-American skin. Below are a few recommendations on proper care, protection, and trouble-shooting your skin with high-melanin content.

Moisturizing:

It is a well-known fact that patients with darker skin tones frequently have trouble fighting off dryness, especially in colder climates. Finding a moisturizer that works well with your skin-type and adopting a religious moisturizing regimen is critical. Moisturizers may contain a variety of ingredients that may be sensitizing and cause more harm than good including fragrances, harsh dyes, lanolin, and benzyl alcohol. Read the ingredients and be on the lookout for compounds that avoid these chemicals if you experience sensitive skin. There are many gentle moisturizers available via Goodman Dermatology Online Store. Prescription moisturizers containing uric acid, salicylic acid, and a multitude of other compounds are also available to help soften and smooth dry, rough, cracked, or thick skin.

SPF:

We cannot emphasize this enough! Although darker skin tones do experience increased protection from the sun’s harmful rays, increased melanin does not provide your cell’s DNA with adequate protection from damaging radiation. Skin cancer, including squamous cell, basal cell, and melanoma can affect patients of all skin tones. The added benefit? Utilizing SPF regularly will fight off unwanted dark spots and assist in keeping your tone even. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends patient’s of all skin tones utilize broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher on a daily basis. Please visit Goodman Dermatology Online Store for great options.

Hyperpigmentation:

African American skin is predisposed to hyperpigmentation. What is hyperpigmentation you ask? It is the darkening that occurs typically following an inflammatory event. The condition is common in darker skin types and is frequently caused by acne, eczema, and trauma. Unfortunately, dark spots can be difficult to treat, and will likely require the assistance of a Dermatologist and utilization of prescription strengths of hydroquinone, a bleaching agent available in a variety of skin-lightening compounds. What is the best treatment against hyperpigmentation? Prevention. Team up with a great Goodman Dermatology to properly control inflammatory conditions such as acne and stop uneven pigmentation before it starts!

Note:

If you are going to undergo a new procedure, such as hyfercation of dark spots on your face, don’t hesitate to ask for a “test spot”. This is a safe way to see how your skin will react to the procedure. If you hyperpigment at the test location, it is a sure sign to be cautious moving forward.

Hair:

African American hair can be predisposed to a variety of conditions. Many patients complain of dry, brittle hair, as well as breakage, and early hair loss. It is important to adopt proper hygiene regimens to ensure you are not stripping hair of its natural oils. Dermatologists are trained to identify sources of hair loss including styling techniques that may be causing unnecessary trauma to the hair follicle, fungal infections, or even stress! We also have a variety of prescription hair and scalp products designed to minimize inflammation, flakiness, and even help halt hair loss in its tracks.

Finding a Dermatologist:

Finding the proper Dermatologist takes some research. Seek out “board-certified” Dermatologists; these physicians have undergone a minimum of three years of dedicated residency training in diagnosing and treating conditions of the hair, skin, and nails. Also, find a Dermatologist that has experience treating African American skin. Skin that is highly pigmented caries a unique set of needs and precautions, never be afraid to ask if a provider has experience treating your skin type.

If you have any questions, or would like to set up an appointment, please contact us at Goodman Dermatology (770) 754-0787 or request one of our schedulers contact you. Goodman Dermatology has offices in Roswell, GA and Woodstock, GA for our patients convenience. Our physician’s are experienced in treating a multitude of ethnic skin types and would love to address your skin’s unique needs.

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