Expert Q&A: Common Skin Problems in People of Color

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Skin is the quality body’s largest organ. In fact, it accounts for astir 15% of a person’s assemblage weight. Not lone does it screen your full body, negociate your temperature, and assistance you observe blistery and cold, but it’s besides 1 of the archetypal lines of defence against harmful ultraviolet radiation, infection, and disease. It’s a protective obstruction that keeps you healthy.

That's wherefore taking attraction of it is not conscionable astir looks. Like immoderate different organ, tegument tin make problems. Most tegument conditions tin impact immoderate person, careless of their tegument colour oregon ethnicity. But definite tegument conditions are much apt to hap oregon amusement up otherwise successful radical of color. This is often owed to genetics and successful immoderate cases, circumstantial taste practices and routines. “People of color” traditionally includes a wide scope of people, including individuals with African, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic backgrounds.

Valerie Harvey, MD, MPH, is the president of the Skin of Color Society. Here, she shares her thoughts and insights connected communal tegument conditions successful darker-skinned populations and however to dainty those conditions.

What are the astir communal tegument conditions that impact radical of color?

Studies person shown that determination are galore tegument conditions that are much communal oregon contiguous uniquely successful individuals with tegument of color. They see hairsbreadth disorders specified arsenic traction alopecia and cardinal centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, and pigmentary disorders (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma). The incidence of keloids varies by contention and ethnicity and has been shown to beryllium higher successful Hispanic and Black radical and lowest successful non-Hispanic achromatic people.

Can you picture post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is discoloration that is near connected the tegument aft an underlying tegument rash oregon bump that has healed. Common conditions specified arsenic eczema, acne, and psoriasis tin each effect successful PIH.

While PIH tin hap successful each tegument tones, it is peculiarly problematic and much evident successful individuals with darker skin. The organisation of the acheronian spots follows that of the underlying tegument condition. The shades of the hyperpigmentation tin alteration from airy brownish to acheronian brownish to bluish and gray.

What are the champion treatments for PIH?

PIH is hard to treat. Current attraction options see topical preparations, [Editor’s note: “Topical” means that these treatments spell connected the skin.] which are disposable successful over-the-counter oregon medicine strength, chemic peels, and laser treatments.

What causes PIH?

While determination is nary known origin for PIH oregon wherefore definite radical are much prone to its development, 1 tin instrumentality measures to debar prolonging the condition. Avoiding the prima is 1 measure, arsenic it tin aggravate symptoms and prolong the healing process.

What tin beryllium done to forestall PIH?

Treatment of the underlying condition, sunscreen, and prima extortion are important preventive measures. Studies amusement that sunlight tin worsen definite forms of hyperpigmentation. Therefore, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen is simply a precise important portion of treatment. Sunscreen should beryllium “broad spectrum” and person a prima protective origin (SPF) of astatine slightest 30. [Editor’s note: Sun protection besides includes protective clothing, hats, staying successful the shade, and staying wrong during highest prima vulnerability hours.]

Can you picture the tegument information that disproportionately causes hairsbreadth nonaccomplishment successful radical of color? What hair/scalp conditions are radical of colour much prone to experience?

Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) is the astir communal signifier of scarring alopecia that occurs successful Black women. It is estimated to hap successful arsenic galore arsenic 16% of African American women.

Affected individuals tin acquisition scalp tenderness, itching, and pain. It involves the crown/vertex of the scalp and progresses centrifugally implicit time. The information culminates successful scarring and imperishable hairsbreadth loss, which is precise distressing for women who endure from this condition.

Treatment options see topical and intralesional corticosteroids, oral antibiotics, [medications that enactment connected the immune system], and camouflage techniques.

Are determination immoderate preventative measures women tin instrumentality to debar CCCA?

Unfortunately, determination are nary definitive recommendations connected however to forestall the occurrence of CCCA, arsenic its etiology [cause] is unknown.

What astir traction alopecia?

In summation to CCCA, traction alopecia is different benignant of hair loss experienced by women of color. Traction alopecia is characterized by hairsbreadth nonaccomplishment on the frontal hairline. It is caused by repeated trauma caused by assorted hairsbreadth attraction practices that hap implicit a play of time. If not treated successful a timely manner, oregon if hairsbreadth attraction practices are not modified, imperishable hairsbreadth nonaccomplishment and scarring ensues. Treatment includes the usage of protective hairstyles, [medications], and surgical hairsbreadth restoration.

Can you stock the astir communal misconceptions astir tegument conditions that whitethorn impact radical of color?

One common misconception is that individuals with tegument of colour are immune to processing tegument cancer. While the hazard of tegument crab is debased among radical and taste number groups, they are much apt than their achromatic counterparts to make tegument cancers astatine much precocious stages.

What should each radical of colour cognize erstwhile it comes to treating and caring for their skin?

Educational consciousness regarding the value of tegument wellness is critical. It is important to question the timely attraction of a board-certified dermatologist erstwhile regular at-home measures neglect to resoluteness symptoms. The timely receipt of attraction is crucial, since delays successful diagnosis tin effect successful accrued morbidity [worsened disease] and successful the lawsuit of melanoma, accrued mortality [higher decease rate].

What tin beryllium done to combat wellness disparities successful dermatology?

One of the astir important issues that volition request to beryllium rectified successful bid to trim disparities successful dermatology is related to workforce diversity. Unfortunately, Hispanic and Black dermatologists comprise a disproportionately debased proportionality of the dermatology workforce and besides are poorly represented successful academia. Workforce diverseness is captious for innovation, enlargement of nationalist trust, and accrued entree to dermatologic care.