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Skin of Color

Common Skin Conditions Affecting People of Color

People of color can be affected by skin conditions and diseases that are found more commonly within people of their ethnicity. In order cases, people of color may experience common conditions that manifest in different ways due to their skin type.

Some examples of skin conditions that affect people of color differently include:

Melasma is a chronic skin disorder that results in symmetrical, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation. This condition often leads to considerable embarrassment and distress. Melasma is more common in people that tan well or have naturally brown skin (such as those with Mediterranean heritage) compared with those who have fair skin or black skin.

Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation is temporary pigmentation that follows injury or inflammatory disorder of the skin. People of color are most commonly affected by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. While post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can happen to anyone, it is more common in darker-skinned individuals, in whom the discoloration tends to be more intense and persist for a longer period than in lighter skin colors.

Acne Keloidalis Nuchae (AKN) is a long-lasting form of folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicle unit) and cicatricial alopecia (scarring hair loss) that affects the nape of the neck. This condition is more likely to develop in dark-skinned people, most commonly affecting adult Afro-Caribbean males with curly hair.

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that develops as a result of prolonged tension on the scalp hair. Alopecia due to traction can be caused by regularly wearing a tight chignon, cornrows, dreadlocks, weaves, and braids. Using hair extensions, chemical relaxers, and rollers can also cause traction alopecia to develop.

Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) is a noncancerous skin condition that is among African Americans. This condition is characterized by numerous, small, hyperpigmented, asymptomatic papules on the face. DPN ‘s usually develops on darker skin as multiple small black and brown papules. While it mostly affects African Americans, dark-skinned Asians and Polynesians are can also be at risk.

Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects the pigment-causing cells of the skin. With this condition, people experience a loss of skin color as clearly-defined white patches emerge. In people of color, this condition can be distressing and much more noticeable.

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Leave your skincare to the experts. People of color deserve specialized treatment to ensure that their skin is treated uniquely to best care for common cosmetic and medical dermatological concerns. If you would like to experience premier dermatological care to achieve beautiful and healthy skin, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Ip today.