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The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the Asian-American population will total 40 million people by 2050. While as a whole this group is characterized by very dark hair and dark eyes, there is much diversity in Asian skin tones—from very light, pale skin to light or dark brown skin. One common thread is the pigmentation issues that Asian Americans often face as after-effects of other dermatologic problems that can be as troublesome as the original condition itself.
At the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago, dermatologist Roopal V. Kundu, MD, FAAD, assistant professor and director of the Center for Ethnic Skin in the department of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, discussed two of the most common skin conditions in Asians and how treatment also involves addressing the ensuing pigmentation problems.
“The standards of beauty for Asian skin differ by region, but smooth skin and a flawless complexion are highly desired for most Asians,” said Kundu. “That is why treating the initial concern as well as any pigmentation problems that may occur as the result of the treatment are so important.”
Clearing acne step by step
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that affects Asians, and Kundu explained this population tends to experience inflammatory acne. By its very nature, Asian skin has an increased amount of melanin, and the cells that make melanin tend to be more sensitive to any type of inflammation or injury. Because Asian skin becomes more inflamed with deeper acne pustules and papules, patients are often left with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which refers to increased pigmentation or dark spots at the sites of inflammation.