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Addressing the Concerns of Asian Skin in the Spa

Posted: August 30, 2010

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“In my practice, Asian acne patients often are much more concerned with the after-effects of acne and how their skin may be affected by the resulting discoloration or scarring rather than the acne itself,” said Kundu. “However, the first goal of any successful treatment regimen is to control the acne with topical and/or systemic medications depending on the severity of the acne.”

In conjunction with medications she prescribes to clear acne, Kundu also recommends medications or over-the-counter products to even out the tone of Asian skin, which can help reduce the incidence of PIH. One such product that Kundu finds very effective in protecting Asian skin from uneven skin tone is sunscreen.

“Many of my Asian patients do not realize how important regular sun protection is to prevent the signs of aging skin, including preserving skin tone and helping minimize pigmentation problems from acne,” said Kundu. “Minimizing intense sun exposure, wearing sun protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats, along with applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 is a must for treating Asian skin for this reason.”

Another important component of treating acne in this population is exfoliation. Kundu often recommends glycolic acid, salicylic acid or topical retinoids to her patients to remove the surface skin cells and improve both acne and hyperpigmentation. Once acne is under control, the second goal is to address the resulting pigmentation problems. Kundu typically recommends bleaching agents, such as hydroquinone, as well as chemical peels and cosmeceuticals. However, she cautioned that patients should be careful about where they purchase bleaching creams. Some establishments have been cited for selling products that contain too high levels of hydroquinone and even tested positive for toxic levels of mercury.

“It is very important for all patients to talk to their dermatologist before trying any at-home treatments designed to improve their skin tone, as some products can do more harm than good,” advised Kundu. “Your dermatologist can recommend proven therapies and preventive care to keep your skin healthy and looking its best, even when you are experiencing a skin condition like acne.”