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Addressing the Concerns of Asian Skin in the Spa

Posted: August 30, 2010

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As is recommended in treating acne in Asian patients, Kundu added that avoiding the sun and using sunscreen daily are essential in the treatment of melasma and also in limiting potential side effects of laser and light treatments.

Cultural practices can spell trouble for the skin

Many of the deep-rooted cultural practices in Asian populations are still evident today, and Kundu noted that some can pose skin problems that need to be addressed by a dermatologist.

For example, cupping and moxibustion are two ancient healing techniques that complement acupuncture therapy by the use of heat to stimulate circulation. However, Kundu reported that people who regularly practice cupping and moxibustion can get bruising or scarring that sometimes require dermatologic care to minimize PIH. Similarly, the practice of coin rubbing, which involves using oils on the skin and repetitive rubbing of coins firmly over the area to promote healing, can create deep abrasions and bruising that may need medical attention.

Another common cultural practice among certain Asian cultures is the application of black henna tattoos. These popular tattoos could contain high concentrations of a chemical known as para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, used to create longer-lasting black henna tattoos. However, Kundu explained that PPD is an allergen that could cause allergic contact dermatitis, with symptoms ranging from mild eczema to blistering and scarring.