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Early Diagnosis Key for People of Color With Common Skin Conditions

Posted: August 8, 2011

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For example, topical treatments for PIH include hydroquinone (considered the “gold standard”) and retinoids to help lighten the affected areas. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and the fractional laser are other options that can treat PIH.

Rosacea not just about seeing red

In lighter-skinned people, rosacea appears as redness and inflammation of the skin with small blood vessels visible on the nose and cheeks. However, in people of color, the condition may not appear as red or unattractive and may look more like blush. For this reason, rosacea can be missed in people of color.

“If a darker-skinned person notices an uneven complexion or change in the skin, it may be rosacea,” says Roberts. “In addition to the proper treatment, rosacea patients need to be vigilant about protecting their skin from the sun and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily that protects from both ultraviolet A and B rays with an SPF of 30 or higher.”

Depending on the type of rosacea, Roberts added that the following treatments are effective: topical medications (metroniadazole cream, the gold standard; or azelaic acid), oral antibiotics (doxycycline or minocycline), or vascular lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) laser.

Understanding differences important to caring for skin

“People of color need to keep in mind that they should see a dermatologist for any changes in their skin or at the first sign of brown spots that do not fade on their own,” says Roberts. “Even the handling and care of a simple skin cut can make a difference in the way that a wound will heal and the possibility of scarring. Being aware of the differences in darker skin is first and foremost to caring for and protecting it.”