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Treating Acne in African American's

dark skin skin care acne

Acne is a major problem in African American skin, due to an over production of oil, as African American skin tends to be oilier then white skin tones. Teenagers and adolescents are more prone to acne breakouts then adults, but like any skin type, acne can occur during the early twenties and thirties, which is normally due to hormones.

Black skins have more oil glands then white skins, and oil glands are larger and more susceptible to acne. A small pimple on black skin has more inflammation in comparison to white skin, with the same small pimple. Since the inflammation is worse, the resultant scar will be worse. Due to the amount of melanocytes, black skins are more prone to the forming of black spots, therefore African American people must take extra care of acne prone skin.

When using skin care products it is best to use extreme caution. Treat the skin as if it were a sensitive skin type, only using those products that are mild. A good skin care routine is a must. Skin should be cleansed twice a day, followed by a mild toner, moisturizer and sun block. Acne cream may be used but not applied to the whole face. It is best to just dot a small amount of cream onto the pimple. A mild scrub can be used once a week as well as acne mask. Do not use any over the counter peels as this can result in discoloration of the skin. Eating a healthy diet, fresh air and exercise can also be included, with your skin care regime. While some believe that certain foods can cause acne, it still has not been proven conclusively.

Due to the amount of melanin in black skins, skin is more vulnerable to injury and more sensitive to topical products. Scarring caused by acne, produces hyper pigmentation after the lesions have healed. Spots can remain darker then the surrounding skin months or even years after healing. Preventive measures must be taken. Hyper pigmentation is a deposit of excess pigmentation in a specific area. Not only as the result of acne but also as a result of scrapes, burns, cuts, eczema or other skin traumas. Black skin should not be picked, squeezed or punctured.

In treating severe acne it is best to see a dermatologist, who may prescribe a topical retinoid, which is a compound of vitamin A, which is known to speed up cell regeneration as well as treat hyper pigmentation. Retinoid unfortunately may have side effects, such as skin irritation similar to sunburn and higher sensitivity to the suns ultra violet rays. A good sun screen must be used with a SPF no lower then 15. Harsh sun light should also be avoided.

New treatments are now available for African American skins, such as Laser Therapy and Chemical peels.

Chemical peels act as an accelerant which causes the upper layer of skin to peel off. When using a chemical peel it is best to apply a primer first and a lower strength solution should be used. The solution should be left on for a shorter time period. This should be done by a professional or a dermatologist. If done incorrectly skin will become uneven toned.

Laser Treatments affect different layers of skin, allowing acne and hyper pigmentation to be treated with no visible side effects or trauma. This treatment must be done by a professional, or it may cause further trauma to the skin resulting in further hyper pigmentation and scarring.

A dermatologist can also recommend oral treatments such as ‘Acutaine,’ which is a pill that prevents the secretion of oil. The side effect to this treatment is other parts of the body will also become dry to lack of oil secretion may also affect the eyes and nose. This pill cannot be taken during pregnancies. Other medications used in treating acne are antibiotics, which was popular a few years ago but not now, due to the ineffectiveness of the pills. With antibiotics given so freely by doctors to treat other ailments, the human body has become immune to them.

More and more dermatologists are now recommending oral contraceptives in the treatment of acne in women. When using, care must be taken and doctor supervision is advised, as well as the age of the woman should be taken into consideration. They have now come out with a pill; one known brand is ‘Diane 35’, which is a hormonal pill to treat acne, with the side effect being birth control.
Published: 2008-10-31
Author: Teresa Anne Ng

About the author or the publisher
I am a 50 year old Canadian woman and have been living in Malaysia for the past 26 years. I have 5 children ranging in age from 32 to 14. Two of my children are teenagers and I spend my time trying to maintain sanity. I have been widowed for 10 years.

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