Acne Treatment for Women of Color
Treating acne is very much a matter of finding the right balance of skin care and medications to get rid of your pimples once and for all. However, treating acne in women of color poses unique challenges. Acne treatment for women of color requires acknowledging over-the-counter creams may not be the best option and that a greater likelihood of scarring makes speedy treatment a necessity.
Avoid over-the-counter creams that contain benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient is designed to dry up acne blemishes and prevent excess production of oil. However, in women of color, this could dry out the skin too much and make post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation a greater likelihood. Additionally, this ingredient may bleach your skin of some of its pigment permanently.
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition characterized by red, brown or black marks on the skin where acne blemishes were once located. These marks are much more common in those with darker skin tones and may last longer than in those with lighter skin. Hyperpigmentation spots fade away in time, according to AcneNet, but they can leave you feeling self-conscious. To treat these marks, try applying a prescription topical retinoid. This should speed up the fading process without damaging the surrounding tissue.
Wearing sunscreen every day is an essential part of treating acne in women of color. Since many acne medications leave your skin photosensitive, protecting yourself is essential. Sun exposure can even make hyperpigmentation last longer. SPF 30 is the lowest strength recommended by AcneNet. Choose an oil-free formulation to avoid aggravating existing blemishes or causing new ones to form.
Keloids are raised scars that are more likely to form on those with skin of color. After a bad acne breakout, keloids may form instead of the standard depressed scars. As soon as you notice the development of a raised scar, see your dermatologist. Early treatment is essential, as surgery is often the only remedy. Even so, these scars tend to reoccur, even after surgery, according to Brownskin.net.
When going the topical route for treatment of acne, skip the drugstore brands and head straight to your dermatologist's office. Topical retinoids are the best option for women of color, according to AcneNet. Common forms of this drug include tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene. These retinoids help dry out acne without causing widespread irritation and inflammation to the rest of your skin.
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