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Acne Treatments for Black Skin

Acne Treatments for Black Skin Acne Treatments for Black Skin Acne Treatments for Black Skin

Treating acne in a person with dark colored skin, such as African-American skin, requires a gentle approach. Many traditional treatments dry out the skin and cause it to peel. Because black skin is melanin-rich, it is more sensitive to these types of treatments and alternative treatments must be used to avoid permanent skin damage, such as hyperpigmentation or scarring.

Home Treatments

Keeping your face clean and healthy is one way to treat acne in black skin; however, cleaning your face too much can worsen acne. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends washing your face once or twice per day using a gentle antibacterial cleanser. When you wash, avoid vigorous scrubbing. In addition, you should only choose products that are water-based or labeled as non-comedogenic, as these products won't clog your pores--which allows acne to heal and helps to prevent further outbreaks. Greasy products, such as pomade, cocoa butter and vitamin E products, shouldn't be used in the acne-affected areas as these can cause acne to worsen or cause new blemishes.

Topical Treatments

Some over-the-counter medications for acne, such as benzoyl peroxide, dry the skin out and cause it to peel. For a person with black skin, this can cause permanent skin damage such as skin bleaching, states AcneNet. As such, extreme caution must be used when choosing over-the-counter products. As an alternative, you can visit a dermatologist for topical prescription treatments that are retinol-based. These include tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene, which are considered safe for dark skin. Some topical antibiotics may also be prescribed.

Oral Treatments

Sometimes, oral medications are needed to help get acne under control, according to the Mayo Clinic. These medications work in a variety of different ways. Antibiotics help to control the bacteria and infections that are associated with acne flare-ups and scars in African Americans. Birth control pills may help to control hormones that can contribute to acne breakouts. Isotretinoin is another option that is sometimes used to control cystic acne.

Cosmetic Treatments

Cosmetic treatments can be used to treat acne and acne-related scarring in dark-skinned patients. These treatments are usually used in conjunction with traditional acne treatments. Microdermabrasion removes some surface skin cells by blowing fine crystals onto the affected area, which can help to minimize the look of acne scars. This also helps to prevent sebum, or oils that naturally lubricate the hair and skin, from mixing with the skin cells to create the plugs that form acne. Light therapy and laser therapy have the same effect as microdermabrasion but light or lasers are used to remove the skin cells.

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