Cosmetic Treatments for Dark Skin Tones
Of course we all know that human skin tones come in a huge variety of shades. Some are porcelain pale, while others have the deepest of dark complexions. It’s one of the many factors that make each of us unique and beautiful as individuals. And, in some cases, it may be the factor that makes finding the right cosmetic product or treatment excessively difficult.
Those with fair complexions often never have trouble finding the perfect makeup shade or identifying a chemical peel or laser treatment that can help ease their skin troubles. For those with darker skin, however, finding these things is not always so simple. Such skin tones are typically more susceptible to bothersome side effects such as discolorations, making treating them a unique challenge for patients and physicians alike.
Hyperpigmentation in Dark Skin
While darker skin tones are less vulnerable to sun damage or premature signs of aging, they are also more prone to pigmentation problems. Even the slightest skin trauma may result in hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, at the affected area. This challenge can make treatment with lasers, dermabrasion, or chemical peels particularly difficult when left to an inexperienced provider.
In addition to hyperpigmentation resulting from damage to the skin, those of Hispanic, African American, Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean descent are all more prone than whites to experience a darkening of the skin known as melasma. This discoloration of the skin typically comes in patches and most commonly affects the face, although it may also appear on the neck or arms. Women of color are far more likely to suffer from melasma than men, who make up only 10% of patients.
Cosmetic Treatments that work for Dark Complexions
Laser treatments are wildly popular, but some are less than ideal for darker skin tones. Taking into account the propensity to develop hyperpigmentation in response to trauma, applying heat, such as that from a laser, may result in additional skin problems. For this reason, it is essential that patients seek out a skilled physician to complete their treatment.
While we never recommend receiving cosmetic services such as lasers or peels from anyone other than a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, this is exceptionally true for darker-skinned patients. A physician who has undergone extensive training and education and who routinely sees such skin tone-related concerns has the knowledge, tools, and techniques required to ensure desirable results while avoiding skin damage. He or she can expertly recommend more suitable options for dark skin such as ND: Yag lasers or mélange peels for conditions such as melasma.
To ensure that you have selected the best physician for your particular needs, inquire about their level of experience with dark-skinned patients. Ask which procedures they would recommend and how these may be modified to ensure the safety of your skin. While you may have to select a less aggressive or more long-term treatment option, finally being able to safely achieve the results you want will be well worth the additional time and effort.