Most skin diseases occur in people of all skin types, regardless of its color (pigment). Certain skin diseases are more common among people with a skin of a darker shade. A wide range of racial and ethnic groups, including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans, are people with colored skin.
Skin color variations
The color of the skin is determined by cells called melanocytes. All races have the same number of these cells. Melanosomes are structures in melanocytes that produce the pigment melanin. In melanocytes, dark skin is more chalky, and their size is also greater than in light skin. Although people with colored skin are better protected from skin cancer and the appearance of premature wrinkles, sun exposure requires the use of a good, broad-spectrum UVA / UVB sunscreen with SPF15 to protect all people with colored skin.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) can occur after an injury, such as a cut, a scratch or a burn, or after certain types of disorders such as acne or eczema. This is manifested in all skin types, but more often occurs more noticeably on dark skin. Timely treatment of the underlying disease can help prevent the development of dark spots.
Darkened areas of the skin can last for months or years, although medications can help. Chemical peeling, microdermabrasion and bleaching medications prescribed by a dermatologist can discolor the pigment faster. Avoid abrasive, aggressively cleansing, plucking methods of treatment, if they are not prescribed by a dermatologist.
Daily use of sunscreen is very important to prevent darkening of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Vitiligo is a disease in which pigment cells are destroyed and as a result, white spots are formed. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed that this is an autoimmune disorder (the body produces antibodies of its own pigment).
The degree of skin color loss in each person is different. It is impossible to predict how much pigment will be lost. Although rare, but people can lose the pigment of the skin on the whole body. In most patients, the color of the skin after the course of treatment is not restored.
Several methods, including the use of cortisone or other creams, treatment with light, laser, intense light (IIS) or skin grafting, can be used in the treatment of vitiligo, but there is no ideal treatment. The most common method is PUFA therapy, which combines the intake of the drug with salting and treatment with UVA light. In cases where vitiligo affects most of the body, sometimes the destruction of the remaining normal pigment helps. A dermatologist can determine which treatment is best suited based on the degree of the disease.
Seborrheic eczema is a disease in which there are round, light spots on the skin, covered with small scales. It mainly occurs in children whose spots can appear on any part of the body, but are most noticeable on the face and upper arms. White spots are the result of moderate eczema, and the loss of color is temporary. This disease can be treated by a local method.
Dry or “ashy skin”
Dry skin is a problem for people with any skin color, but especially it causes inconvenience to people with dark skin color. Dry skin is easy to see in people with dark skin, as its color becomes grayish, “ashy”. A regular application of a moisturizer may help, although some such drugs can worsen diseases such as acne (acne). If acne occurs or worsens, it is necessary to stop using a moisturizer and visit a dermatologist.
Ashes can also affect the scalp. Lipsticks or hair oil that make hair more docile can reduce dryness of the scalp, but can worsen seborrhea, inflammatory, scaly, itchy skin condition. If lipstick or hair oil is spread out on the forehead, pores can become clogged, which leads to the appearance of acne or “pomade acne.” If this happens, stop using the product or apply lipstick an inch further from the hairline.
Lipsticks can also contribute to a bacterial head skin infection, called folliculitis, which causes pus, bumps and redness around the hair. This can also lead to hair loss. If this happens, stop using lipstick and visit a dermatologist.
Black papular dermatosis (fleshy moles)
It occurs almost exclusively only in African Americans, and more often in women. These brown or black protrusions, dark spots usually appear on the cheeks. They resemble birthmarks or flat warts, although they are not. In fact, they are a kind of benign growth, called seborrheic keratosis. They are not carcinogenic, but some patients remove them for cosmetic reasons.
When a scar from a cut or wound grows and spreads beyond the initial wound, this phenomenon is called a keloid. Keloids can be of different sizes, shapes and placed in different places, and most often occur in people with colored skin.
Keloids, most commonly occurring on the lobes of the ears, chest, back, or hands, usually occur after injuries or infections. In some cases, they arise spontaneously, especially in the middle of a pile of cells. Keloids often occur after surgery or puncturing the ears.
Depending on location, the treatment can include cortisone injections, pressure bandage, silicone gels, surgery, laser therapy, cryosurgery, liquid nitrogen, radiation therapy or combination therapy. Unfortunately, keloids are difficult to cure and they arise again, sometimes they are larger than they were before. New treatment regimens are being developed.
Keloid acne occiput or keloid folliculitis
Some men, especially those who use the blade to knock the hair off the back of the neck and neck, develop mounds and scars of a keloid type. This site can itch and sometimes become infected. Treatment includes oral antibiotics, products from localized acne, and local or injected cortisone. In case of severe damage, it may be necessary to surgically remove or use a laser. Timely treatment by a dermatologist is necessary to achieve better treatment results.
Dark streaks or streaks on most nails on the arms and legs of people with colored skin are normal and increase in quantity with age. Increasing the darkening around the base of the nail, resize, shape and color of the existing bands, or the development of new single dark bands may be signs of a dangerous type of skin cancer called malignant melanoma, and they need to show a dermatologist.
Melanoma can occur in the hands, feet, fingers and toes (and in between), nails, and mucous membranes (mouth or nose) of people with colored skin. A new dark mark or mark that changes in size, shape or color, in these areas, should be immediately indicated to the dermatologist. Diseases of the skin, hair and nails, common injuries to people with colored skin, are usually not serious, but can cause inconvenience. These diseases can be easily recognized and successfully cured by visiting a dermatologist.