Darker Skin Can Benefit from Early Intervention

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A study released by the American Academy of Dermatology indicates that people with darker skin can benefit from early intervention with skin problems.

Common skin conditions can appear differently in people of different skin tones.  The study highlights three skin diseases or conditions we summarize here:

  1. Skin Cancer: Every day at PhaMix we talk with people who say, “Oh, I’m dark-skinned, so I don’t need sunscreen.”  While it’s true that the amount of melanin (or pigment) in the skin is directly related to one’s natural defences against UV rays, it’s simply not true that having darker skin automatically protects you 100%.  People of color are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, in places where there is already a burn or scar. Because this type of cancer might not look like skin cancer, to a delay in diagnosis is likely, allowing the cancer to spread.  The bottom line? Wear a sunscreen with good broad-spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30.
  2. Acne: Dealing with pimples is only half the battle when you have darker skin.  These need to be treated quickly and effectively if you don’t want to risk scarring which might last months, years, or for the rest of your life.  Hyperpigmentation itself is also treatable, but it’s ideal to treat acne early to avoid any scarring.  Both hydroquinone and retinoids are among the treatments dermatologists recommend to treat dark spots on the skin.
  3. Rosacea, while very noticeable in individuals with light skin, may present as a faint blush in those with darker skin.  This can lead to problems with diagnosis.  Do your skin a favor and protect your rosacea from the stress that can be caused by sun damage.  Once again, sunscreen is on your side. There are lots of options to effectively protect your skin without giving you a white sheen.  I like Anthelios XL Melt-In Cream SPF 50+ Tinted – just enough color to blend with darker skin, not enough to make me look like I’m wearing a lot of makeup.  Read more about Anthelios sunscreens here.

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