Black Skin Conditions

Black Skin Conditions

No skin type or ethnic group is exempt from skin problems or conditions. If not treated early, skin conditions can become permanent and more severe. Here are some conditions most common with black skin and how to treat them:

 ASHY SKIN: “Ashy” is one term no one wants to be addressed by no matter their skin color. However, black skin and people of African descent are more prone to suffer from this skin condition. When black skin is dry, chalky, or when dead skin cells come up to the surface; it can be noticed easily. You can eliminate dry skin by exfoliating often, and using products that will hydrate the skin.  Also you might want to start a regular skin care regimen to help with this condition if you suffer from this condition.

POST- INFLAMMATORY HYPERPIGMENTATION: Hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of pigment, and hypopigmentation is the lack of pigmentation. But when it comes to Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation this is when the skin is scarred from a cut, burn or lesion from acne or eczema. This is one condition why people with ethnic skin start to bleach to lighten the scarring/dark spot. However, if the treatment is started early there is no need to bleach. Using sunscreen daily can help eliminate these dark spots.

ACNE: Acne doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care how old you are, your skin type or ethnicity. However, according to, acne is prevalent in black adolescents and adult of African descent, and the reason for most dermatologist or esthetician visits. Most black people tend to have inflammatory acne, which is the most common type of acne. There are several ways to treat acne, from medications as strong as Accutane to topicals such as Benzoyl Peroxide & Salicylic Acid.


VITILIGO (Vih-til-EYE-goh): A pigmentation disease characterized by white irregular patches of skin that are totally lacking pigment. The condition can worsen with time and sunlight.

The disease can occur at any age and is believed to be an autoimmune disorder causing an absence of melanocytes. Vitiligo usually appears on the face, hands, or chest, but can also appear on any parts of the body. *see a dermatologist if you suffer from this condition*

Folliculitis (Fah-lik-yuh-LY-tis): This is a common problem for black men because the shape of the hair shaft is curved not straight hence the problem with ingrown hair, causing bacterial infection. PSEUDOFOLLICULITIS(SOO-doe-fah-lik-yuh-LY-tis), also known as razor bumps, resembles folliculitis without the pus or infection. 

KELOIDS (KEE-loyd): A thick scar resulting from excessive growth of fibrous tissue (collagen). People of African descent are predisposed to Keloids, usually following an injury. It occurs on the earlobes, chest, back, arms, and can be itchy and painful. Treatments for Keloids include, radiation therapy, silicone gel, cortisone injection, or removed traditionally through laser or surgery. Unfortunately, keloids can re-occur after treatment.

MELASMA (Muh-LAZ-muh): This is also known as “pregnancy mask.” Melasma is a condition where brown pigmentation appears on the face during pregnancy. It usually fades with time, but is worsened by sun exposure.

So be sure to use your sunscreen religiously if you have pregnancy mask. Other natural products to treat this are are, black soap, tea tree oil, shea butter, and green tea cream.

PITYRIASIS ALBA: Mostly affects black children and appear on the face and arms causing scaly patches. It can easily be cured with steroid creams. *see dermatologist*

ECZEMA (EG-zuh-muh): According to the Milady Standard Fundamentals of Esthetics, Eczema is an Inflammatory, painful, itching disease of the skin; acute or chronic in nature, with dry or moist lesions. This should be referred to a physician. Seborrheic dermatitis is a common form of eczema as well as a sebaceous gland disorder; characterized by scaling around the nose, ears, scalp, eyebrows, and mid-chest areas. Flaking mainly affects oilier areas.


We’ll like to hear from you. What are some skin conditions you deal with?



Milady Standard Fundamentals of Esthetics, 11th Edition


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