People of all races and ethnicities have acne, but people with darker skin tones face certain specific side effects from the treatment for acne. If you have darker skin and acne flares, you will have to be more careful in dealing with your pimples to avoid problems. Treatments for acne are the same regardless of your ethnicity, but side effects can vary, depending on your skin tone.
Dryness and irritation are common after-effects of acne treatment . For people with darker skin, if the skin gets too dry, the treated area can become either lighter or much darker than the rest of their skin. This is not a permanent pigment change though., and if you start to use a moisturizer and cut back on how often you use any drying acne medication, you may be able to avoid the side effects.
Waiting patiently for the treatment to work helps
Developing dark spots is the leading complaint of people with darker complexions struggling to get acne under control. And unwanted and unexpected side effects such as skin discoloration can undermine an acne treatment plan before it even gets started.
Patients, anxious about a new treatment for acne, use too much of it and then develop side effects. Because of this, they quit the treatment too soon — the most common reason for treatment failure. It’s important to remember that with a topical treatment — one applied on the skin — it can take two to three months before any results are visible.
Try some of the following techniques that will help you stick to your acne treatment:
Lighten up dark spots
People of color who develop dark patches (called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) after acne treatment may benefit from azelaic acid (Finacea), a prescription topical that you apply to trouble spots.
The right moisturizer will even out skin tone and cut down on the dryness and irritation. Choose an oil-free moisturizer to avoid adding more oil to your face and look for the word “non-comedogenic” on the label, so you know it won’t clog pores and worsen acne.
Correct color variations with good cosmetics
You may be able to conceal some discoloration with a foundation or cosmetics that offers extra coverage.
Help for Acne Scarring
Acne scarring is a concern in all skin types. In people with lighter skin, acne scars are usually a very dark purple color and can have a slightly thinner appearance as well — a little indented. In people with darker skin, scars are often much darker than the rest of their skin.
Have a chemical peel
A light chemical peel is an option for people who want to speed through the acne treatment process and cut down on side effects. Apply these peels every three or four weeks.
Whatever your skin tone, you do not have to live with acne or its side effects forever. Work with your dermatologist to find the best acne treatment approach for your skin.
Good luck and be determined