Skin color is a major determining factor in treatment with your dermatologist in Washington, D.C.
For much of history, people with richly pigmented skin did not find solutions to their various unique dermatological concerns in the field of dermatology. In the past decade alone, however, many dermatologists have stepped up to the plate with an understanding that ethnicity and skin color play a huge role in determining a course of treatment. Dr. Burgess is a dermatologist with practices in Washington, D.C. and Annapolis who has direct expertise in treating more richly colored skin.
We all have melanocytes, which are melanin-producing skin cells. These cells determine the overall tone of our skin. People whose cells produce more melanin will have more deeply pigmented skin. There are benefits to increased melanin, such as a slower progression of the signs of aging. More melanin often also means added sun protection. A higher amount of melanocytes, and darker skin, also has some disadvantages. People with more pigmentation may experience:
- Discoloration of the skin due to autoimmune disorders or even acne can be quite dramatic when the skin is darker. Common discoloration conditions include dark spots (hyper-pigmentation), light spots (hypo-pigmentation), and a loss of pigmentation, or vitiligo.
- Acne scarring may be more common in pigmented skin, with scars from acne lasting several weeks or months after the blemish has occurred. Severe acne that penetrates deep into the skin can lead to severe scarring. For this reason, we encourage people with rich skin to visit us for acne treatment right away.
- Skin cancer is not a problem only for those with extremely light skin. Bob Marley died from a melanoma that developed on the sole of his foot. A dermatologist who understands darker skin is better equipped to perform regular skin checks and catch melanoma early.
- Scarring from injury or surgery is a consideration in the treatment of colored skin. Darker skin tones are more at risk of developing keloids or hypertrophic scars, both of which are enlarged and raised.
Dermatology is a standard field, but not all dermatologists have specific expertise in treating darker skin tones. Dr. Burgess has treated many patients of different ethnicities, and has authored works pertaining to skin of color. At Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, your unique skin is treated with individualized care.
Contact our office today for your visit with Dr. Cheryl Burgess.
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