Skin of Color
Your skin is unique
Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Cheryl Burgess and her exceptional team at the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and the Professional Aesthetic Image Center, P.C. offer top quality dermatologic care for patients of all ethnicities and skin types. We understand that more richly pigmented individuals face unique skin care challenges. Furthermore, we understand that each patient has unique needs and concerns. We will work with you to find safe, effective ways to achieve and maintain clear, healthy, beautiful skin. Many conditions affect those with richly pigmented skin disproportionately, or require specific diagnostic techniques. These include:
- Hyperpigmentation (Dark areas)
- Hypopigmentation (Light areas)
- Pseudofolliculitis (Razor bumps)
- Particularly keloid scars
- Ashy skin
- Particularly flesh moles
- Hair loss
- Dry, itchy rash
Ethnic skin is sensitive to many common dermatological treatments. A dermatologist may use a specific technique such as laser therapy or chemical peeling on lighter complexioned patients with reliable, excellent results. However, the same procedure performed in the same way could cause scarring, light spots, or dark spots on a patient with more richly pigmented skin. A well-meaning physician, without adequate understanding of skin of color, can cause more damage than the initial problem.
Dr. Burgess is one of a select few dermatologists in the United States with the expertise and experience to provide culturally sensitive, individualized treatment for individuals with more opulent pigmentation. She has penned numerous chapters in medical textbooks, including Cosmetic Products in Dermatology for Skin of Color and Special Considerations in African-American Skin in Cosmetic Dermatology in Skin of Color.
Benefit from technology
Our office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and our team is extensively trained in the latest techniques. The field of dermatology has evolved dramatically in recent years, particularly in our ability to treat skin of color. Some procedures, such as laser hair removal, were only safe for those with light complexions. Outdated devices or methods may not provide the same benefits, or level of safety as our cutting-edge practice.
Reveal your healthiest, most beautiful skin with personalized care from the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery or The Professional Aesthetic Image Center, P.C. Call us today at (202) 955 - 5757 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Burgess.
All about sunscreens explained by Dr. Burgess from Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery
When should someone use sunscreen?
When we talk about sunscreen, it is not just for summer or for going to the beach. They should be used year-round.
UVA & UVB rays are with us all the time, and we have indoor lighting. So don’t forget about specific medical conditions such as melasma that might be affected by indoor lighting and certain electronic devices.
What to look for when selecting sunscreen?
Look at Ultraviolet A – A for Aging and Ultraviolet B – B for Burns. That’s how we look at what the rays do and how they affect our skin.
Most sunscreens are going to be directed to sunburn. It’s going to protect you from developing a bad sunburn if you’re outdoors, but all of us want to prevent aging as well.
Occasionally we will see products that will cover us for both. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30. That again only blocks out about 97% of the rays.
We know that the higher the SPF, the more coverage you have for UVA, but also, the higher the SPF, the more the product will cost.
How to select the correct sunscreen?
So if you’re looking to protect yourself against sunburn, then an SPF of 30 will be adequate with re-application every two hours.
If you’re looking to prevent signs of aging, protect your skin, and wear it all year round, which I advise people to do anyway to cover indoor lighting, then you want to try to give a physical or mineral sunscreen.
Feel free to give us a call and learn more about sunscreens and the treatment options we have for sun-damaged skin.
Skin of color with Dr. Cheryl Burgess
People with richly pigmented skin, I’m referring to my brown and black patients who have cosmetic concerns and are seeking out any cosmetic treatments.
Regardless of the cosmetic procedure or elective, you must be very careful that you seek out a physician or dermatologist who is capable and understands the treatment of colored skin.
I see a lot of scarring cases in my office because colored skin patients are treated incorrectly or undertreated.
There can be a lot of different reasons why they didn’t get the cosmetic results. However, you must seek out the best doctors because not all doctors are trained in skin color.
For instance, not everyone can get a TCA (Trichloroacetic acid peel) as a chemical peel. Primarily skin of color, because it will hyper-pigment the patient.
So keep those things in mind, shop around, get different consultations and compare your notes into how you’re going to go about saving your skin from harm when you’re seeking out elective cosmetic procedures.
Feel free to contact us and learn more about suitable cosmetic procedures for skin of color.