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      Skin Blog

      6 Tips to avoid Acne Breakouts on African American skin

      6 Tips to avoid Acne Breakouts on African American skin

      1. Eat More Clean and more Green. Many African American women who get acne are getting it from the inside rather than the outside.  You may be using all the correct products and have been keeping you face perfectly cleansed and exfoliated but are still seeing that darn acne.  

      Its your diet.  Many say its what you are eating but most times its what you are "Not" eating.  Try eating more green veggies (not green beans lol).  But try veggies like kale and spinach.  These are some of the more bitter vegetables but can taste great in a salad.  

      Don't worry you dont have to eat to much of them because just a little will do the trick.  Try it! You will see a big difference in your skin tone and much less acne.

      2. Keep your face clean. Whether or not you have acne, it's important to wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from your skin's surface. Washing more often than twice daily is not necessarily better; it may do more harm than good. Use warm, not hot, water and a mild facial cleanser. Using a harsh soap (like deodorant body soap) can hurt already inflamed skin and cause more irritation.

      Avoid scrubbing your skin harshly with a washcloth, an exfoliating glove, or loofah (a coarse-textured sponge). Gently wash it with a very soft cloth or your hands. Always rinse well, and then dry your face with a clean towel. (Toss the towel in the laundry hamper, as dirty towels spread bacteria.) Also, use the washcloth only once.

      3. Moisturize. Many acne products contain ingredients that make African American skin too dry or too oily, so always use a moisturizer that minimizes dryness and does not make your skin oily. Look for "noncomedogenic" on the label, which means it should not cause acne. There are moisturizers made for oily, dry, or combination skin.  (All Tonae products are noncomedogenic and do not cause acne)

      4. Try an over-the-counter exfoliation method.  Sugar scrubs don't need a prescription. Most of them have ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which curb bacteria and keep your skin from being oily. 

      5. Use makeup sparingly. During a breakout, avoid wearing foundation, powder, or blush. If you do wear makeup, wash it off at the end of the day with a sugar scrub to make sure all of the makeup has been removed from the pores.

      If possible, choose oil-free cosmetics without added dyes and chemicals. Choose makeup that is labeled as "noncomedogenic," meaning it should not cause acne. Read the ingredients list on the product label before buying.

      6. Watch what you put on your hair. Avoid using fragrances, oils, pomades, or gels on your hair. If they get on your face, they can block your skin's pores and irritate your skin (forehead acne).

      Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner. You want moisturized hair not oily hair.  Oily hair can add to the oil on your face. Got long hair? Keep it pulled away from your face.

      Stretch Marks In African American Women

      Stretch Marks In African American Women
      If your skin is stretched farther than it’s used to in a short period of time -- during pregnancy or a change in weight, for example -- the elastic fibers in your skin can tear. Those damaged areas make long, thin scars called stretch marks.

      Read more

      11 Most Common African American Skin Conditions

      11 Most Common African American Skin Conditions

      Everyone’s skin is unique and has its own set of problems, but African American skin conditions can be more common due to sensitivity, lack of available treatments geared toward issues seen in darker skin types, and the use of generic hygiene products that aren’t ideal for African American skin care. If you’re struggling with maintaining healthy, flawless skin, you’re not alone. In this blog, we’ll review some of the many common skin conditions that people of color struggle with.

      1 – Melasma

      This is a skin condition commonly seen in African American women between the ages of 20 and 40. It typically presents with symmetrical, brown blotches seen as an irregularity within the facial pigmentation. While it’s most common in adult women, men, children, and older adults can also develop this condition.

      Melasma can cause embarrassment, but according to Dr. Calvin Williams from U.S. Dermatology Partners Keller, “Melasma isn’t painful, and best of all, it can be easily treated. Often, patients achieve improvement with over the counter hydroquinone creams like Esoterica and Porcelana. There are also numerous prescription products and professional treatments available for more severe cases.” Some of the more advanced professional treatments may include advanced topical hydroquinone combination treatments, oral medications, and microneedling.  But as always, sunscreen is the backbone of treatment for this condition.

      2 – Vitiligo

      This skin depigmenting disorder occurs due to the loss of melanocytes (pigment cells that produce melanin that create different skin tones). The main symptom is large patches of milky-white skin that can appear anywhere on the skin. While this condition can affect men and women and those of any race, it is most noticeable and stigmatized for those with darker skin tones.

      While research is ever-changing, treatment for vitiligo will be customized to address your unique situation. Most treatment options are geared toward restoring lost pigmentation and creating even skin tones. Some patients choose to use at-home products like concealers to restore natural color, but this is usually not a good long-term solution. A dermatologist can provide a number of treatment options, including topical medications, light treatments, and surgical skin grafts.

      3 – Confluent and Reticulated Papillomatosis (Gougerot-Carteaud Syndrome)

      Confluent and reticulated papillomatosis (CARP) is a very rare skin condition that typically affects adolescents, teens, and young adults. This condition may also be referred to as Gougerot-Carteaud Syndrome named after the discoverers of this skin problem who attempted to develop treatment for the first treatment. CARP occurs when keratin levels are disordered. In most cases, people will see blueish-gray to skin-colored papules on the abdomen, back, and neck. These skin patches or papules don’t usually contain any mucus or pus, and they are completely painless. Though, some people do experience mild itchiness.

      There is no known cause of this skin condition. Many studies have looked into potentially underlying hormonal shifts and bacterial infections. In most cases, patients receive topical and/or oral antibiotic treatments that are very effective in reducing the appearance of CARP.

      4 – Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

      Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a condition that occurs after a skin injury or inflammation. This condition causes the skin surrounding and at the site of injury or inflammation to produce larger amounts of melanin, which can lead to darker skin color. While PIH can affect almost anyone, those with darker skin colors tend to be more commonly affected, have more severe and persistent cases, and also have the most concerns about the pigment irregularities.

      In most cases, treatments for PIH will be the same as those available for Melasma, including over the counter or prescription topical medications, hydroquinone therapy, and sun protection.

      5 – Folliculitis & Pseudo-Folliculitis Barbae (Razor Bumps)

      Folliculitis and Pseudo-Folliculitis Barbae is the medical terminology used to describe the razor bumps that can affect anyone in all areas of the body where the hair is shaved, plucked, or waxed. This condition occurs when the body has an adverse, inflammatory response to shaving usually due to folliculitis (ingrown hairs). It is very common among African American males.

      Most cases of folliculitis and pseudo-folliculitis barbae are due to damaging hair removal products or techniques. Making changes to your grooming practices, such as switching for shaving with razors to trimming the hair with clippers will typically help to ensure you avoid this condition or improve it. For severe cases or those that don’t clear up on their own, a dermatologist may prescribe antibiotic gel and/or oral antibiotics, a topical steroid or retinoid, and/or laser treatments.

      6 – Acne Keloidalis Nuchae

      Acne Keloidalis Nuchae (AKN) usually affects the hair growing around the nape of the neck, and it can last for years. It occurs when hairs on the back of the head and neck grow into the skin. This causes inflammation and can lead to scar tissue. This skin condition most often impacts people of African descent, and it is 20 times more common in males.

      Treatment for AKN may include topical antibiotics and steroidal gels to suppress inflammation. A dermatologist may also recommend steroidal injections. Serious cases may require surgical removal. In early cases, laser hair removal has proven to be an effective preventive measure.

      7 – Traction Alopecia

      Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that occurs due to tension on the scalp. African Americans often develop traction alopecia secondary to the tension due to normal hair styling practices. The repeated tension leads to hair loss, inflammation, and presents a risk of permanent hair loss.

      The easiest way to avoid traction alopecia is to wear styles that have low tension forces. If you’ve already experienced traction alopecia we may recommend changing your hair styling practices, adding in supplements to repair damage and strengthen your hair, and also topical medications that can aid with symptoms patients may have from inflammation.

      8 – Acanthosis Nigricans

      Most common in people with diabetes, those with dark skin are also at significant risk for developing acanthosis nigricans. This skin condition causes hyperpigmentation (darkening) and hyperkeratosis (thickening) of the skin. Most people notice these effects in skin folds like armpits (axilla), the groin, and the back of the neck. They look like thick, brown patches, and they have a velvety texture.

      Treatment for acanthosis nigricans is typically targeted to address the four main symptoms of this condition – skin color, thickness, odor, and pain. The color and clarity of skin may be improved with prescriptions topical treatments as well as oral and/or topical retinoids. Laser therapy has proven effective in addressing skin thickness. If the skin affected by acanthosis nigricans has a strange odor, this is likely due to bacteria. We will recommend the use of topical antibiotics and regular cleaning with antibacterial hand soaps.

      9 – Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

      Dermatosis papulosa nigra, often simply referred to as DPN, is a skin condition that causes small black or brown spots to develop. These spots usually appear on the face. Some also develop these spots on the neck, back, and chest. Most of the spots are relatively flat, but others hang off of the skin like a skin tag.

      This is a benign condition that does not typically cause any discomfort and isn’t associated with any serious health conditions. Most people choose to forego treatment for this condition, but there are surgical removal methods available in severe cases.

      10 – Keloids

      A keloid is an atypical scar formation that results from injury. They can impact any part of the body, but keloids are most common on the chest and shoulders. A keloid scar can appear right after an injury, or it may take months to develop. In addition to this unpredictable development, there’s no specific indicator of what types of wounds will lead to keloid scars.

      Treatment for keloids may include steroid injections, moisturizing oils, using silicon pads, cryotherapy, and surgical removal in severe cases with a well-designed aftercare to aid with preventing recurrences.

      11 – Psoriasis

      The symptoms of psoriasis are most noticeable on the skin and nails, but it’s actually an autoimmune condition. Psoriasis causes an overgrowth of skin cells leading to thick, scaly plaques. This condition is more common in people of European descent, but some researchers believe this may be due to a lack of accurate diagnosis in the skin of color. The National Psoriasis Foundation has dedicated research and training to help dermatologists make more accurate psoriasis diagnosis for African Americans and other people of color.

      Psoriasis cannot be cured, but with proper care and maintenance, most people are able to control the symptoms of this autoimmune condition. Some of the treatments that may be used included phototherapy (light) with narrowband UVB, injections, oral and topical medications, moisturizers, and behavioral changes to reduce stress and other contributing factors.

      How to Exfoliate African American Skin

      How to Exfoliate African American Skin

      1.  When using a physical exfoliant on African American Skin, start by washing your face with your regular cleanser. Then, take a quarter-size amount of your face scrub and apply it onto your face in circular motions, avoiding the eye area.

      2.  Gently massage the product onto the skin usually from 30 seconds to a full minute. Then, rinse off with warm water and gently pat your skin with a clean towel. Follow up with your hydrating mask, serum or cream.

      3.  Remember that exfoliating your face should only be done about one to three times a week, as exfoliating too often or too hard may cause micro-tears on your skin’s surface and strip your skin’s protective layer.


      Who What Why and When to Exfoliate African American Skin

      Who What Why and When to Exfoliate African American Skin

      How to Exfoliate Your Body The Right Way

      What Is Exfoliation?

      For African American Skin, exfoliation is the skin is the process of removing dead cells from the outer layer of your skin using an exfoliant, which could either be a chemical or physical. Its always best to use a non-chemical source to maintain African American health and our concerns with how historically chmicals have been in "Our" products that aren't so good for us.

      There are a couple of ways to physically exfoliate African American skin. The first involves using a skincare tool, such as a sponge, towel or brush, on your skin to displace and remove dead skin cells. The other method involves using a liquid, gel or scrub with granules like microbeads or sugar to smooth and refine the skin. With exfoliation, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) ate enzymes used to loosen the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells together so they are easily removed.

      Why You Should Exfoliate African American Skin

      African American skin is much more thick than those of other nationalities and constantly repairing and replacing itself. Because of this, you can be left with layers upon layers of dead skin all over your body. Exfoliating helps rid your body of these leftover dead skin cells, revealing healthier, brighter skin immediately after.

      While brighter skin is certainly a perk, exfoliation can actually help improve the health of your skin as well. If your skin has too many dead skin cells that have not been removed, any skincare products may not be able to penetrate deep into the skin and do their work. 

      By removing the top-most layer of skin, you’re making it easier for your skincare treatments to sink deep below the surface where they could make a difference.

      Acne and Exfoliation

      If you have acne-prone skin, exfoliation can help clear out clogged pores that often lead to breakouts and hair bumbs. It can also help fade acne scars faster by accelerating skin cell turnover and stimulating collagen production.