Common skin concerns of people of color

Dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman addresses the most asked skin concerns of people of color and provides advice on treating those concerns.
4:27 | 04/08/21

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Transcript for Common skin concerns of people of color
Well, as the weather gets warmer and we spend more time outdoors, the sun can wreak havoc on our skin, exacerbating certain skin conditions and aggravating some areas of concern. Yes, but in particular, this can be difficult, how to treat these concerns in people of color, so I want to bring in now the founder of skin wellness dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, there he is, Dr. Corey Hartman. Dr. Hartman, I want to mention this, this headline here from "The New York Times" recently that said dermatology has a problem with skin color and it gets into this idea of a lot of dermatologists don't exactly know how to treat people of color for their skin, because they're all trained to treat white skin. Is that the case? Yes, T.J., so this has been a huge issue this year, it's a culmination of everything that's been going on in the country, we've all been at home, focusing more on our skin care, and it's really, the pandemic has really highlighted and exposed some problems that we're having. For example, skin disorders associated with the coronavirus, may present differently on black and brown skin. Or even with rosacea. Key characteristics like red patches and purple blotches may appear differently on people with different complexions, which can lead to misdiagnoses. It's particularly important, since black dermatologists make up only 3% of dermatologists in the country and Latino zerming toists only 5% despite the fact that we represent 13 and 18% of the population respectively. Dr. Hartman, what is the number one skin problem you see and what can be done about it? Absolutely. So hyperpigmentation is the number one skin care concern for people of color, it's a leading driver of visits to the dermatologist. It's also a common pathway for many different conditions. So discoloration can come in the form of sun spots, post-inflammatory discoloration and lighter spots from chronic uv exposure. Even ethnic skin needs to stay out of the sun and is prone to premature aging and skin cancer. It's not true that blacks don't crack. Acne is a common condition that leads to hyperpigmentation and the melanin is left behind, so you need to treat the acne which is driving the hyperpigmentation. Psychologically I've seen these in patients more than the acne. When it comes to treatment, chemical peels are an excellent way to treat both problems when used in the right way, but you also have to make sure you are also addressing the inflammation to get to the root of any skin condition that can leave behind dark spots. And an anti-oxidant is a great place to start. So look for product ingredients that include niacinamide, or hydroxy acids like glycolic or salicylic acid. I like skin-ceutical retexturing activator and Neutrogena exfoliating cleanser which can be found at any local drugstore. Dr. Hartman, we know we have viewers telling people get off the screen, blacks don't crack, everybody knows blacks don't crack. But seriously, that has been a part of the culture and the understanding, that there's something about black skin that doesn't need as much care, I guess, you could probably argue, because we're just going to be okay, but no, we got what you were saying there. You also mentioned rosacea. What is that exactly? And what do you do about it? Yes, so rosacea is the most likely to being misdiagnosed. Many people think that black people can't even get rosacea which is just not true. We see it all the time in black and brown people. It can occur as red patches, and acne fields that can occur in the central face and has to do with the flushing of the skin and response to emotional distress, climate change or different foods. People will start to eat foods and wonder why their face is flushing, foods like seafood, hot tea, coffee, wine, all of the good stuff, and if you're experiencing that, that could be rosacea. So the most important thing is to know your triggers. Identify what is causing the flare-up. And then you want to get a good gentle skin regimen. People with rosacea actually do have sensitive skin. So make sure that you're using a mineral-based sunscreen that is chemical-free. Finally, incorporate a gentle cleanser that provides hydration to the skin. People don't realize that when their skin is inflamed, it needs hydration in order to calm down. You got a lot of information out there, Dr. Corey L. Hartman, thank you so much for being with us today. We appreciate the time you took. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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