The term “skin of color” refers to diverse skin types and complexions. It includes people of African, Asian, Latino, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Native American descent.

For people with skin of color, acne is often accompanied by dark spots or patches called hyperpigmentation. These dark spots can last much longer than the acne.  If you want to try treating this yourself, Dr. Monique S. Cohn, DO FAOCD at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center recommends treating acne early before it gets worse by using products that contain one or more of the following ingredients: a retinoid and benzoyl peroxide. This means buying two different products, but this combination works well in skin of color.

Retinoid helps to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. It can clear pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. A retinoid can also prevent new breakouts.

Benzoyl peroxide can remove acne causing bacteria. However, you must be careful when using it because it can bleach clothing, sheets, pillow cases, and towels. And in skin of color, benzoyl peroxide can cause lightening of your skin’s color where you apply it.

To prevent benzoyl peroxide from irritating your skin, start with a product that contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. Products that contain more can cause dryness and flaking, which can worsen acne. If the 2.5% product irritates your skin, try using it every other day.

Below are 5 tips especially for your skin type.

  1. Stop using heavy, oily makeups to cover dark marks. These makeups may hide blemishes but often cause new ones.
  2. Be gentle with your skin. Do not scrub or pop pimples because these things will actually worsen acne and can cause more dark spots.
  3. Wash caps and hats frequently. Sweat, dirt and oil accumulate and can cause acne to flare.
  4. Protect your skin from the sun. Even if you have darker skin, the sun can make the darks spots darker and last longer. Limit sun exposure and use sunscreen.
  5. Choose hair products carefully and avoid applying them where they can come in contact with the forehead or temples. Oil-based hair products can easily block pores, creating acne breakouts.

If none of the above suggestions is working and you are still breaking out it’s time to see a dermatologist. We can prescribe strong but gentle products that can effectively clear your acne and reduce scarring. Contact Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center by calling 330-425-7600 to set up an appointment in Twinsburg with Dr. Monique S. Cohn. We can get you on prescription strength regimens that may be more effect if you do not respond to over the counter treatments.