Acne Care for Latina Skin

Question and answer LogoQuestion:  I have struggled with acne  since I moved  to the  US from Equador when I was 13.    I am now 32 and its still a problem.   Even small breakouts leave long  lasting marks.  What am I doing wrong? Are there special  treatments for Latina skin I should know about?

Answer:    I got this letter last  month– very apppropriate since June is Acne Awarenss Month.  According to  Miami  based dermatologist Mercedes Florez-White, acne in Latina skin  needs a tailored treatment plan.

Acne 101 

The American Academy of Dermatology  spearates acne into four different categories from  mild uncomplicated to intense  inflammatory acne. Mild acne  is usually triggered  by teenage hormones or  oil rich beauty care products.  It  consists  primarily of black heads and superficial pimples.   By contrast inflammatory acne   has frequent breakouts that consists of cysts and hard nodules that  can scar. SImple acne should be controlled by routinue cleansing and drugstore products that contain benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid.Inflammatory acne needs heavy duty treatments that include retinoids, antibiotics, and often hormones.

So why is this background important to your question?  Dr Florez believes that all acne in latin skin  should be  considered  inflammatory.  This means  mild breakouts  should not be ignored.  Even small spots  can develop darkened areas (aka hyperpigmenttion).

Acne Care for Latina Skin

To  successfully manage  acne in people of hispanic heritage, Dr Florenz  has  four key recommendations: 

  1.  Edit  all the products you use on  your face, body and hair.  Popular ingredients like coconut oil and cocoa butter can provoke  breakouts
  2. Use a synthetic detergent or fat free skin cleanser.  Avoid anything with abrasive grains that can actually provoke hyperpigmentation
  3. Look for toners and  face masks with glycolic or lactic acid  to  remove the  top layer of  skin cells that are clogging pores
  4. And  never never go  outside without using an oil free mineral based sunscreen.  UV rays  increase  the deveopment of dark patches in acne troubled skin and a daily sunscreen keeps  pigment producing cells sleepy and quiet.

If acne persists, ask  your dermatologist  about the new tools in their anti acne tool kit.  For example. Azelaeic Acid ( brand name Finacea)  is  both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.  Its widely used in Latin America and  just becoming a go- to medication in the US.  Dapzone ( brand name Aczone)  is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory that is another new effective acne fighting option.  Doctors report that  you  can see improvements with a week or two  and general clearing  within two months.


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