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 … Continue Reading…

Woman’s History Month– Mme. C.J. Walker

Mme CJ WalkerIf  you never heard of Mme C.J. Walker, I’m so glad  I can be the one to introduce you to this amazing woman. If you  already know  of her life and accomplishments, then you share my  respect and and interest in this remarkable American.

Mme. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in 1867, the fifth child of recently freed slaves.  She became an orphan at age 7 and picked cotton and did housework  just to stay alive.  By 1885, a widow with two children,she started working  in the barbershops owned by her brothers. And as fate would have it, it was a damaging  hair product that changed her life and the lives of countless  generations of women.  A harsh shampoo with lye  had burned her scalp, causing distressing bald  patches.   To deal with the hair loss, she began to … Continue Reading…

Can Women of Color Use Lasers? by Deb Chase

Women of ColorQuestion: Can a South Asian women use Forever Beautiful  laser to get rid of dark patches? Answer: According to Carissa, the amazing esthetician who works with Dr Z.Paul Lorenc, the short answer is— no.  The heat of  this  milder laser  could trigger new darkened areas and leave the skin with  irregular pigmentation.  To clarify  and brighten South Asian  skin  Carissa uses a two step  process.  First she pre-treats the skin with  for a few weeks with hydroquinone to put the melanin producing cells into sleep mode.   Then she exposes the skin to  a  Q switch YAG laser which was developed originally to remove black pigment in a tattoo.  The proceedure needs to be done very very carefully  and after treatment  sunscreens are essential.  To keep the skin smooth and clear  a 50SPF sunscreen should … Continue Reading…

Retin A- One Dab for the Whole Face?

Question and Answer about Retin ARetin A questions are the top category in my mail box.  This medication is  strong, effective, but   success lies  with  so  many details that are not discussed when its first  prescribed.  This is not the first  time I  received this one-dab- fits- all  question, so it definately needs an answer.

Question:  I am 35, African American  and I am using Retin A for both acne and area of  discoloration.  The directions  say to use  a  single pea size dab for the whole face.  Wouldn’t it be  smarter to  put it just on the areas that need help?

Answer:  That little nightly  dab of Retin A hardly seems  enough for a whole face, but its all the skin needs… and can handle. Retin A is powerful and even that small amount can cause dryness and irritation, especially if  used in  … Continue Reading…

Acne and Women of Color

woman of color without acneAt least once a week I get  a question about the best way to manage acne in women of color and at the summer sesion of the American Academy of Dermatology, I finally got the right answers.  A three hour power session on the treatment of acne  with dermatologist super stars included  Dr Andrew Alexis, Director of the Skin of Color Center at St Lukes Hospital in NYC

First the good news.  Acne in women of color is usually milder and less frequent than  seen in lighter skin tones.  The bad news?   Even mild acne breakouts  tend to leave dark spots and patches that seem to last forever.   Called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH,  it is the result of irritation  from both the acne  and the treatments used to … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This beautiful spring morning the host of Fashion  Flash is Jodell of Black Cat Plus.  Not only does Jodell discuss the  plus size fashion tips, she is now an e-tailer of some of the top clothing brands.   My cousin lives in an area where choices in plus size fashion is very limited.  She could  find the basics, but for  anything aboove that it was a struggle.  Now with Black Cat Plus she can find clothing  she loves, not something she has to settle for.

And when you’ve finished looking through  all the  dynamic Fashion Flash sites,  check out  Brown Skin by Susan Taylor MD.   A Harvard trained dermatologist, Dr Taylor provides a culturally sensitive, comprehensive  guide to  skin care for women of color.  African American, Hispanic and Asian skin has the ability to naturally resist aging, but is vulnerable … Continue Reading…

Can Women of Color Use Retin A?

I get frequent questions from Asian and Latina readers who are interested in using Retin A , but are concerned about the side effects.  On one hand Retin A has the ability to lighten  dark patches  and make  the skin look fresher and brighter.  On the other hand Retin A can be very irritating– and deeper skin tones tend to develop darkened areas when inflamed.

There’s a boatload of conflicting advice about the topic and I needed  an expert to provide answers.  Asking my colleagues  in beauty for the best source of information, I was referred to the noted Chicago-based cosmetic surgeon, Dr Seven Dayan.  In addition to seeing patients, Dr Dayan is the founder of DeNova Research, a center that  has extensive experience studying skin care in … Continue Reading…

Tri-luma- Five Top Questions

1.  Can I use Tri-luma on  my chest?

In theory, yes but its not going to be that effective.  A chest with lots of freckles and age spots will need more help than Tri-lima can  provide.  Once areas of hyperpigmentation become raised and lumpy, you’re going to need some kind of  laser or IPL to deal with them. 

2. Can I use Tri-luma and Retin A together ? 

It  depends. Tri-luma already contains Retin A to increase cell turnover, hydroquinone to break down  and discourage pigment formation and a steroid to keep down inflammation.  If you are using Tri-luma  under  your eyes, you can  then apply Retin  A to the other facial areas.  If you have areas of discoloration on your cheeks and forehead, you can use Tri-luma on these areas, but not at the same time you are  using Retin A. It won’t do a  better  job and will  make you … Continue Reading…