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Common Skin Diseases in Persons with Skin of Color

This article on common skin diseases in persons with skin of color is not based on medical research. It is based on proven facts about the skin conditions that are more likely to affect persons with Fitzpatrick skin types III to VI which most persons of African descent have. These skin conditions which are more likely to develop in persons with skin of color include:

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), which is commonly known as razor bumps or ingrown hairs, is more likely to affect men with dark skin since they tend to have curved hair shafts and their hair is curly by nature.

These properties of the curved hair shaft and the curly hair often result in the sharp tip of closely shaven growing back into the skin. This causes inflammation in the skin and the painful bumps over the chin, check and neck area that characterize PFB.

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

 

Dyschromias

Dyschromias, which are also known as pigmentation problems or skin discolorations are also more likely to occur in men and women with dark skin tones because the cells which make their melanin skin pigment are more likely to react to inflammation and injury.

This inflammation can be caused by skin diseases like acne and chickenpox while the injury can be caused by bruises and cuts.

These cells in the skin react to the inflammation and injury by producing more pigment and causing hyperpigmentation which is characterized by spots on the skin which are darker than the surrounding normal skin as seen in the picture below of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Acne Post Inflammatory Hyerpigmentation in skin of color

 

These cells in the skin can also react by producing less melanin and causing hypopigmentation or spots which are lighter than the surrounding skin as seen in the picture below of post inflammatory hypopigmentation.

Chickenpox Post Inflammatory Hypopigmentation

 

Keloids

Keloids are a very common skin disease in persons with dark skin tones are also more likely to form them after the skin is injured. This injury can be from major surgery or from minor trauma like ear piercings.

Keloids, which are really large, raised scars usually develop on the chest, shoulders, arms, cheeks and ear lobes.

African American keloid scar

 

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) is another common skin condition in persons with skin of color. It is characterized by small, smooth swellings which usually occur on the face.

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

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