The aesthetic industry continues to advance with new treatments and new techniques constantly emerging. Non-surgical, non-invasive treatments like lasers, injections, peels, and more are only growing in popularity and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. That being said, there is one demographic that may not be able to take advantage of all the newest treatments and whose needs are still significantly unmet: Patients with skin of color.
When it comes to treating patients with skin of color, it’s really important to guide them through the available options and manage their expectations. Despite the advancements in technology, practitioners continue to see more side effects on patients of skin of color so it’s very important to do the necessary research and education on what treatments are best for different skin types.
People of color not only require different treatments, they often have different needs than Caucasian patients. For example, a Caucasian patient might seek treatment for sun damage or wrinkles, a patient of color will more likely seek treatment for dark spots from scars or melasma.
You must use a different treatment plan for patients with skin of color. For example, if you are using a laser to treat these individuals, it is important to minimize any inflammation as any type of irritation can result in hyperpigmentation or dark spots. Especially with lasers, it’s critical to do your research on what lasers are appropriate for skin of color and use lasers that bypass pigment in the top layer.
If you are unsure of a patient’s skin type, it can be very valuable to inquire about their background, family history, etc. You should ask how their skin reacts to the sun or how their skin heals after a cut or burn. These are all very important to how you treat their skin.
It is critical as a medical provider to educate yourself and know how to treat different skin types and colors. The wrong course of treatment could cause hyperpigmentation of your patient’s skin, so it’s best to be conservative and guide your patients through the process and manage their expectations. Patients with skin of color can receive treatments and reach desired results, but it’s important to educate yourself and your patients.