Treatment Tips for Darker Skintones

It’s a no-brainer that each client’s skin concerns are as unique as they are. It’s vital to understand the specific issues common to each skin type to be able to expand your medical spa practice and attract a diverse group of patients. Jeanine B. Downie, M.D., does just that as she provides an array of popular and effective treatments for her clients at image Dermatology (Montclair, NJ). Downie specializes in lasers for treatment of scars, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, brown spots and laser hair removal. In her practice, she also uses sclerotherapy for the removal of unsightly leg veins. For elimination of lines and wrinkles on the face she uses a range of fillers and Botox treatments as well as glycolic, salicylic, trichloracetic acid, Vitalize and Rejuvenize peels for facial rejuvenation. Here, she explains popular treatments for clients with darker skintones to address their specific skincare needs.


What treatments should women of color avoid?

Anything that involves surgical excision (where the skin is cut) and we have to make sure there are no keloids [a growth of extra scar tissue where the skin has healed after an injury]. If there is a keloid, it must be treated immediately and often with cortisone shots and a laser. Lasers must be FDA approved for darker skintones otherwise they should be avoided. Besides this chemical peels, fillers, toxin, sclerotherapy for leg veins, and fat melting and fat removal procedures can be done successfully.


What treatments are most effective for women of color?

Most effective treatments for women with skin of color (SOC) involves chemical peels to remove dark spots, Fraxel Re:Store or Fraxel Dual for melasma, Botox, and fillers all are very effective. It really depends on what result that individual is looking for.


What are unique skin concerns for this specific group of clients?

Some unique skin concerns include the likelihood of dark marks cropping up after an area of inflammation from acne or a mosquito bite. This is very annoying. In addition, for SOC patients having an even skintone is very important. I recommend Ambi products and a 2 percent hydroquinone is available over the counter or patients may also purchase a 4 percent hydroquinone from my practice.


What about common issues and treatments for men?

The primary issue is dark marks for men. Also, women and men with SOC suffer from pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), which are hair bumps and must be treated with approved lasers and topical products.


What do you see as the most popular treatments recently?

The most popular treatments for SOC are the same as for the general population. Botox and other similar fillers (Juvederm, Restylane), chemical peels, and non-invasive fat melting procedures are the most popular.