Are you looking for effective acne treatment for black skin?
Are you scared that there’s no hope for freedom from this confidence crushing problem?
Acne is a condition that affects most people of all ages and ethnic groups at some point in their life.
It’s hard enough having to deal with the pain of lumps, bumps and spots as it is, but being Black, African American or otherwise a woman of color tends to throw in the extra problem of dealing with the dark marks acne leaves behind as well.
Let’s discuss the basics of black skin and acne, the effects of acne scars on black skin and the best acne treatment for black skin as well as possible solutions for scars and skin discoloration.
The Basics of Black Skin and Acne
What Is Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that affects the skin of the body that has the highest concentration of oil glands (typically the face, chest and back). It’s not curable and if you have it you’ll always be prone to acne. There are ways to keep it under control so you can enjoy healthy looking, spot free skin.
What Kinds of Acne Are There?
There are five major types of acne pimples that affect black skin (listed in order from least to most severe).
Whiteheads – These are very small pimples caused by oil and skins build up in pores that lead to blockage and inflammation. Because the buildup is covered by skin the contents aren’t exposed to the air and they stay white, thus giving the acne its name.
Blackheads – These pimples are similar to whiteheads except the pores stay open. This causes the build up to turn dark because of exposure to the air. Sometimes blackheads get so large and deep they need to be extracted by a professional skin care specialist.
Papules – These are bumps in the skin that are inflamed but don’t have any puss in them. These are usually deeper in the skin and are sometimes red and painful. You shouldn’t try to squeeze them out because nothing will come out of these types of pimples and it usually makes them worse.
Pustules – Small pus filled bumps caused by oil and dead skin cells blocking the follicles of the skin. These are the types of bumps you’ll most likely feel compelled to squeeze but should avoid doing so because it typically causes scaring in black skin.
Nodules/Cysts -These are big pus filled pockets of skin that are deep, very painful and angry looking. If you have nodular or cystic acne it’s best to have it treated by a professional.
No matter what type of acne you have one thing that has been universally been proven by science is that dirt and certain types of food do not cause acne.
According to these same groups acne is a direct function of hormones in the body. These hormones affect things like oil production, skin cell turn over as well as inflammation and skin bacterial levels. This causes the PH of the skin to change, sending oil production into overdrive, which leads to pores getting blocked and acne forming.
Does Acne Only Affect Certain Skin Types?
Contrary to popular belief not only people with oily skin develop acne. In fact you can have any type of skin ranging from very dry to very oily and still develop acne pimples. Certain types of skin are prone to having certain types of acne but are not exclusively affected. Having oily skin myself I find this to be true because I struggle with blackheads more than any other kind of acne.
Do I Still To Have A Skin Care Regimen While Treating My Acne?
Even though dirt doesn’t cause acne it’s still very important to keep your face clean and to have a regular regimen in place for cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin. Bacteria can enter the acne pimples and cause more problems so keep your skin clean but don’t over cleanse. Stripping the skin of moisture can actually aggravate acne and make it worse.
Does It Matter What I Use To Treat My Acne?
Selecting the right acne treatment for black skin is very important. Because of its delicate nature and predisposition to scaring it makes a big difference in the selection process.
Certain acne products cause darker skin tones to become hyper sensitive leading to more problems than just the acne itself. There are also concerns with overshooting the mark when trying to get rid of acne scars and marks. This can possibly end up ‘bleaching’ parts of the skin.
If you have anything above mild acne (whiteheads, blackheads and the occasional papule or pustule) it’s important for you to seek out the advice of a skin care professional (preferably a dermatologist) who specializes in black and African American skin types. This is especially important if you have nodular or cystic acne if you’re to avoid permanent scarring and pockmarks associated with that type.
Acne Scars on Black Skin
Why Shouldn’t I Pick At My Acne?
Picking at your acne is one of the worst things you can do. If you have black and African American skin types it usually leads to hyperpigmentation at the site of skin trauma. These spots take months and sometimes even years to fade and hide the true beauty of your face.
It’s hard not so try and squeeze acne pimples especially when they look ‘ripe’ but stopping yourself means less scaring you have to worry about later on. It’s best to treat the acne and help them to dry down, scab and heal on its own. If you have blackhead or pimples that need extraction the best thing to do is visit an experienced aesthetician or skin care specialist who can remove the debris from your pores without causing damage to your skin.
Acne Treatment for Black Skin
There are acne treatments for black skin that you can do yourself at home and others that can and should only be administered by a dermatologist or other skin care professional. Finding the right one for you can be a big challenge but the best place to start is by identifying your skin type, the kind of acne you have, how bad it is and also you preference for natural and more chemical based treatments.
What Is The Best Acne Treatment for Black Skin?
The best acne treatment is going to be different for everyone depending on your own unique skin type and issues. That said, there are certain treatments that seem to work universally well in controlling acne.