How Are Different Skins of Color Treated for Acne?

Close-up self portrait of smiling young multiethnic female friends taking selfie in the park - women taking a selfie in the park on a bright day
Acne is a common condition that typically affects areas of the face, back, neck, and shoulders. Despite being commonly associated with adolescence, acne outbreaks can happen to women and men of any age. Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, while starting birth control pills, or just before a menstrual cycle, women are particularly prone to acne.

For people with diverse skin types and complexions, acne can often be accompanied by dark patches or spots called hyperpigmentation. Whether you are from African, Asian, Latino, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or Native American descent, the key to clearer skin is choosing the right treatments for your skin type.

At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene understands the individual needs of patients with skin of color. He believes that everyone deserves the highest-quality personalized dermatological care, no matter their skin tone. For more than 25 years, he has devoted himself to learning how best to serve every patient in his diverse patient base.

Acne Treatment for Skin of Color

Darker skin is prone to developing dark spots at the site of a healed or healing acne lesion. Although these dark patches are a normal reaction, and usually disappear over time, they continue to be the leading aesthetic complaint among darker-skinned patients with acne.

Topical skin-lightening agents can treat these spots when they occur. While some skin-lightening products are available over-the-counter, Dr. Greene can provide stronger forms when appropriate. Some topical medications, such as retinoids, can safely and effectively address acne in skin of color. These topical retinoids include:

  • Tretiinoin
  • Tazarotene
  • Adapalene

Acne medications such as benzoyl peroxide can have a drying effect on the skin, and should only be used under the close supervision of Dr. Greene. These medications can irritate the skin and even prolong post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is some cases.

Moisturizers can relieve dry skin, but they can also worsen acne. Be sure to use moisturizers that are labeled with the word “noncomedogenic”. This indicates that the moisturizer will not clog pores. If you notice your acne getting worse after using a noncomedogenic moisturizer, stop using the product and discuss your situation with Dr. Greene.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you suffer from acne, contact Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today. Contact us online or at 206-402-4797 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Greene. We proudly serve patients in the Seattle, Washington area.