The Common Challenges For Ethnic Skin - And The Treatments To Solve Them

The Common Challenges For Ethnic Skin – And The Treatments To Solve Them

Although most skin conditions are usually colour blind, meaning every race can experience the same problems. However, certain ones seem to affect dark skin more frequently or with more severity. When treating these conditions, some treatments can lead to more problems when used on people of colour, and this leaves many feeling unsure of what is suitable for them. 

Aesthetics of Liverpool has a wealth of experience dealing with different skin types and a wide range of skin concerns. We know exactly how to treat skin issues safely – no matter the issue or the clients’ complexion. We decided to list some of the most common challenges for ethnic skin and the treatments we offer to solve them.

So, what are the most common challenges for ethnic skin?

There are at least six common conditions usually found in ethnic skin. They are melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, pseudofolliculitis, acne keloidalis nuchae, dermatosis papulosa nigra, and vitiligo. The background, symptoms and treatments are detailed below.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is usually the result of an injury or inflammation to the skin. A common type of injury-causing this is acne or a thermal burn. It may even be caused by an inflammatory disorder of the skin, such as dermatitis. Anyone can have this issue, but it mainly occurs in people of colour, where it tends to be more intense and noticeable.

There are treatments available that will speed up the natural healing of the skin to reduce the appearance of the condition. Without it, you could live with the condition for months or even years. We offer a wide range of chemical peels, laser therapy and intense pulsated light therapies that are good options you can consider.


Pseudofolliculitis is a skin condition where bumps are found under the skin’s surface. This problem stems from ingrown hairs and often occurs in black and Hispanic people due to the distinct shape of their hair follicles. If the bumps are squeezed, they can become inflamed or infected. But when left alone, they can be hard to cover with makeup and often can even cause pain.

To treat this condition, you must avoid shaving for up to three to four weeks and then apply a cortisone cream. When shaving afterwards, do it every day with an electric razor. Also, be sure to shave in the direction of the follicle and avoid stretching the skin. Another highly effective treatment is laser hair removal. It is a virtually painless treatment that permanently reduces hair growth from both the face and body, thus preventing the problem from happening again.


Characterised by brown or blue-grey patches or freckle-like spots, Melasma is triggered by either sun exposure, skin care products, or hormonal changes and can develop during pregnancy. These areas of this pigmentation can appear on any part of the body, but they most commonly appear on the stomach and face areas. Symptoms tend to fade on their own sometimes, but some people can have melasma for decades or even the rest of their life. However, they are usually harmless, and there are many ways that you can reduce their appearance.

Specialist de-pigmentation treatments, mesotherapy, skin needling, IPL, laser treatments, and chemical peels can make huge differences in the appearance of melasma. In particular, our Cosmelan Peel is very successful and also leaves skin looking refreshed and younger.

Acne keloidalis nuchae

Acne keloidalis nuchae is an inflammatory condition that can lead to inflamed plaques or papules on your head or neck. You may also find occasional pustules, a mild burning or itching sensation, and/or small lesions on your head. It develops when hair follicles begin to grow into the skin around your head or neck and can cause inflammation or scar tissue.

Long-term treatment is required here. Depending on the severity of symptoms, topical antibiotics, laser therapy, injected or topical corticosteroids, or the surgical removal of the fibrotic lesions are all valid options to choose from. 

Dermatosis papulosa nigra

Dermatosis papulosa nigra is a growth that usually appears as the same colour of your skin or hyperpigmented papules on either your neck or face. They are smooth to the touch and measure at around 1-5 millimetres wide. If you are of African or Asian descent, you are more likely to come across this condition. As you age, the condition may increase in size.

Treatment can see these removed via Plexr, cryosurgery, electrosurgery or specialist skin peels. Following treatment, there may be slight demarcations in the skin. But this can be treated to even out skin tone.


Vitiligo is a condition where the skin becomes depigmented. This means that large white patches form – something highly noticeable in those with dark skin. It develops when melanin cells are damaged, perhaps triggered by environmental factors or autoimmune disorders. 

As for treatment, people can use cosmetics, makeup, or skin dyes to help reduce the symptoms. A potent corticosteroid cream can also be applied to the skin, with around 45% of people regaining some skin colour. However, the effects can take up to four or even six months. There is also a light treatment and PUVA light therapy.

What else can be done to help combat these challenges?

The Fitzpatrick skin type system, around since 1975, works on a 1-6 scale. It ranges from the ‘lowest’, skin type 1, that is likely to burn in the sun and goes up to the ‘highest’, skin type 6. Fitzpatrick skin type 6 is ‘dark brown to black skin’, which never freckles and will always develop a dark tan in the sun. Here at Aesthetics of Liverpool, we regularly work with all skin types and are therefore extremely confident going between skin types 4-6 on the scale, which many clinics feel nervous about.

Our range of peels can lift dead skin cells, refine skin texture and also work to balance and brighten any dull skin. Skin that is clogged, congested or dull can actually make pigmentation in dark skin look even worse, but with the right professional skincare treatments, you can make a world of difference. Here is the wide range of treatments we offer relating to this:

More information can be found here.

If you are looking for ethnic skin specialists, then look no further. No matter where you are based, North East, Midlands, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the South! We can help you. Located in Liverpool, no matter where you are, you can reach us. 

We are incredibly proud to have helped countless people overcome their skin concerns and are confident we can help you too. So have a chat with us today; call 0151 203 1393 to organise a consultation where we can answer any queries or concerns you may have regarding your skin condition. Together we can find you the best possible treatment to ensure the best possible results. You can also visit our website to find out more information on our industry-leading treatments.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. *Disclaimer: Actual results may vary on an individual basis. All deposits are non-refundable. Please note that we do not treat under 21 years of age and that all bookings are subject to a consultation with our Clinical Director to ensure you are safe for treatment.  Thread Lifts are carried out by Dr Suneetha Kovvuri GMC No 5195454.

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