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Black Skin Care
All skin types are affected by sunlight, diet, pollution, and stress. But black skin also has its own specific features and needs. Black skin scars easily, so people with black skin must be very conscious of hyper pigmentation. Black facial skin also tends to be oily and special care must be taken for cleansing and moisturizing. And while the skin on the face may be oily, black skin on the body has a tendency to be dry and ashy in appearance. Black skin is also prone to the development of a number of different birthmarks and blemishes that require special care and attention.
Black skin scars very easily. To prevent scarring, people with black skin need to always guard against sun damage and acne. In fact, any skin irritation, such as a squeezed blemish, an ingrown hair, or even shaving can result in hyper pigmentation. Hyper pigmentation is when dark spots are created on the skin by an over production of melanin. Black skin is highly susceptible to hyperpigmentation. These discolorations can become even more pronounced as many black women experience the "mask of pregnancy," or a darkening of skin around the neck due to hormonal changes. The darkened skin will usually return to normal after the birth of the baby.
Generally black facial skin tends to be oily, both because of the natural oils in the facial skin and because of the natural oils present in the hair. The oily ingredients used in black hair care products, often exacerbate this problem. And high fat diets further compound the oiliness. Skin care products made specifically for black skin can most accurately meet the needs for this skin type. Ironically, although black skin is known to produce excessive facial oils, it also typically appears dry and ashy on the skin of the body.
When black skin is very dry it can appear ashy in complexion. "Parfait Visage" cream is an effective and long lasting remedy for severely dry skin. There is nothing wrong with the skin when it starts to look ashy. Dryness just shows up more on darker skin than on white. Black skined people may need to apply moisturizing products once or twice a day to keep skin healthy and glowing.
A birthmark is skin blemish that is present at birth. Also known as nevus sebaceous, hairy nevus, nevi, or congenital nevus, a birthmark can range in color from brown or black to bluish or blue-gray. Black skin is particularly susceptible to birthmarks, namely moles, and Mongolian spots.
A Mongolian spot, also known as Mongolian blue spot, congenital dermal melanocytosis, or dermal melanocytosis, is a bluish or bruised-looking skin marking. It is a flat, pigmented lesion with a nebulous border and an irregular shape. It usually appears at birth or very shortly there after. These spots are commonly found over the lower back or buttocks, and occasionally they are also noted in other areas including the trunk or arms. Mongolian spots can be found on all skin types, but they are more commonly found on black-skinned people. They may persist for months or even years but they will not become cancerous or develop other symptoms.
A mole is a small cluster of pigmented skin cells. Nearly everyone has moles, which usually appear after birth. Congenital nevi are moles that are present at birth. These birthmarks have an increased risk of becoming skin cancer. This is especially true if the mole is large in size, covering an area of the body larger than the fist. If your child has a congenital nevi make sure that he or she is examined by your health care provider. Also, be sure that you and your child's pediatrician evaluate this area over the years, noting any changes in size texture, or color. Alert your child's pediatrician of any ulcerations, bleeding or itching in this area.
Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue at the site of a skin injury. They are fairly common in young women and in the African Americans population. Also known as hypertrophic scar, Keloid scar, and scar hypertrophic, keloids can occur at any point in one's lifetime. They may develop from such skin injuries as surgical incisions, traumatic wounds, vaccination sites, burns, acne, bug bites, chickenpox, or even minor scratches. Keloidosis is a term used when multiple or repeated keloids are produced.
Over time, most keloids will flatten and diminish in appearance; however this may take several years. Keloids may become irritated from rubbing on clothing or other forms of friction. Extensive keloids may become binding in a particular area, limiting stretching and mobility. They may cause cosmetic changes and affect the appearance. If the keloid is exposed to the sun during its first year of formation, it may have a tendency to tan darker than the surrounding skin. This dark coloration may become permanent.
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