Treating darker skin issues

Most of us focus on pigmentation issues when we consider our darker complexions, but did you know there is treatment for other common issues too?

Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN)
Think about the actor Morgan Freeman… besides his infectious smile, the ‘freckles’ on his face spring to mind immediately. He is probably the most prominent person who has dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) – benign small, brown or black-coloured growths (seborrheic keratosis) that often occur in a cluster on the face and neck. Often mistaken for moles or warts, they are caused by a combination of heredity factors, ageing and exposure to the sun, and they can affect both men and women. Despite not being cancerous, many people prefer to have them treated because DPNs increase in number and size as the skin matures.
DPNs can be successfully removed using a long-pulsed laser. This procedure is well tolerated, causing minor discomfort, and healing generally occurs within a week. There may b some skin discoloration at first, when they are removed, but these usually fade quickly, especially if the skin is pre-treated with a pigment-inhibiting agent.
Any laser that has a spot size smaller than the size of the spot being treated can be safely used on darker skin types.

Ingrown hair
People with curly hair are more at risk for ingrown hairs, so this is a common bugbear of many people with darker skin types. The reason they occur is because the hair, rather than growing out of the pore straight, curls back in on itself or grows sideways, which makes it more likely to get trapped in the hair follicle. It can happen with facial hair as well as body hair.
When this happens, you first get inflammation of the skin, often followed by a pustule. Many ingrown hairs will eventually grow out by themselves and don’t need treatment, however, if you get them frequently, or if they become infected, painful and uncomfortable, you can have the hair in the problem area removed with laser. You could also get post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on areas that have had the inflammation, and this can also be treated effectively using medical skin-care options in the clinic as well as a home-care routine.

Skin tags
Those of us who find we have skin tags popping up on our bodies (especially our neck, underarms, eyelids, and under the breasts – where underwire bras rub directly beneath the breasts) are often puzzled by these annoying dangly bits of skin. They’re totally harmless, but they can be irritating if they are in an area that is rubbed, and many of us don’t particularly like their appearance.
They can come about with age, on both men and women, and they are common in people with type 2 diabetes.
Body Renewal uses in-office therapies such as excision (cutting them off) and/or freezing them off with nitrous oxide. Larger skin tags can also be cauterised using laser.

Both Skin and Body Renewal are committed to the latest technological innovations in this field and offers treatment for any skin type.

For more information on conditions and treatment options specific to darker skin types, visit Skin Renewal on www.skinrenewal.co.za or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).

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