Treatments for Ethnic Skin – How to Get Your Skin Glowing

Weighing an average of 8 pounds, our skin is our largest organ that has the role of protecting our body. Aside from being functional, skin also makes us feel beautiful, provided it is cared for right. Skin comes in a variety of stunning colors, shades, and textures, each of them having different needs. 

Ethnic skin in particular comes in various gorgeous shades, all of them requiring the utmost respect and care. While dark skin is better protected against UV rays thanks to its melanin production, it still needs a lot of attention. Dr. Ariel Ostad knows the importance of maintaining your skin, as well as the tactics that can help you enhance its natural beauty. Read on to find out more on the matter.

Common Conditions in People With Ethnic Skin

While ethnic skin is slightly more protected against damage than lighter skin, it is not invincible. In fact, ethnic skin is just as predisposed to experience certain conditions. The only difference is that they may appear or behave differently, due to the higher amount of melanin. The most common conditions in people with ethnic skin include the following: 

1. Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is common in people with ethnic skin and is often more obvious. This condition causes certain areas to become darker, as a result of melanin production. Since people with dark skin are already creating high amounts of melanin, they are more susceptible to dark spots that can be caused by factors like UV exposure, genetics, or hormonal changes.

2. Keloids

People with ethnic skin tend to have more numerous and denser collagen fibers. As a result, they are more prone to developing keloids. These scars occur after surgery or injury, triggering the skin to overproduce collagen. The result is a thickened, raised scar that is often corrected with laser and corticosteroid injections.

3. Acne Scarring

Acne can often be challenging to address in a person with ethnic skin, and the scars are often more noticeable. Certain laser treatments such as PicoWay® and CUTERA® Genesis can reduce the appearance of the scar, and chemical peels can also be very effective.

4. Melasma

Melasma presents itself as gray patches of color on your skin, which usually appear on your forehead, cheeks, and upper lips. For the most part, this condition affects people with III and VI skin types on the Fitzpatrick scale. An effective way to treat melasma is often the chemical peel. 

5. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

People with ethnic skin are more prone to developing PIH, a condition where the skin becomes darker after an injury. As a response to trauma on the skin, the production of melanin increases, which may lead to darker skin patches. Some effective ways to treat this condition include chemical peels, along with our LUMA Cream, which contains retinoic acid and arbutase. 

6. Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)

DPN is a frequent condition that appears in individuals with IV to VI skin types on the Fitzpatrick scale. It shows as raised, small, dark-black lesions that usually form on your neck, chest, and face. While the condition is not medically harmful, many people choose to have it treated.

7. Solar Lentigos (Age Spots)

Commonly referred to as age spots, solar lentigos are dark spots that appear on your skin as a result of sunlight exposure. People with dark skin absorb UV radiation more than fairer folk, and while it is processed faster, it can lead to these skin patches. Laser treatments such as PicoWay® can be used to break the excess pigment down, offering a more even skin tone.

Effective Laser Treatments for Ethnic Skin

In the past, laser treatments would pose risks for people with darker ethnic skin, due to the amount of melanin present in their epidermis. Still, with the improvements in technology and the help of skilled practitioners like Dr. Ostad, those side effects can now be bypassed. Here are the most effective laser procedures for people with dark skin.

  • Fraxel® Laser

Fraxel® Laser can improve the texture of your skin, reducing different skin imperfections such as fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. The treatment is gentle enough for people with dark skin, reducing the risk of PHI and ensuring quick healing.

  • Morpheus8™ 

Morpheus8™ is a technology that combines microneedling with radiofrequency to stimulate the production of collagen. The treatment is often used for skin rejuvenation in people with ethnic skin, along with acne scar reduction. Morpheus8™ is also used to reduce signs of aging, such as static or dynamic wrinkles, along with volume loss. The procedure is colorblind, which means that it can be used safely for every skin tone.

  • PicoWay® Laser

The PicoWay® laser can safely address various pigmentation concerns in people with ethnic skin, from melasma to tattoo removal. The device delivers laser energy in ultra-second picosecond pulses, breaking down the excess pigment without causing any damage to the skin around the target area.

  • CUTERA® Genesis Laser

The CUTERA® Genesis laser is a non-ablative laser treatment often used for skin rejuvenation and its features are highly versatile. It works for every skin type, including ethnic skin, and can reduce imperfections like fine lines, wrinkles, and problems with skin texture.

Injectables for Ethnic Skin

While no one is safe from chronological aging, photoaging is an entirely different matter. Men and women with darker skin produce a very thick type of melanin, referred to as ‘eumelanin.’ This type of melanin can effectively absorb and scatter the light, protecting you from UV damage and delaying the appearance of wrinkles.

Even so, this does not mean that people with ethnic skin are safe from wrinkles, fine lines, and volume loss. For that reason, Dr. Ostad recommends the following injectables to reduce or prevent the signs of aging: 

  • BOTOX® Cosmetic

As a purified protein, BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected into the target areas to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment can temporarily paralyze the muscles, relaxing them and preventing their contraction. With these injections, you may treat dynamic wrinkles such as crow’s feet, forehead lines, frown lines, bunny lines, and a gummy smile. 

  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Dermal Fillers

Hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers contain a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in your body. The molecules have the ability to retain moisture, making this treatment the perfect choice for improving skin elasticity and hydration. HA dermal fillers can also be used as cosmetic fillers, reducing the appearance of wrinkles or adding volume where it’s lacking. HA fillers represent a non-surgical option for those who want to contour their face or reduce aging signs. 

The Bottom Line

There are different skin conditions that can affect an individual, regardless of their background. That being said, the dermatology field has made plenty of advancements to ensure people with ethnic skin get an appropriate, tailored treatment. Call Dr. Ostad for an appointment and allow him to help you choose a safe and effective treatment for your needs.


For more information about treatments for ethnic skin, you can contact Dr. Ariel Ostad at 212-517-7900. He can offer all the assistance that you need from his practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Alternatively, you can fill out the provided online contact form and he will get in touch with you as soon as possible


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