Interest in aesthetic procedures among skin of color patients is on the rise, Andrew F. Alexis, MD, said in a presentation at the Caribbean Dermatology Symposium.

In 2015, ethnic minority patients accounted for 25% of aesthetic procedures in the United States, up from 20% in 2010, according to data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, said Dr. Alexis, chair of dermatology and director of the Skin of Color Center at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West hospitals in New York.

When considering treatments to improve the appearance of aging skin, keep some functional and structural differences between patients in mind, he said. While lighter-skinned patients are frequently concerned with fine lines and wrinkles, darker-skinned patients often express concern about pigment alterations, benign facial neoplasms, textural irregularities, and intrinsic structural changes, he noted at the symposium, provided by Global Academy for Medical Education.

Chemical peels can be used successfully to treat a range of conditions in skin of color patients, including postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, acne, melasma, textural irregularities, and pseudofolliculitis barbae. They also can be used for skin brightening, said Dr. Alexis , who recommended a chemical peel protocol of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or Jessner’s every 2-4 weeks. “Consider hydroquinone 4% concurrently to enhance efficacy for treating hyperpigmentation and to prevent postinflammatory hyperpigmentation,” he said. Patients on retinoids should discontinue them for 1 week prior to a chemical peel, he added.

Dr. Alexis shared several treatment pearls to promote successful peels in skin of color patients:

Regardless of the type of chemical, potential pitfalls of peels in patients of color include using too much product, allowing too long of an application time, and applying the chemical to an inflamed or excoriated area, Dr. Alexis said. Patients who don’t discontinue retinoids before a peel are at increased risk of developing erosions or crusting, he added.

Dr. Alexis disclosed relationships with Allergan, BioPharmX, Dermira, Galderma, Novan, Novartis, RXi, Unilever, and Valeant.

Global Academy and this news organization are owned by the same parent company.


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