A Dermatologist That Specializes In Darker Skin Tones
Women have been scrutinizing the beauty industry for a long time now for not offering makeup shades for ALL multiple skin tones. While many companies have done quite a lot these past few years women with darker skin are still underserved, especially when it comes to finding physicians who understand how different skin types and tones react to the most common dermatologic procedures and skincare products.
Don’t worry ladies, your savior is here!
Dr. Carlos Charles is a dermatologist who trained at Weill Cornell Medical College-New York Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He recently opened up a dermatology practice in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City called Derma di Colore. His practice is “a comprehensive dermatology practice that addresses the treatment of dermatologic problems of all skin types with an interest in the treatment of darker skin tones,”. He also “conducts national clinical research studies with the goal of finding answers to the toughest questions for dermatologic issues that commonly affect pigmented skin types.” This is something that not many people specialize in. Lucky for us, CHERYL WISCHHOVER took it upon herself to interview him.
What are the biggest complaints he gets from patients?
The number one complaint is hyperpigmentation or dark spots. Because with any darker-skinned individual, the pigment cells or the melanocytes are just more reactive. What I mean by that is that any injury or inflammation of any kind — a small pimple or bumping into something — leaves people with blemishes or dark marks. You don’t have to have pigmented skin to get that, but we see it more because the pigment cells are just able to harness and make pigment more easily. I get a lot of women who would like to even out their skin tone.
Is it harder to do that than with darker skin tones?
Yes, it is harder because, again, the pigment cells are so robust — so they create blemishes that are just harder to fade, and they stick around longer. And we can’t be as aggressive with lightening products, whether topical products or procedural things like chemical peels or lasers, in darker skin tones because we can get more complications. If we’re really aggressively trying to treat a blemish or dark spot in someone with dark skin, we may end up creating more injury and end up with more complications and more dark marks.
How does aging manifest in darker skin tones?
The melanin or pigment helps protect somewhat from fine lines from ultraviolet light-associated aging like enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles. So we don’t get a lot of extrinsic aging, but in darker-skinned folks you still see the intrinsic aging, which means volume loss, loss of collagen over time, thicker wrinkles, sagging skin, volume depletion in the cheeks and jowls and things like that. That’s corrected with things like fillers. The hyperpigmentation thing plays into a bit of aging, too. As people age, we start seeing more uneven skin tones and blemishes. I should mention there are other things, too, like melasma, which we see in all skin tones, but we tend to see it a little more in Hispanic and Asian populations.