Yes, it is true for the most part that Black does not crack. But Black can get crack-y and sometimes a little nip and tuck can help to preserve a more youthful look. Last month I was flown to Chicago along with some other bloggers and journalists to chat about aging and innovations in office procedures for women of color with board certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Center of Chicago, Dr. Brooke A. Jackson. Dr. Jackson shared so many great tidbits with us about her experiences practicing dermatology as well as answered our many questions about office procedures. It was such a great convo that I decided to ask her some questions so that any of you guys curious about the subject matter could get some info as well.
What are some popular procedures to consider for women of color in their 30s and 40s?
HUGE topic. I give an hour long lecture on this.
a) Laser hair removal is high on the list of demand. Women of color tend to be a little fuzzier than some other ethnic groups and we now have lasers that are safe in skin of color. This is an in-office procedure and typically will need 3-5 treatments to get growth under control (barring any underlying hormonal medical issues such as PCOS) then will need maintenance typically every few months. It’s very important to go to someone who has experience working with skin of color.
b) Chemical peels are wonderful adjunctive treatments for acne and may also be used for hyperpigmentation and anti-aging regimens. Again, go to someone familiar with skin of color as there are many different types of chemical peels and the choice is tailored to one’s concern/condition, tolerance for downtime, and other factors. There are medical strength peels that should only be performed under the supervision of a physician.
c) Mid-face volume correction (fillers) — we all start to loose volume in the mid face in our 30s. This is the ideal time to consider replacement with injectable fillers. There are many different types but again you need to got to someone who has experience with skin of color. This is also an in-office procedure. Results also depend on filler used and where it is placed.
d) Neurotoxin–your 30s and 40s are also a great time to start using these (Botox, Xeomin, Dysport). Typical areas where these are injected are forehead lines and crow’s feet. The effect will be noticeable typically in 3-5 days and typically lasts 4 months.
What are some of the first steps a woman of color should take when considering getting a procedure?
* Be able to verbalize what you would like to improve and why. You may not know what procedure is best but it is very helpful to the physician to address your primary concern if you are able to verbalize it. I have had patients come and say “I don’t know…what do you think?” I usually respond by handing them the mirror and asking them, “what made you pick up the phone to make the appointment?”
* Be aware of and share your past experiences with prior procedures, good or bad. This is always very helpful information and may alter your risk with some procedures.
* Having a consultation is well worth your time and money. A consultation is an opportunity to be examined, discuss treatment options and expectations, and risks and benefits. Some procedures are “color blind” and some are not. This is important to discuss in the consultation.
* Bring all products you are using to the consultation.
* Know your lifestyle and tolerance for “downtime” which can be a few hours or a few weeks depending on the procedure.
* Know that there is no benefit without risk. These are all medical procedures and should be respected as such.
Dr. Brooke A. Jackson is a board certified dermatologist as well as Founder and Medical Director of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago.