Considerations When Treating Cosmetic Concerns in Men of Color

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Men of color include a diverse population encompassing individuals with Fitzpatrick skin Types IV through VI. Yet, there is a paucity of data describing the cosmetic concerns of this population.


To review the basic science of advantages and disadvantages of skin of color and pathophysiology, incidence, and treatment of disorders of cosmetic concern in men of color.


A MEDLINE search was performed for publications on sex and racial differences in basic science of skin, common disorders in men of color, and evidence-based treatments.


There are intrinsic differences in skin and hair of darker-complexioned men, particularly in Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and Afro-Caribbeans. Advantages of darker skin include increased photoprotection, slowed aging, and a lower incidence of skin cancer. However, the increased content of melanin is associated with myriad dyschromias including melasma and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Additional common skin conditions of concern in men of color include pseudofolliculitis barbae, acne keloidalis nuchae, and keloids.


A skin color conscious approach should be administered in caring for the cosmetic concerns of men of color that is cognizant of differences in biology of the skin and hair, associated PIH of disorders, and cultural/social practices among this population.

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