Understanding skin How does skin differ by ethnic group?

Darker skins are prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which is caused by an over production of melanin and appears as patches of darker skin colour. These patches often occur on skin that has suffered from acne and/or Atopic Dermatitis. Read more about the causes and treatment in hyperpigmentation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

  • The desire to tan amongst those with white skin leads to an increased susceptibility to skin cancers. - this sentence sound very harsh and I am not sure it reflects reality as some people use fake tan for instance which is safe and does not leads to cancer - maybe it should mention 'natural tan' or 'sun-induced tan'
  • The quest of some women with dark skin to achieve culturally prized lighter skin tones can lead to the use of inappropriate, skin-damaging products.

Atopic Dermatitis is one of the most common diseases of childhood. An increasing problem in Western nations, it affects nearly 1 in 5 children. There is some research to suggest that dark skinned and Asian children are more likely to develop the condition in the first 6 months than their Caucasian and Hispanic counterparts. In one third of children the disease dies out during infancy but, for the others, it can continue into adulthood.

Atopic Dermatitis is thought to be genetic. Research has also shown that children from developed countries living in urban areas where the intensity of pollutants is higher, as well as those living in cold climates, are more likely to develop the condition.

Once affected, there are a number of reasons why symptoms get worse. Sufferers are known to have a deficiency of important lipids and natural moisturising factors. As a result, their skin’s barrier function is weakened, moisture loss increases and they are prone to dryness and itchy skin. Sufferers are also known to have an irregular immune function, which makes their skin more reactive to the environment and susceptible to inflammation.
The more skin is itched, the more bacteria is multiplied causing inflammation and further itching which worsens the condition.

Caucasian children tend to get the most trouble on the skin creases where their joints meet (known as flexures) such as the elbows, wrists, behind the knees and fronts of the ankles. 

Read more about how to treat and care for Atopic Dermatitis.

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