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Why is black skin experts so hard to find?

Why is black skin experts so hard to find?

Dry, combination, oily … Although they are important definitions when caring for the skin, these characteristics are not the only ones that should be taken into account during your treatment routine and product selection.


In addition to genetic conditions, ancestry is also a factor that has a significant impact on the appearance of the skin. People of indigenous descent, for example, are less likely to develop stretch marks or regrow hair, while Asian skin is known for its resistance to wrinkles.


In the case of black skin, which has a very wide variety of shades, the main characteristics may differ according to their degree and the amount of melanin produced by the body. However, the most common is that people with dark skin have oily skin on the face, while the skin on the body is drier and requires special care at the time of moisturizing.


Therefore, when consulting a dermatologist, it is important for the professional to know how to handle the details of this skin, and to understand the influence of DNA when suggesting treatments and care. However, this is not always the case.


Lack of knowledge of black skin


The lack of knowledge of black professionals can be demonstrated in different ways. At a dermatological consultation, Clovis Filho reported a comment made by the doctor that made him feel unsafe during the consultation.


“During the consultation, the professional looked at me and said, ‘Wow, I’ve already seen a girl just like you. Morenona, with hair like yours.” As if it was something out of another reality for her. He made me ask if this person could really help me take care of my hair and skin.”


This type of situation can be caused by the lack of discussions about black skin during dermatological conferences and events. According to Kathleen Conceição, a dermatologist, skincare for different ethnicities is not a topic that gets much discussed among professionals.


“Usually, there is more discussion about white skins. I am a pioneer in taking up this topic and talking about [pele negra] at dermatology conferences, particularly approaching lasers on black skin,” says the specialist.


One possible explanation for this factor may be the small number of black doctors in Brazil. According to a study published by the University of São Paulo (USP) in 2018, only 18% of Brazilian doctors declared themselves black. On the other hand, there is a debate that the initiative to know the characteristics of each ethnic group does not always have to come from people belonging to minority ethnic groups.



Empathy during consultations


Having someone who shares the same characteristics as you is something that can make all the difference during a consultation. “Many patients, the vast majority, in my experience, are black, feel more under-represented and are more comfortable talking about complaints like ‘dark thigh’ and ‘dry hair’ by Catelyn Conceição.


However, the feeling of empathy is a very important factor for all types of professionals, as it is able to form the self-esteem and self-confidence of many people, especially when it comes to aesthetics.


“There are some cases where black people are more likely to develop it, but even people who were aware of this at the time of the appointment lacked a sense of empathy. For example, the way they have cleared the hyperpigmentation associated with pimples.” Clovis reports on one of her experiences during a dermatological consultation.


Such situations can be avoided with proper training of professionals in the area, explains Catlin, who is also a mentor with the Skin Tone Association.


“I think the presence of a black doctor or medical doctor is important because of the representation, but I believe and teach my students to always empathize with patients, no matter what color they are. [os pacientes] will always feel welcome,” concludes the specialist.

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