Acne in Dark Skin
Acne can occur in any skin type. But due to its link to hyperpigmentation, it is of greatest concern for people with dark skin. Acne develops when there is an overproduction of oil in the skin. That oil mixes with bacteria within the pores and blocks the pore openings. This causes inflammation just under the skin, which results in lesions -- anything from small, discreet bumps to large cysts.
Not only can this trauma lead to pigmentation problems in dark skin, but so can many medications used to treat acne. This is also true of certain oral antibiotics, particularly minocycline. In some people, it can produce a darkening of the skin, which can take months to fade.
If you have dark skin and develop acne, see a dermatologist skilled in treating ethnic complexions as soon as possible. The earlier you seek treatment, the less likely you are to suffer permanent pigmentation scars.
Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB) and Dark Skin
This skin condition is characterized by bumps under the surface of the skin, and is often confused with acne. But the problem actually stems from ingrown hairs. It most often occurs in black and Hispanic people, due to the distinct shape of the hair follicle.
If the bumps are squeezed or manipulated in any way, they can become inflamed or infected. But even when left alone, they can be difficult to cover and sometimes cause pain.
Recent studies have shown that laser hair removal is an effective treatment.
Because this condition is often confused with acne, it's important to have your diagnosis confirmed by a dermatologist familiar with dark skin.