THE difference between African skin and Caucasian skin is the size and the distribution of the melanosomes: the more there are and the bigger they are, the darker the skin. Tyrosinase activity is producing 10 times more melanin than melanocytes derived from white skin. Black skin is thicker than white skin due to the Stratum Corneum having more layers, a more compact dermis with larger, more numerous fibroblasts.The treatment protocol for pigmented non-white skin types, be it Indian, Coloured, Asian, African, Greek, Italian, Russian or “Fitzpatrick IV to VI” is very different to that of their lighter skin counterparts.The key to success with skin of colour is to always treat with minimum inflammation. How do you identify your level of inflammatory response? Take a look at how your skin wears; does it darken at pressure or friction points such as knuckles, elbows, your sandal straps, knees, inner thighs? If you answered yes to any of these you will have the opposite reaction to treatments designed to work by stimulating inflammatory response, such treatments work fantastically on the low pigment skin types such as white skin.Avoid over-stimulation of the skin as the slower melanin degradation increases the need to be careful of cosmetic treatments that cause any injury to the skin. This includes unsuitable lasers, dermabrasion, peels, micro-needling, micro-blading, dermarolling and excessive friction on the skin. Ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoids and glycolic acid should be avoided. The use of banned ingredients such as hydroquinone and mercury offer short term results, leaving the skin burnt black long term. Chemical burns can leave one permanently scarred.Lifestyle and hormonal changes can affect the distribution of colour, leading to sunspots, age spots, or melisma. Ladies overzealous facial hair removal methods such as hot wax; threading; and tweezing eventually result in dark patchy facial discolouration. IPL and SHR lasers offer short term permanent hair reduction but hair will grow back(penetrates 0.3mm). For a permanent hair removal protocol, Duzi Advanced Cosmetic Laser Clinic recommends the YAG Laser Permanent Hair Removal. The treatment protocol uses the latest combination technology incorporating Yag, Diode, IPL, SHR and RF in a single shot. This offers a painless, maximum penetration treatment into the thicker ethnic skin type (more than three times more effective than IPL). The treatment penetration is 30mm. Use the SuperPatch to correct and stabilise your hormones.SKIN CONDITIONSEczema is believed to occur twice as frequently in darker skin. If not treated early enough it can increase the risk of pigmentation. Do a blood group test and remove toxic lectins from your diet. Use the NanoDetox Patch for allergies.Acne is linked to hyperpigmentation and therefore of greater concern to darker skins. Oral antibiotics can also cause darkening of the skin for several months after use. Adopt a healthy balanced diet, avoiding any animal fat, cheese, dairy, and your usual triggers such as peanuts and chocolate. Prevention is better than cure — use a daily exfoliating soap/scrub in the mornings and evenings, massage well into congested areas especially around the nose.Use a clay mask, charcoal mask, every second day in summer for 10minutes every evening. Once a week mask in winter is sufficient. Darker skins are also more at risk of developing keloid scarring post injury. Take caution with ablative laser, chemical peels, body piercings, dermabrasion, traditional cuts, microneedling, dermarolling, microblading is contra-indicated to your skin type.Shaving bumps occur as a result of shaving the face. As beard hairs are coarse and curly, they easily become ingrown, thereby causing eruptions that lead to darkened areas on the facial skin. The professional protocol treatment using almond oil and AHAS increases the cellular turnover, normalises skin functioning, softens the skin, minimises regrowth of ingrown hair, and alleviates the pigmented lesionsWarts and skin tags, although unattractive, are harmless growths formed when skin begins to overgrow and envelope collagen fibres protruding from the surrounding skin. They are commonly found where there is friction, and often associated with insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Because these lesions are raised above the skin, the healing rate is quick and there is no risk of scarring as long as treatment does not cause inflammation. Our method is permanent, unlike freezing or cutting of warts.Cholesterol lumps are soft plaques of lipids usually found underneath the skin around the eye area as a result of poor lipid metabolism. These lesions can be removed non-invasively by drying up the lipids topically on the surface of the skin in just one treatment.Duzi Advanced Cosmetic Laser Specialists in Ethnic Skin recommend various specific treatment protocols, such as Longer Wavelength Lasers, namely the Diode Laser and Nd:YAG Laser 808-1064nm. These treatments are specially designed for patient comfort and are safe and effective for all skin types.The onus is on you to understand your skin and make educated decisions. For lightening the darker, uneven areas, stick to tried and trusted natural products such as the GlobalDerm range. Please note that Glutathione is not a bleaching agent, it is a vitamin that helps to even out your skin and brightens your skin by removing tan buildup. For hardcore skin bleaching, your last resort will be the banned substances used for skin bleaching. Very popular is CaroLight R30 at any taxi rank, its loaded with steroids and hydroquinone, within weeks you will be white, and then you will start growing facial hair and huge acne as the first side effect. Much more serious side effects as you continue using this product include; hormonal imbalance, infertility, bluish blackish dark marks splattered over your bleached white skin. Not a pretty picture. Then you can be sophisticated and get the same rubbish from your dermatologist at 20 times the street price, if you want your ego and conscious to be stroked by sales staff, who make all the false promises, and never deliver sustainable results. #snap — Supplied.