Asian Skin Overview
There is not just one type of Asian skin. Japanese skin is different from Chinese skin, which is different from Filipina/Filipino skin, which is different from South Asian skin. Beauty standards also differ from region to region, but smooth, flawless skin is always the ultimate prize.
Ethnic skin has its own set of concerns, issues, and goals. Knowing how to care for your skin properly, and investing in professional treatments that work best for your skin type and tone, are essential steps to healthier, more beautiful skin.
Asian skin is unlike other skin types and tones. It requires a bit of extra TLC to keep it looking and feeling as good as possible. Here are some tips to help keep your skin in top condition:
- Keep your age a secret – Because Asian skin types contain more collagen and a thicker dermal layer (the layer between the skin surface and the subcutaneous layer deep below), wrinkles don’t develop as quickly as they do in Caucasian skin. Enjoy that smooth, youthful look!
- Layer on creams and lotions – Asians usually have a more compact outer skin layer (epidermis), so skincare products aren’t absorbed as readily. More can be more, in this case, so use your favorite skincare products liberally.
- Protect your skin from the sun – Asian skin types usually tan rather than burn. Still, sun exposure can hasten or exacerbate the development of freckles, brown spots, and other pigment-related conditions. Sun protection is a must to prevent damage.
- Be aware of skin trauma – People with Asian skin can trigger hyperpigmentation from skin trauma, even from injuries as minor as scratches or small insect bites. Be aware of these injuries and treat them promptly and thoroughly to lower your risk for pigmentation issues.
Contact our medical spa today to schedule your complete skin assessment.
Our doctors have vast experience and expertise in treating skin of color. We are currently accepting new patients. Trust your skin to the experts!
What to Expect
Dermatologic conditions usually come about due to your skin’s pigment composition and climate adaptability. Asian skin tends to be oilier than other skin types. It is also more susceptible to hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.
Common Skin Conditions
Typically, Asian skin is more hydrated than other skin types, which may reduce your likelihood of developing wrinkles as you age. However, you should expect higher incidences of hyperpigmentation, freckles, and inconsistent skin tone over time. Post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) and melasma are common skin disorders among darker-skinned Asians who originate from South or Southeast Asia.
Melasma is a condition characterized by tan or brown patches on your skin, primarily on your face. It is common in women who are pregnant or those with darker skin tones. In some cases, melasma will resolve on its own, but many individuals will battle it throughout their lives.
Skin injuries like bruising, scratching, and inflammation can lead to postinflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH. These dark spots or patches can develop anywhere on your body as a result of skin trauma. PIH can last for months or even years, affecting self-confidence and self-esteem.
Other pigment changes are frequent for many skin types, but it can be more challenging to treat Asian skin with these issues. Concerns might include solar lentigines, seborrheic keratosis, café-au-lait macules, and ephelides (freckles). It takes expertise and experience to know which laser devices will effectively eliminate these spots without damaging Asian skin.
Asians naturally produce a lot of oil, which can make you susceptible to acne outbreaks. Often, breakouts develop into keloids, which can cause permanent scarring if not treated quickly and correctly. Severe acne outbreaks can also lead to PIH.
Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego offers a variety of acne treatments for Asian skin. Your treatment will be based on your overall health, the severity of your acne, and other factors that your Oceanside doctor will determine at your initial assessment. Rest assured, your acne treatment will be tailored to your precise needs to ensure the best possible outcome.
Don’t let your darker skin tone lull you into a false sense of security about your risk for skin cancer. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does warn that Caucasians have higher rates of skin cancer, skin cancer rates are also on the rise for people with Asian skin. Tanning may be a significant factor in the increase in skin cancer within this population.
Take every precaution to limit your exposure to the sun so you can reduce your risk of skin cancer. When you do go outdoors, cover up with protective clothes and large hats and apply a minimum SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Read more about skin cancer at WebMD.com.
Treatment Options for Asian Skin
Depending on your specific concerns and goals, there is a variety of treatment options that are safe and effective for Asian skin. Some of the treatments offered at our San Diego medical spa include:
Our dermatologists use both neuromodulators and dermal fillers for anti-aging and facial contouring. Neuromodulators are effective wrinkle treatments that work by relaxing facial muscles that form certain lines and creases. Botox is also a popular treatment for masseter reduction. Our Asian patients, in particular, find that this nonsurgical treatment slims the jawline for enhanced facial contouring. Dermal fillers add support to the dermal structure to smooth away wrinkles, add subtle volume, and reduce discoloration under the eyes. These injectable treatments are highly effective and safe for use on all skin types and tones.
These lasers feature rapid-pulse technology that is effective in treating hyperpigmentation and brown spots caused by sun damage on all skin types, including Asian skin. Picosecond lasers are also the top choice in tattoo removal. We offer three different picosecond lasers that allow us to customize all our treatments to achieve the best possible results.
Clear + Brilliant Permea Laser
The Clear + Brilliant laser is designed for skin rejuvenation and anti-aging. It is also a highly effective treatment for melasma, a common complaint among our Asian patients. This laser is safe and effective for all skin types and tones, including Asian skin.
Ultherapy is a skin tightening device that uses targeted ultrasound energy to constrict underlying tissue and boost collagen production for skin that is firmer and more youthful. Because the ultrasound energy is delivered deep beneath the skin’s surface, it is both safe and effective for Asian skin types as well as other skin of color. Ultherapy can be used on any area of the face to address skin laxity and create a smoother, more radiant complexion.
Thermage is another nonsurgical skin tightening treatment that reverses skin laxity. This device uses radiofrequency energy to constrict tissue and increase collagen levels. Like Ultherapy, this device works deep in the dermal layers, making it a safe and effective option for all skin types and tones.
Radiofrequency microneedling is a type of collagen induction therapy that creates tiny micro-injuries in the skin to promote healing and collagen production. As cell turnover occurs and collagen levels increase, the skin becomes smoother and healthier at a cellular level. RF microneedling is an effective method of treating both acne and acne scarring in our Asian patients and can be used for reducing pore size and improving skin texture as well.
Kybella is an injectable treatment used to eliminate submental fat underneath the chin. The medication works to destroy fat cells in the treatment area so the body can safely remove them. Many patients require a series of sessions to achieve full results, which will develop gradually in the months following the treatment.
While body contouring does not address skin issues directly, our Asian patients must know they have options here as well. CoolSculpting and CoolToning are two nonsurgical methods of fat reduction and body contouring that are safe for all our patients. CoolSculpting uses a technology known as cryolipolysis to freeze fat cells so the body can eliminate them. The treatment can be used on nearly any area of the body where stubborn pockets of fat have formed. CoolToning is a new device that stimulates supramaximal muscle contractions to simulate thousands of crunches in a single treatment. The result of a CoolToning session is a tighter, more sculpted abdomen.
Keeping your skin in top condition requires an understanding of your skin tone and identifying the treatments that will be the safest and most effective for you. Dr. Douglas Wu is considered an expert in laser treatments for skin of color and has successfully treated hundreds of Asian patients at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology. He also speaks fluent Cantonese. Schedule your consultation at our San Diego medical spa today for a complete assessment and customized treatment plan tailored to your precise needs.
In addition to our cosmetic and medical treatments appropriate for Asian skin, our experts at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego can help create a skincare regimen you can use daily at home. We offer medical grade skin care products, such as SkinMedica, that feature the highest concentrations of proven active ingredients designed to maintain the health of your skin. Let us help you create a customized treatment plan that will keep your skin in top form throughout the year.
Contact our skin care office today to learn more about treatments for ethnic skin.
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