People of Color and Laser Treatment

Q: Hello Dr,
I'm a black lady with severe bumps from ingrown hair under my chin. I have gone from waxing to shaving to tweezing and it seems to be getting worse leaving dark spots and very big bumps. Please I would like your advise on what product to use to help with this problem, it is really very embarrassing.

Esthetician: Lycon Spa Ingrown-X-it Solution would be the best product for you. When this problem is fixed I suggest exfoliating lightly 2 times a week and try using Dermalogica's Chroma White line.


Q: Dear Dr. Berger,
I'm 22 and black boy with a problematic uneven skintone. I have hyperpigmentations on my elbows, knees, ankles (hands & feeds) and on my cheek bone area and especially on my butt.
I just don't know what to do, because I tried everything out. I was using "clear essence" (skin lightening/whitening) products which wasn't really that helpfull. They only helped me to get rid of some dark spots but they wasn't helpfull for all the other body parts. An asian friend of mine told me to try to take some Gluthathione pills, which was really helpfull for him, but not really for me.
The only solution is to ask you, because all the other doctors can't really help me or have no idea how to deal with my uneven skintone problems.
Can you help me? If yes what kind of product should I start using to get a clear and even skintone from head to toe? Is there a posibillity to buy those kind of products for cheap prizes as well or are the expensive products the helpfull and better ones?
Pleas help me Dr. Berger to feel more comfortable and cofident in my own skin.

Esthetician: Dermalogica's Chroma White line is made for uneven skin tones. Over time you will see results. Also do not get discouraged if this product turns out to not work, we have many different brands made for people with uneven skin tone. You will find something for you on our web site.


Q: I am 38yr old black dark skin woman, I have every morning and everyday, throughout the a new break out of acne just on my rght cheek, the rest of my face is clear, and with every break out it leaves hyperpigmentation, some have told me its because thats the side I hold my phone on, I mean when run or workout and even sweat they will appear, so what product would help me? Something I can use for awhile and wont stop working.

Esthetician: For your skin type I would suggest Dermalogica's Chroma White line.


Q: Hello Dr Berger,
My name is Marie Allen. I have a few questions for you. First, I have some scars on my knee that a got from playing sports when I was younger. They are very visible and they prevent me from wearing shorts or anything above the knee. I really feel very insecure with these scars. I try to hide them sometimes with makeup but it doesn't work. What can I do to fix this if anything?
Second, my butt cheeks are darker then the rest of my body, is there a bleaching cream I could use to lighten this area up. I am a black person, I just need some guidance in these two areas to help with my insecurities. I would really appreciate your expertise.
Thanks in advance.

Esthetician: For the scars you should try scarguard and for the darker skin you should try NeoStrata's HQ Skin Lightening Gel. These are both great products and should help you with your problem.


Q: As a child mosquitoes loved me for breakfast, dinner, and dessert because of that I've scars in the form of black spots all over my legs. I'm a bit embrassed by this and have tried different methods to get rid of them however it's been hard trying to find something that works well with my skin type. You see I'm black female and there are not much product out there for my skin type. Do you have any recommendations.

Esthetician: To get rid of scaring you should use scarguard or scarlight and for any discoloration you can try dermalogica's chromawhite line or any of the other products we carry for hyperpigmentation. You can find these products unthe the conditions and concerns section of our website uner hyperpigmentation.


Q: I am a clean shaven male that suffers from ingrown hair and breakouts. Any recommended products would be highly appreciated. Thank you.

Dr. Berger: First of all, don’t shave too close. Hairs become ingrown when they’re cut below the skin line.
Consider deciding where you might someday want a beard or mustache, and have the rest of the hair removed. Alternatively, any laser doc with a 1064 YAG Laser can zap individual ingrown hairs… it’s not too expensive and very effective.


Q: My husband is African-American. He shaves his face and head with electric clippers. He still manages to get hair bumps a few days after he shaves. I use rubbing alcohol and tweezers to pull some of the hair out of the bumps. My question is there anything he may use before or after so he doesn’t have to see bumps and deal with me pulling the hair out. Please help.

Dr. Berger: I get asked this a lot. The “nubs,” as they’re called, are really bothersome. First of all, he shouldn’t shave too close. Hairs become ingrown when they’re cut below the skin line.
Consider deciding where he might someday want a beard or mustache, and have the rest of the hair removed. 1064 YAG Lasers… especially the CoolGlide™… are excellent for African-Americans and other people of color. Alternatively, any laser doc with a 1064 YAG Laser can zap individual ingrown hairs… it’s not too expensive and very effective.


Q: Hi Dr. Berger.
What products can I use to lighten my skin permanently? Is there such a thing? Is Dr. Murad (nano DNA) any good?
I want even toned skin. Please recommend a good dermatologist in Beverly Hills, California.

Dr. Berger: Gee, Shireen, Beverly Hills has great dermatologists on every corner!
I don't think any product will permanently lighten skin. Expect repeat treatments as often as you produce more pigment. If you want even tone, and you're light skinned, IPLs will do the trick (I like LimeLight)… but if you're a person of color, that's not an option. See a specialist in Beverly Hills for a real evaluation of your options, since each skin type is different.


Q: Hello Doctor. I know your time is short, so I will try and make this as brief as possible. I am currently deployed to Iraq with the 101st ABN DIV. It has been extremely difficult for me to purchase proper skin care products. I have to shave against the grain, therefore I always have skin irritation; i.e. razor bumps. I would just like to ask, what would be the best product for my problem. I thank you again for your time.

Dr. Berger: Dear Sgt Blanchard,
Time is NEVER short when it comes to those in uniform. They are usually the most unlikely to ask for help and yet the most deserving.
First, wash or soak your beard in hot water for several minutes before shaving. This softens the hair for easier cutting. Second, don't shave against the grain, ever. This cuts the hairs too short and allows then to ingrow more easily. Third, no alcohol based after shaves. They dry and irritate the skin. Fourth, Retin-A type products are helpful.
Finally, if you're ever in the NY area we can laser off the hair where you usually get the bumps. That's a permanent solution and it would be a pleasure to help you out.
God bless and safe tour.


Q: I'm 30 year old African American woman and I had some kind of allergic reaction on my lips and the doctor gave me some triamcinolone acetonide. Which worked very well but it left my bottom lip discolored.(real dark brown) Is there something I can get or put on my lip to get my natural color back?

Dr. Berger: To be quite frank, I have never encountered this problem, but I was surprised to find that the internet is full of blogs and discussion groups about it. I searched the literature and found no products for decreasing color on the lips, and I believe that Hydroquinone is just too irritating for use on the lip.


Q: Dear Dr. Berger,
First of all, I must say you are very handsome, and a man of experience, wisdom, and education, is impressive. Enough flirting, now for my serious question. I have a scar where my cleavage begins.
I had a small mole removed from there that appeared suddenly. I had it redone because it became a keloid. After the second time, it still had keloid. I went to a plastic surgeon who injected it several times til it finally flattened. And now it is soft and flat, however the redness will not disappear. It has been about 2 years. I've used Mederma, Vitamin E, aloe vera, and scar bandages, but to no avail. So finally I see that I will have to accept the redness, however, I would like to disguise it. Will Dermablend help this scar hide?
Thank you for your quick response,
Helene (Simi Valley, CA.)

Dr. Berger: I LIKE flirting! It’s refreshing... and especially when I can actually answer your question. LOL There are several options... one is to have a series of CUTERA Laser Genesis treatments to decrease the redness. Make certain the operator is a physician, and experienced in this problem (too bad you’re all the way in Simi!). There is a good company called Prescriptives™. They can match your skin tone and allow you to cover up.
Again, thanks for the kind words.