I’m African American with very dry skin. What can I use?
You bring up a good point which is that we all have a baseline skin type – oily, dry, etc. – but in addition, problems can look different in different skin types and colors. For example, irritation on a red head’s skin will often look pink or red, but that same irritation on darker African American skin might look dry or flakey.
If the very dry skin is on the scalp, face or other areas where oil and sweat glands are active, that dryness may be an overgrowth of the yeasts that are normal in small amounts on our skin. For example, what many people call dry scalp (seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis), is an overgrowth of the yeast pitryrosporum.
You may want to see your doctor, but if the dryness is on the scalp, eyebrows and base of the nose, try the non prescription selenium containing shampoos first and taking a probiotic capsule. Scrub the shampoo gently into those area, let sit for two minutes and rinse out. Having said that, we are all individuals, and if that irritates you, don’t continue it.
Chemicals in skin care products can also be irritating and show up as flakiness in African American skin. You may want to try products without a lot of chemicals like Vanicream or even just a light, pure jojoba oil. Or… sometimes dry skin is just that, in which case, try Amlactin which helps shed that dead skin and makes the skin smooth again.
Hope this helps, Dr. B I
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