How to Treat Melanin-Rich Skin: A New Course by Dermalogica

Dermalogica, a leading professional skin care brand, has launched a new course on treating melanin-rich skin, which aims to bridge the gap in skin inclusivity and education in the industry. The course is free and open to all skin therapists and future professionals who want to enhance their knowledge and skills in understanding and treating skin of color.

Melanin is a pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes. It also protects the skin from sun damage and environmental stressors. The amount and type of melanin in the skin vary depending on genetic factors, sun exposure, and hormonal changes. People with more melanin in their skin are classified as having Fitzpatrick skin types IV to VI, which range from olive to dark brown or black.

How to Treat Melanin-Rich Skin: A New Course by Dermalogica
How to Treat Melanin-Rich Skin: A New Course by Dermalogica

Melanin-rich skin has some unique characteristics and challenges that require special attention and care. Some of these include:

  • Higher risk of hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of the skin due to inflammation, injury, or hormonal changes.
  • Higher risk of keloids, which are raised scars that grow beyond the original wound.
  • Higher risk of pseudofolliculitis barbae, which is a condition that causes ingrown hairs and bumps on the face and neck.
  • Lower risk of skin cancer, but higher mortality rate due to late diagnosis and treatment.
  • Lower visibility of common skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea, which can lead to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.

Why is There a Gap in Dermatological Education for Melanin-Rich Skin?

Despite the diversity of skin tones and types in the world, dermatological education and training have been historically biased towards light skin. According to a recent study published in the Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology journal, images of skin of color are scarce and inadequate in medical textbooks, which can affect the quality of diagnosis and treatment for patients of color. The study also found that dermatology residents lack confidence and experience in treating skin of color, and that there is a need for more curriculum and resources on this topic.

Another study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that only 4.5% of dermatologists in the United States identify as Black, Hispanic, or Native American, which reflects the underrepresentation and lack of diversity in the field. This can create barriers and disparities in access, communication, and trust between patients and providers of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

What Does the Course Cover?

The course, titled “Treating Melanin-Rich Skin”, is designed to address these gaps and challenges by providing comprehensive and evidence-based information and guidance on how to treat skin of color effectively and safely. The course consists of three self-led modules that cover the following topics:

  • Module 1: Cultural Intelligence (CQ), which is the ability to understand, communicate, and interact with people from different cultural backgrounds. This module teaches how to improve CQ and enhance the client experience.
  • Module 2: The Science of Melanin and Melanin-Rich Skin Structure, which explains how melanin affects skin conditions, such as aging, hyperpigmentation, breakouts, sensitivity, and more. This module also teaches how to choose the right ingredients and products for melanin-rich skin.
  • Module 3: Advanced Skin Services, which focuses on chemical peels, microneedling, nanoinfusion, dermaplaning, and LED. This module details the precautions and contraindications that may be present with melanin-rich skin, and how to perform each of these services successfully.

The course is currently offered in seven languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, French, and Mandarin. A certificate of completion is available to print out or share digitally.

How to Enroll in the Course?

The course is available on the Dermalogica website, where interested participants can register and access the modules at their own pace. The course is also accessible on the Dermalogica Education app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. The course is free of charge and does not require any prerequisites or prior experience.

The course is part of Dermalogica’s commitment to skin inclusivity and education, which also includes the launch of the Melanin Experts Network, a community of skin therapists who specialize in treating skin of color. The network provides support, mentorship, and opportunities for collaboration and learning among its members.

Dermalogica hopes that the course will help bridge the gap in dermatological education for melanin-rich skin, and empower skin therapists and future professionals to provide the best care possible for their clients of color.

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