By Kanisha Parks
Dr. Adeline N., a Resident Physician at the Corpus Christi Bay Area Dermatology Program in South Texas, is the creator of @brownskinderm, an Instagram account focused on providing vital information about how to properly care for and treat skin of color. Brown Skin Derm is a top resource for skin of color, literally jam-packed with information about brown skin—including topics such as identifying and maintaining your skin type, product suggestions, addressing skin concerns like acne, skin lightening/brightening, rosacea, psoriasis, lupus, and much more!
“Our communities have lots of unaddressed skin and hair conditions coupled with the lack of access to medical expertise related to their dermatologic needs. It is my hope that this platform will educate the public and help them better articulate their skin issues to their physicians and more importantly, equip them to seek the proper professional care from dermatologists.”
Bob Marley was actually due to an aggressive form of melanoma: acral
lentiginous melanoma, to be specific. What was dismissed as a soccer
injury under his toenail turned out to be a skin cancer that caused the
death of an extremely talented musician at the young age of just 36. His
story serves as a reminder of the importance of the need for both
medical providers and the public to be educated about skin cancer and
skin of color.
Dr. Adeline shares,
“Like many people in our community, I had grown up erroneously believing darker skin conferred immunity to skin cancers, thereby making the need for sunscreen pointless. Unfortunately, this uninformed perception is not only limited to darker skinned patients but also some physicians who share the same inaccurate beliefs.
I also remember as a child growing up in West Africa, witnessing the pervasive culture of skin bleaching to address legitimate disorders of hyperpigmentation but also as an affirmative rejection of darker skin in favor of a much lighter and cosmetically appealing skin tone. My college experience was a true melting pot of cultures. Interacting with my friends there from other cultural backgrounds such as West Indians, Jamaicans, Asians, and more, I learned the culture of skin bleaching was not unique to my experience as an African but theirs as well. Having knowledge of the harmful chemicals being utilized in these bleaching creams today and their side effects, I felt I needed to do more to bring awareness to these and other skin issues.”
As a dermatologist in training, I have more knowledge than the general public of the dermatologic issues affecting the average person. It became increasingly hard to ignore some these misconceptions about skin care or the approach to treating skin conditions in our community. In reflecting on past experiences addressing my own dermatologic issues, I had to be honest in that I delayed seeking professional help and had a do-it-yourself mentality for most of my skin concerns very much to my own detriment.”
Dr. Adeline hopes to change these and other fallacious attitudes regarding skin health in people of color, starting with implementing basic habits like wearing sunscreen daily, removing makeup at night, cleaning your makeup brushes, keeping your hands off of your face, and making sure to seek professional help for specific skin concerns. Your skin is of utmost importance and it’s your responsibility to learn how properly maintain it.
|Dr. Adeline N.|
Stay tuned for future skin-related posts featuring her expert advice and in the meantime, follow @brownskinderm on Instagram!
How much time do you spend on caring for your skin?