African American Dermatologist Near Me | Vibrant Dermatology (2023)

Our skin is unique as we are, and each skin type faces its own set of challenges. When you’re searching for an African American dermatologist near me, you want to be sure that the doctor you find online will actually know about your skin concerns and be qualified to provide the help you need. At Vibrant Dermatology in Dedham, MA, Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip has a passion for providing everyone in the Boston area with the best skincare, no matter their skin type.

Are You Being Adequately Served?

Much of traditional dermatology in the United States is aimed at Caucasian skin, and there are a number of cosmetic treatments, like certain laser and IPL treatments, that only work safely for those with lighter skin. Even many skincare products are designed only with lighter skin colors in mind and can cause hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation in African Americans.

Surveys show that many people of color feel their skin conditions aren’t being accurately diagnosed or treated. That’s why it’s crucial that in your hunt for an African American dermatologist near me, you find someone who truly understands what your skin needs.

Challenges to African American Skin

Exogenous Ochronosis

If you’re experiencing discoloration of areas of your skin, especially around the face and eyes, you could be suffering from exogenous ochronosis. This condition can be caused by using skincare products that contain hydroquinone, and particularly products made to lighten the skin. In some cases, it can develop from spending too much time in the sun.

Hydroquinone should only be used sparingly, and if you’re currently using products that contain this ingredient—even if you don’t see any discoloration of your skin—talk to us. We can help you limit your use of these products while still getting the results you want through other treatments, like chemical peels or laser treatments.

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Acne happens to nearly everyone at some point in life, and for African Americans, treating it can present unique challenges. Many of the products on the market are too harsh for ethnic skin and can lead to peeling, inflammation, drying, and darkening of the skin.

Acne manifests in many forms, and each needs to be treated in a specific way. It’s important to know, too, that acne isn’t just a “teenager” problem. It can appear in men and women well into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.

Options for Treatment

The right treatment for your acne will depend on what’s causing it, what type of acne you’re suffering from, and your skin type. At Vibrant Dermatology, we offer chemical peels, topical treatments, extractions, laser treatments, and prescription medications that can address your unique needs. We can also design a skincare routine that will help you get your acne under control.


Keloids are a common problem for African American skin. Sometimes they appear in skin that’s suffered a trauma of some kind, but they can also appear in normal skin with no apparent cause. For African Americans, in particular, earlobe keloids are the most common issue.

A keloid is simply a type of thick scar. In some cases, they appear entirely spontaneously. In other cases, they form because the body is trying to close up a wound quickly to prevent infection. The body prioritizes keeping itself safe from infection over appearance, creating a large bump of scar tissue quickly instead of forming fresh, smooth new skin.

Options for Treatment

Dr. Ip is a specialist in the needs of ethnic skin, and she can help you understand your keloid issue and find the right treatment for your condition. Treatment options range from steroid injections to surgical removal: we will find the right treatment for your needs.

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Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is most common in older people, but it can appear in nearly anyone. These are benign growths that are sometimes called skin tags. In most cases, they don’t pose any medical danger, but they can be unsightly and pose a risk of bleeding and pain if they’re in a spot where they can be torn or ripped. For those with darker skin, these growths are often smaller, but they’re very noticeable because they appear around the eyes and upper face.

Options for Treatment

We can offer a variety of ways to get rid of your seborrheic keratosis or other types of benign growths and skin tags. In most cases, the fastest and best way to get rid of them is either through cryosurgery, which freezes off the skin tags, or through electrodesiccation, which burns them off. 

Both treatments are fast, painless, and don’t involve extensive downtime or a long recovery period.


In the past, it was commonly believed that psoriasis only affected those with fair skin. While the majority of people living with psoriasis do have lighter skin, we now know that it can affect skin of any type or color. Psoriasis is a tricky diagnosis for African Americans since it can present in a number of different ways and with different symptoms. You need a qualified, expert dermatologist to diagnose the issue and find the right treatment.

Psoriasis has to do with the immune system, and it also has a genetic component. If you have a family member with this skin issue, you are much more likely to get it yourself. The areas of red, scaly, and often itchy skin that characterize the condition come up as the body produces skin cells too quickly in that area. And even if you’ve gotten it under control in the past, it’s possible to have a flareup during times of stress or illness, after taking certain medications, or when the weather turns colder.

Options for Treatment

In most cases, the first treatment for psoriasis is a topical steroid. There are also prescription medications that can address the problem. At Vibrant Dermatology, we also use the Aerolase laser as a treatment. The laser can close down the blood vessels feeding the psoriasis plaques and stop the skin from growing too quickly.


Melasma can appear in anyone, but it’s more common in women than in men and found more often in those with darker brown skin. It often appears in places where you’ve gotten a lot of sun exposure, but it can also be triggered by hormonal changes. For many women, these happen during pregnancy or while taking birth control. The condition presents as blotchy areas of pigmentation in the face.

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Options for Treatment

The first step to getting treatment is to understand your unique skin issues. We may recommend topical creams, alternate birth control methods, laser treatments, chemical peels, or particular skincare products that can help the issue. It will all depend on your needs and goals.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Again, hyperpigmentation can happen to anyone, but post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more common in those with darker skin. This type of hyperpigmentation usually appears as a result of acne scarring, but it can appear at any time the skin is injured. The good news is that these spots are almost always benign, but that doesn’t make them any easier to live with.

Options for Treatment

Dr. Ip has special expertise in treating African American and other ethnic skin types, and she will work with you to determine the precise cause of your hyperpigmentation and the best treatment. Treatment options include chemical peels, facials, cosmeceuticals, and laser treatments.

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)

This noncancerous skin condition is most often seen in people of African American heritage, though it can affect others with darker skin. It presents as small, hyperpigmented, asymptomatic papules that grow on the face. The papules are usually about 1-5mm in diameter, smooth, and black or dark brown.

DPN has a strong genetic component, and 40% to 50% of those who have it come from a family with a history of the condition. The condition has to do with a developmental defect in hair follicles. These papules are most often found on the cheeks and forehead, but occasionally they appear on the upper back and chest or on the neck.

Options for Treatment

While DPN isn’t a danger, many people would prefer to be rid of their papules if possible. If you’re unhappy with your skin, come talk to us at Vibrant Dermatology. We offer cryotherapy, electrodesiccation, curettage, and laser therapies that may be right for your condition.

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Vitiligo can appear in men or women, and it’s often most distressing when it manifests in children. It can happen to people of any skin color, but it’s often most noticeable, and hence most troubling to the patient, in African American skin. This autoimmune disorder tends to run in families.

As with other autoimmune conditions, the body attacks its own cells—in this case, the cells that produce the pigment for your unique skin tone. The result is areas of drastically different pigmentation. These areas can be generalized and appear everywhere, or they may concentrate in areas like the lips, fingers, and toes.

Options for Treatment

This is one of the most challenging skin conditions to treat because it’s poorly understood. While we know what causes the condition, we don’t know how to stop the autoimmune disorder or all the triggers that can set it off. Dr. Ip will work closely with you to understand your needs and find ways to stop or slow further depigmentation.

Options for stopping the condition include corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors. Laser and light therapies can also help. This is a particularly distressing condition, so if you’re suffering from vitiligo, don’t wait to seek help also 5-minute nose job can help a lot.


Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox: the varicella-zoster virus. While chickenpox is typically a mild disease for children, shingles in adults can be very painful, and anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for this disorder. It’s simply a re-activation of virus cells that have been hiding in the nervous system since the original chickenpox outbreak.

The first sign of this issue is burning or tingling or numbness, followed by blisters and a rash. This rash appears most often around the waistline. The pain of shingles varies from mild itching to intense pain even from a light tough.


Options for Treatment

Unfortunately, ti’s impossible to prevent shingles, but a varicella-zoster vaccine can provide the protection you need. If you’re over 50 and have ever had chickenpox, it’s a good idea to get the vaccination to prevent the virus from becoming active again.

If you already have shingles, we can help. We can offer antivirals and other medications that can make the outbreak shorter and less severe. The earlier you get treatment, the better the outcome, so come to see us as soon as you notice any new skin sensitivity like tingling, burning, pain, or numbness.

Find an African American Dermatologist You Can Trust

If you’ve been hunting for an African American dermatologist, your search is over. Come visit Dr. Ip at Vibrant Dermatology in Dedham, MA today. Dr. Ip has the expertise and experience needed to diagnose your unique skin issues and help you achieve the smooth, beautiful skin you deserve to have.


Does black skin need different skincare? ›

Melanin is what gives your skin its uniquely special colour. For the most part, the ingredients and types of products needed to address skin concerns remain the same regardless of skin colour.

What is the percentage of black dermatologists? ›

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, only 3% of dermatologists in the country are Black.

Can a dermatologist help with dark skin? ›

A dermatologist can offer creams or procedures to lighten dark spots, or in some cases, remove them. Procedures are more expensive than creams and are more likely to cause side effects, though they tend to work faster.

How do I choose a good dermatologist? ›

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Dermatologist
  1. Referrals, Reviews, & Satisfaction Surveys. Take time to get referrals from family, friends, or your primary care doctor. ...
  2. Board Certification. ...
  3. Experience & Specialization. ...
  4. Research Facility Quality. ...
  5. After Hours Care. ...
  6. Know What Your Insurance Covers.
6 Jan 2020

How can African Americans get flawless skin? ›

In this article, we cover five top tips to care for black skin.
  1. Cleanse and moisturize daily. Share on Pinterest Using a noncomedogenic cleanser may help prevent skin problems. ...
  2. Always wear sunscreen. ...
  3. Consider treatments for hyperpigmentation. ...
  4. Treat acne early. ...
  5. Eat a balanced diet.

What is the best anti aging cream for African American skin? ›

The best retinol for Black skin include: RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. MARA Evening Primrose Green Tea Algae Retinol Oil. Vichy LiftActiv Retinol Retinol Serum.

What skin color is Black? ›

Dark skin is a type of human skin color that is rich in melanin pigments. People with very dark skin are often referred to as "black people", although this usage can be ambiguous in some countries where it is also used to specifically refer to different ethnic groups or populations.

How accurate are dermatologists? ›

For diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity was 0.81 to 1.00 for dermatologists and 0.42 to 1.00 for PCPs. None of the studies reported specificity for dermatologists; one reported specificity for PCPs (0.98).

Can a dermatologist change skin color? ›

Can A Dark Skin Tone Ever Become Fair? Dermatologists and plastic surgeons world over warn against falling for the claims of any treatments that promise a drastic change in skin tone. Medically, it is impossible to achieve that.

How can African Americans get rid of dark spots fast? ›

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends the following treatments for dark spots in skin of color:
  1. 2% hydroquinone.
  2. azelaic acid.
  3. glycolic acid.
  4. kojic acid.
  5. retinoids, such as retinol, tretinoin, adapalene gel, or tazarotene.
  6. vitamin C.

Which treatment is best for dark skin? ›

8 Treatment Options for Hyperpigmentation
  • Chemical peel.
  • Laser peel.
  • IPL therapy.
  • Microdermabrasion.
  • Dermabrasion.
  • Lightening creams.
  • Options for each skin tone.
  • See your dermatologist.

What dermatologists prescribe for dark spots? ›

Applying prescription bleaching creams (hydroquinone) alone or with retinoids (tretinoin) and a mild steroid might gradually fade the spots over several months.

What is #1 recommended dermatologist? ›

The cosmetics company knows the results and can refer to them at any time. Dermatologist recommendation means a skin expert was paid for their endorsement. No actual testing has been done behind this endorsement.

What is the #1 dermatologist skin care brand? ›

What you need to know. Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe is the #1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand1.

Why is it so hard to find a good dermatologist? ›

One major reason is that there simply aren't enough dermatologists available. A cap on medical residency training, an increase in demand for new treatments, and awareness of skin diseases also cause a shortage in available dermatologists.

What is the best face wash for African American skin? ›

What's the Best Face Wash for African American Skin?
  • Clear Essence Platinum Blemish Control Wash Formula for Acne. ...
  • Clear Essence Exclusive Line: Glow Tonic. ...
  • Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Line: Body Soap Scrub. ...
  • Clear Essence My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Soap. ...
  • ChiMere™ Bump Control Cleansing Bar.

What is the best toner for African American skin? ›

We've compiled nine of the best toners that will give your skin the glow you've been looking for,
28 Aug 2020

What is the best moisturizer for black people? ›

The 4 best moisturizers for black skin
  • ZELEN Life Moisturizer (Best for clean skincare) Analysis: ...
  • Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil Control Moisturizer (Best for oil control) Analysis: ...
  • Mario Badescu Hydro Moisturizer with Vitamin C (Best for dry skin) ...
  • Oars + Alps Natural Face Moisturizer and Eye Cream (Best for men)

Is CeraVe good for African American skin? ›

CeraVe AM Face Moisturizer

We thought it would be best to start this list off with a moisturizer that's safe for all black skin types. Whether you have oily skin, acne-prone skin, dry skin, sensitive, or combination-skin, the CeraVe AM Face Moisturizer is a wonderful option for you.

Is skin color inherited from the mother or father? ›

When a baby inherits skin color genes from both biological parents, a mixture of different genes will determine their skin color. Since a baby inherits half its genes from each biological parent, its physical appearance will be a mix of both.

What nationality has the blackest skin? ›

They found the darkest skin in the Nilo-Saharan pastoralist populations of eastern Africa, such as the Mursi and Surma, and the lightest skin in the San of southern Africa, as well as many shades in between, as in the Agaw people of Ethiopia.

What color was the first human? ›

Hence the leading hypothesis for the evolution of human skin color proposes that: From about 1.2 million years ago to less than 100,000 years ago, archaic humans, including archaic Homo sapiens, were dark-skinned.

Do dermatologists make mistakes? ›

Although dermatologists and other visual specialties appear to make fewer medical errors, it appears that errors occur in the treatment of approximately 5% of our dermatology patients, while errors occur in as many as 10% to 20% of patient encounters in other specialties.

Can a dermatologist misdiagnosed? ›

Because different skin conditions can look similar, dermatologists sometimes misdiagnose them. Another factor affecting diagnosis of skin conditions is you could have more than one.

How long does it take to see results from dermatologist? ›

Once a treatment plan has been established, it takes 4-6 weeks before noticeable results are realized.

What reduces melanin? ›

Natural remedies
  • According to a 2012 study in Phytotherapy Research , the active compound in turmeric may reduce melanin synthesis. ...
  • Aloe vera may reduce melanin production after sun exposure. ...
  • People also use lemon juice to reduce skin pigmentation. ...
  • Green tea has a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

What do dermatologists lighten skin with? ›

Powerful skin-lightening creams are available on prescription from a doctor. These usually contain one or both of the following medicines: hydroquinone. corticosteroids (steroid medicine), such as hydrocortisone.

Can I get my original skin color back? ›

You can definitely go back to your natural skin tone which over time tends to darken due to factors like dust, pollution, etc. We list tips that will lighten your skin tone by bringing back your natural shade.

What do dermatologists recommend for dark spots on face? ›

Dermatologists sometimes recommend laser treatment for age spots. Laser resurfacing uses the power of light energy to reduce the appearance of dark spots. Dark skin cells absorb the light energy pulses emitted by the laser head. Once inside, the energy from the laser kills the dark skin cell.

Will apple cider vinegar remove dark spots? ›

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which research shows may lighten pigmentation. To use this remedy: Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a container. Apply to your dark patches and leave on two to three minutes.

Does Microneedling work on black skin? ›

Microneedling is safe for darker skin tones because the microscopic punctures from the device are minor and do not cut into the dermis. However, when you cut into the dermis, you cause a cut deep enough to create scarring, which can be especially problematic for dark skin tones.

What vitamin takes away dark spots? ›

Vitamins can be used to lighten your skin and lighten dark spots. Three of the best vitamins for lightening dark spots are vitamin C, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps your skin produce more collagen while inhibiting the formation of melanin.

What vitamin gets rid of dark spots? ›

Which vitamins can help reduce brown spots? Several vitamins have long been recognized as being useful for treating hyperpigmentation in daily life and are present in many cosmetics. These include vitamin E, also called tocopherol, and vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid.

What vitamin helps rid dark spots? ›

Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for your skin, along with vitamins C, E, and K. Making sure you get enough vitamins can keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. This could translate to a reduction in: dark spots.

What is the most common dermatological complaints? ›

Acne vulgaris, or acne, is one of the most common skin disorders treated by health care practitioners and dermatologists. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin, affecting 85% of individuals in their lifetime [9].

Which is the most common skin condition treated within dermatology? ›

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually.

What moisturizer do most dermatologists recommend? ›

And if you need more help choosing your next holy-grail moisturizer, check out the recs from dermatologists below.
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. ...
  • Senté Dermal Repair Cream. ...
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. ...
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer. ...
  • Epara Moisturizing Face Cream.
18 Dec 2021

What is the best skin care routine for 60 year old woman? ›

Here's what you can do: Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free, moisturizing bar soap, cleanser, or body wash. Doing so will help soothe rather than dry your skin. Moisturizing ingredients that can help reduce dryness include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and lanolin.

Why do dermatologists like Cetaphil? ›

What pros say: The fact that it is so gentle, and doesn't have active ingredients, is exactly why dermatologists love this stuff. “It's a basic gentle cleanser, so it's not necessarily going to clear acne or target signs of aging, but dermatologists often recommend it for this exact reason,” Shah says.

How do you know if a dermatologist is good? ›

Look for an FAAD: These letters stand for “Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology” and tell you that the dermatologist is board certified. No one understands your skin better a board-certified dermatologist.

How do you trust a dermatologist? ›

You can check the certification and credentials of dermatologists on their website. It Is essential to verify the dermatologist's credentials. Check whether the dermatologists are members of the American Dermatology Association and Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists.

What to do if I can't afford a dermatologist? ›

The American Academy of Dermatology has a list of low-cost and free clinics on their website. Negotiate a payment plan: Some dermatologists accept sliding scale payments, installments, and even medical credit programs – so talk to the accounting representative of your clinic to see how you can spread out payments.

Do different races need different skincare? ›

While different ethnicities have unique skin care needs, there are also cultural, genetic and environmental factors that can influence the specific needs that people may have. It's important to keep in mind that even within similar skin tones and shades, skin care needs can vary widely.

Does race affect skincare? ›

Certain skin tones and colors are more prone to certain skin conditions than others. Here are the basics of those particular issues in skincare varies between races: Age spots are more visible on white and Asian skin types. Asian, Hispanic, and African skin tones are more likely to experience pigment disorders.

Is black skin oily or dry? ›

'' Most dermatologists believe that black skin is no oilier than white skin, but that oil is more visible against a dark background.

Does Korean skincare work on black skin? ›

They focus a lot on hydration, exfoliation, and suncare. This makes K-beauty products a perfect match for people with dark skin because their skin is much more prone to hyperpigmentation. In addition, many Korean beauty brands are creating new shades and products that appeal to new mass markets.

What race has the most collagen? ›

Asian skin has a thicker dermis than white skin, meaning it contains more collagen. Research from 2019 noted that Asian females may not notice wrinkles until they reach their 50s.

What race wears the most makeup? ›

White: The most frequent users of foundation, with 43 percent of Caucasian makeup wearers using foundation every day.

How is black skin different? ›

There exists substantial evidence to support that Black skin has a higher TEWL, variable blood vessel reactivity, decreased skin surface pH, and larger mast cell granules compared with White skin.

What race wrinkles most? ›

Caucasian skin has very little pigment to protect your collagen from breaking down at an early age. Northern European caucasians with thinner skin develop visibly rough skin texture with aging and ultraviolet (sun) exposure. Wrinkles can appear as early as your 20s.

Which skin has more melanin? ›

Typically, all humans have the same number of melanocytes. However, the amount of melanin produced by these melanocytes varies. People with more melanin generally have darker skin, eyes and hair compared to those with little melanin. Additionally, people who're born with clusters of melanocytes have freckles.

Which ethnic group has the lowest amount of melanin? ›

The most lightly pigmented (European, Chinese and Mexican) skin types have approximately half as much epidermal melanin as the most darkly pigmented (African and Indian) skin types.

Is CeraVe good for black skin? ›

"CeraVe's Ultralight Moisturizer with SPF 30 is quite moisturizing and blends into my dark skin, and I also like Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, which is completely transparent," she says. (Henry has partnered with Cerave in the past.)

Which facial is best for black skin? ›

Hydra facials, Oxygen facials, Photo facials, Chemical peels, Derma rolling or Microdermabrasion are some of the most effective treatments available for flawless glowing skin. They also provide faster and much guaranteed results.

How can I exfoliate my black skin naturally? ›

Sugar and sea salts can be used in natural masques as well. Vitamin C and green clay masques treat your skin gently as you exfoliate. It will be able to remove dirt, blackheads and oils that are present in your skin. Vitamin C is also effective in clearing up acne for people with black skin.

Why black skin is the best? ›

Humans with dark skin pigmentation have skin naturally rich in melanin (especially eumelanin), and have more melanosomes which provide superior protection against the deleterious effects of ultraviolet radiation. This helps the body to retain its folate reserves and protects against damage to DNA.

Does black skin need Moisturiser? ›

Black skin is often drier than other skin types

If your skin is dry, you need water to hydrate – oils don't feed the skin moisture. Hyaluronic acid is fantastic at hydrating the skin, but make sure to always apply a heavier weight moisturiser on top to seal the deal.”


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