Are you a person with pigmented skin? Have you ever wondered why skin treatments and procedures that worked for your friends have not given you the same results? It’s because your skin is unique. It requires a unique approach to skin care and treatment.

The term “skin of colour” describes all people with non-Caucasian (non-white) skin types. This includes individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds including:

  • Asia (India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand)
  • Latin America (Hispanic)
  • Africa
  • The Middle East
  • Indigenous Oceanic people (Indigenous Australians, Pacific Islanders)

Skin of colour is different. Scientific studies have demonstrated that skin of colour is structurally different to white skin. It reacts differently to sunlight, lasers, inflammation, injury and even creams. Common conditions like eczema and psoriasis can look different to the naked eye, so subtle signs on the skin that help to accurately diagnose and manage patients with skin of colour may be missed by those not familiar with treating pigmented skin. Unique diseases and treatment complications occur in people with skin of colour making individually tailored treatments critical.

Dr. Rodrigues is dedicated to advancing dermatology in those with skin of colour and is a recognised expert in this area. She continues to develop postgraduate education in this area and is actively involved in skin of colour research.

Australia is a multi-cultural nation that celebrates its diversity and uniqueness. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1,589,800 million Victorian residents were born overseas. That’s a staggering 29% of the Victorian population! When we look a little closer we see that 2.3% of these are from India, 1.5% from Italy, 1.4% from Vietnam, 1.1% from Greece and 0.9% from Sri Lanka. New South Wales has the highest proportion of people born in China and Lebanon, the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of people born in the Philippines and Western Australia recorded the highest proportion born in South Africa and Malaysia.

Australia is not facing this change alone. Several western countries including the United States of America and the United Kingdom are experiencing the same shift in demographics with an increasing ‘skin of colour’ population. If you are a person with skin of colour, consideration and a detailed knowledge of your unique skin tone is vital in achieving great results and beautiful skin.

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