Skin of Color

Patients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds can face skin diseases and require dermatologic care. However, these conditions may present differently in different skin tones, and the best treatment option for a patient may differ depending on their skin tone. Dr. Damstetter is an experienced, board-certified dermatologist who has treated a diverse group of patients through her career. Patients in the Glenview, IL area can feel confident that they will receive effective individualized care when choosing Reserve Dermatology.

What Skin Conditions Affect People of Color?

A majority of skin conditions and diseases affect patients of all skin tones and racial or ethnic backgrounds. However, certain conditions are more prevalent among patients with skin of color. Those with darker skin tones are more likely to be concerned with pigmentation issues in particular. This includes both conditions that result in reduced pigment, such as vitiligo, or those that cause hyperpigmentation, such as melasma. Keloid scarring is also more common among patients with skin of color.

Some dermatologic conditions that commonly affect people with skin of color include:


“I had a recent visit to Dr Damstetter’s clinic and would like to share my experience. I am a Navy vet(corpsman) and usually get seen at the VA but since we don’t have a Derm provider right now, I was fortunately sent out to her clinic to be evaluated. It’s a nice clinic in a nice area and was relatively easy to find. A pleasant Ms. Nancy at the front desk was helpful in completing the check-in process. Easy day. I did not have to wait long and was soon met by Dr. Damstetter’s assistant, who for classified reasons I will refer to as “Agent 8”. I am sure if she gets tired of providing excellent medical care, her slick-ninja skillset could get her a job with the CIA or MI6 maybe. Short story long, Agent 8 brought me back to the patient area, where I was introduced to Dr Damstetter, who was all the things you would want in a doctor: a knowledgeable provider with a great bedside manner. She gave me a thorough exam which did end up showing that I needed a minor procedure. No worries. I felt well taken care of throughout my visit. No one likes to have to see the doctor, but if you have a dermatological concern, this is a good place with good people who did great by me, and I am thankful to have been sent here.”

“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”

“Wonderful experience here! The doctor took the time to educate me on a variety of cosmetic options and gave her candid opinion resulting in just the right amount of cosmetic adjustments! Her staff was delightful and attentive! I would highly recommend for general derm needs and cosmetic adjustments.”

“Dr. Damstetter was the first dermatologist I trusted to do my Botox. She is both knowledgeable and professional and did a fantastic job. I will be using her for any and all of my future needs.”

Dermatology Care for Patients of Color

Patients with skin of color can have unique dermatological needs. For those with darker skin tones, some conditions may present differently than they would be expected to in patients with lighter skin tones. Choosing treatment options that do not damage melanin production or the pigmented cells within the skin is also crucial for patients with skin of color. For these reasons, it is important for to see a dermatologist like Dr. Damstetter who is experienced and highly trained in treating patients with diverse skin tones.

Medical Dermatology

Skin cancer is a concern for people with skin of color. It is a common misconception that those who have darker skin tones (and who are less likely to sunburn) do not have to wear sunscreen to protect their skin from harmful UV rays. While such patients are at a lower overall risk of skin cancer compared other skin types, it is still extremely important to use sun protection and have regular appointments with a dermatologist to check moles or other suspicious spots and lesions.

Pigmentation changes are a common concern for patients with darker skin tones. This can include hyperpigmentation from sun damage, inflammation or other types of damage; or conditions that cause pigmentation loss, such as vitiligo. Similarly, patients with darker skin tones are more prone to keloid scars, which are raised and irritated. Multiple treatment options are available to restore a more even skin tone.

Finally, patients with skin of color are likely to seek treatment for issues with dry skin, such as atopic dermatitis. These can typically be resolved using topical treatments or changes to your at-home skincare routine.

Cosmetic Dermatology

Patients with skin of color can undergo a wide range of cosmetic treatments. However, it is important to avoid some options, like certain laser treatments, which can damage the pigmented cells in the skin. Dr. Damstetter can confidently offer the following cosmetic treatments to patients with darker skin tones:

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment at Reserve Dermatology, call our Glenview, IL office or contact us online.

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Liz Damstetter, MD

Board-Certified Dermatologist

Meet the Doctor