UNIQUE BIOLOGIC FEATURES OF DARKER SKIN

PIGMENT

  • There are NO racial differences in the number of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes).

  • People with darker skin tones tend to show larger, denser, and more dispersed pigment storage unit (melanosome) within the top layer of the skin (epidermis).

  • Patients with darker skin types tend to have less  skin cancer, fewer signs of aging, increased conditions with dark marks.

SCARRING

  • Patients of African descent have been shown to have larger scar producing cells (fibroblasts) which leads to greater scar and keloid formation compared to white patients.

Reference

Taylor SC.  Skin of color: biology, structure, function, and implications for dermatologic disease.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Feb;46(2 Suppl Understanding):S41-62.