Nonsurgical treatments to help you win the war on wrinkles and other common signs of aging.
Whether or not you believe that “Black don’t crack,” as the saying goes, aging is a fact of life, so we might as well do it gracefully.
What it is: An injectable treatment that temporarily relaxes expression lines around the eye area and forehead, limiting the ability to contract. The skin smooths out, and crow’s-feet, frown lines and forehead creases fade.
What you should know: Botox injections on women of color are traditionally performed on the upper third of the face—forehead lines, frown lines and crow’s-feet—because this area ages first. Deeper lines are treated with a combination of Botox and injectable fillers.
The experience level of the technician is crucial: When injected improperly, Botox can migrate to nearby muscles and cause unwanted relaxation, such as a droopy eyelid. Overinjecting is another risk. “The goal of the treatment is to reduce the activity of the muscle, not paralyze it completely,” says Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. “You should still be able to make facial expressions.”
What to expect: Four to five months of smoother-looking skin. The more consistent the treatment, the longer results last.
Price: $400–$1,000 per treatment.
What they are: Two common and effective treatments for the removal of flesh moles (DPNs). In electrodessication, a heated needle is used to cauterize the mole. Scissor excision involves snipping the mole at its base.
What you should know: Electrodessication causes the mole to scab and fall off in seven to ten days. Some temporary posttreatment discoloration or scarring is possible, so it’s important to work with a professional. Scissor excision can cause temporary bleeding and discoloration, but it’s rare, says Susan Taylor, M.D., a dermatologist and director of the Skin of Color Center in New York City. Jeanine Downie, M.D., a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey, follows up both treatments with topical antibiotic creams to prevent infection.
Treatments to avoid: Cryotherapy, which involves freezing a mole to remove it. This treatment can produce long-term discoloration and scarring, especially in those with darker complexions. Laser removal is also possible, but almost always causes discoloration.
What to expect: A mole-free complexion—at least temporarily, as new and greater numbers of DPNs can crop up at any time.
Price: About $300 for the removal of 20 or so moles.