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Fifty Shades Darker: Surgery Shopping for Melanin-Heavy Skin
Surgery is everywhere- fact. But the care and procedures for Halle Berry’s black skin differ wildly from those for say, Madonna’s Mediterranean Italian colour, or Victoria Beckham’s alabaster. When you’re shopping for surgery, you can’t afford to overlook that- so get smart about what you need to know.
Different skin types respond differently to treatments
Skins of colour respond differently to treatment than Caucasian skins. For dark-skinned women considering surgery there are several things to consider; Black, Hispanic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian ethnicities can scar easier, be more sensitive, and lean towards discolouration. You need to actively seek out someone who has worked with your skin type for best results.
You don’t trust just any hairdresser with Afro hair; don’t trust just any surgeon with dark skin. Darker skins with more melanin tend to be thicker and oilier with wrinkles developing later and ageing seemingly slower, but traditionally excessive hair and uneven pigmentation are listed as the top nuisances for melanin-heavy skinned women.
Do your research
Your doctor should demonstrate that they have worked with people that look like you before. You need reassurance that your potential doctor is comfortable working with your skin type or body shape. They need experience and familiarity with the post-surgery issues that you might face, from keloids to dark spots to just plain reassurance.
Ask to see the results of their previous surgeries. You want a doctor who has a working and demonstrable knowledge of what your ancestral features are- that’s where Michael Jackson’s nose op went wrong: Rhinoplasty is about balancing your face, not assuming the look of another racial or ethnic group.
You need what works for you- seek out the professional who will give you individualized, safe and effective treatment. Demand to know what they know about aftercare and patient support. Get all the information. Understanding the inherent physiological and psychological differences between skin types dictates what techniques will be used in an overall procedure- don’t be shy about questioning your doctor’s knowledge.
Understand your surgery motivation
Any good medical professional will refuse surgery- whether invasive or non- invasive- if it seems the potential patient isn’t doing it for the right reasons.
I just want to do it isn’t a good enough reason. A doctor needs to check that you are physically healthy and mentally stable. Surgery isn’t about low self-esteem- that’s a complete misconception in pop culture- but patients need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of what they are about to put their bodies through and why. If you are an unlined 22 year-old, you don’t need Botox, and a medically sound doctor won’t be afraid to tell you that. That’s a good thing.
Don’t sign up with a doctor without shopping around a little first- that’d be like marrying the first guy you dated. A surgical procedure isn’t something to be undertaken lightly, and so find a doctor who treats you as an individual rather than just another patient. You deserve it, and your dark skin will look all the
better for it.
(Written by Laura Jane Williams, for Court House Clinics, specialists in non-surgical cosmetic treatments.)