Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD
Ni'Kita Wilson sat with Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd to get professional insight on skin care must-haves and the truth about laser hair removal.
Ni'Kita: What made you decide to specialize in Skin of Color?
Dr. Heather: As a woman of color, I had a tremendous interest in learning about diseases that are common in skin of color. During my dermatology residency, I was consumed by learning as much as I could. I did rotations around the country with experts in skin of color to expand my knowledge in this area. I knew that when I finished my training I wanted to provide the best possible care for my patients, who would be largely people of color.
Ni'Kita: What is a common myth or misconception in regards to skin of color that you have to constantly correct?
Dr. Heather: A common myth is that people of color don't need sunscreen. The truth is that although signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles are less common in people of color, sunscreen is essential to prevent other signs of aging such as dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Ni'Kita: Do you have a philosophy on what skin care products should contain or avoid?
Dr. Heather: I always emphasize daily sunscreen for my patients. Sunscreen is a simple and inexpensive way to prevent unwanted signs of aging. In addition to sunscreen, antioxidants are very helpful because they also improve the skin's ability to protect itself from free radicals. In addition some antioxidants like vitamin C have the added benefit of improving skin tone and texture.
Ni'Kita: What led you to creating Specific Beauty?
Dr. Heather: I created Specific Beauty to fill a need in my practice for an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. When I started practicing there where very few options available to effectively treat hyperpigmentation. As a specialist in pigmentation, I have hundreds of patients that suffer from uneven skin tone, melasma and hyperpigmentation. I wanted to provide a simple and effective skin care regimen that would address this common complaint in women of color so I created Specific Beauty.
Ni'Kita: What advice do you give to the women in your family about skin care (or what is the most common question asked)?
Dr. Heather: I am frequently asked about which lasers are safe for people with darker skin. Laser hair removal is completely safe in skin of color. The Nd:YAG laser can safely and effectively remove hair in all skin types and I highly recommend it for women with unwanted facial or body hair. I also treat many men who suffer from razor bumps that are due to ingrown hairs on the beard area. Laser hair removal is the most effective treatment for this common skin condition in women and men with skin of color.