Dry skin is a problem for individuals of all skin colors, but may be especially distressing to people with darker skin tones. It is uncomfortable and is easily noticed in people with darker skin because of its grayish, “ashy” appearance. The regular use of moisturizers can help, although, some of these moisturizing products may worsen conditions like acne (pimples). If acne develops or worsens, discontinue using the moisturizers and see a dermatologist.
Ashiness also can affect the scalp. Pomades or hair oils that make the air more manageable can decrease scalp dryness, but may aggravate seborrhea, an inflammatory, scaly, itchy skin problem. If pomade or hair oil spreads onto the forehead, it can block pores causing pimples or “pomade acne.” If this occurs, stop using the product or apply pomades one inch behind the hairline.
Pomades also can contribute to a bacterial infection of the scalp called folliculitis, which produces pus, bumps, and redness around the air. It can also cause hair loss. If this occurs, discontinue using the pomade and see a dermatologist.