Henry Lim, MD: Discussing Photoprotection Needs for Skin of Color


In research drawn from his conference presentation, Lim discussed the unique photoprotection needs of skin of color as well as some of the challenges faced by patients in this population.

Henry Lim, MD, spoke with HCPLive about major takeaways from his presentation at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2023 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, specifically on photoprotection needs for skin of color.

Lim works as both a dermatologist and as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Henry Ford Health System in Michigan.

He first went into a discussion of the ways in which things have changed over time with regard to the way dermatologists address different skin issues.

“I think this is where the concept of personalized photoprotection comes in,” Lim explained. “I think for a long time we gave sort of a blanket statement of the type of sunscreen to use for everybody. But I think as time goes on, now, I think we all know that there are subtle differences depending on the skin type and skin tone, as to what type of sunscreen to use.”

Lim discussed the differences between the various skin types that exist, as well as his recommendations for their specialized needs in terms of sunscreen.

“So if we look at one end of the spectrum, for patients with lighter skin as in type 1, type 2, for example, clearly these are the group of patients who are more prone to develop sunburn and more prone to develop sun-induced skin cancer,” he explained. “And because of that, for this group of patients, high SPF sunscreen would be necessary. High SPF but also broad spectrum sunscreens are necessary, using SPF 30 on a daily basis, or when outdoors definitely to go up to SPF 50.”

He also discussed the other end of the skin-type spectrum, drawing contrasts as far as potential skin issues that may be seen.

“Then we compare and contrast that with the other end of the spectrum, with the skin type of darker-skinned: skin 5, skin type 6, or even skin type 4. These are individuals who tend to tan more, and because of that they may have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melasma is a major issue for this group of individuals.”

For more information, watch Lim’s full HCPLive interview listed above.

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