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Adoption Blog: Talk to AF

Transracial Hair and Skin Care - Questions for Dr. Brooke Jackson

When parents adopt transracially, their child’s hair and skin may be very different from their own. Parents who have hit some snags while learning to care for their child’s African-American, Latino, Asian, or biracial hair and skin had the chance to send their questions to board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Brooke Jackson. The online chat covered everyday ethnic skin care and hair care, as well as dry skin and other problems brought on by cold winter weather.

The chat took place on Tuesday, November 15, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST in the "Transracial Hair and Skin Care – Expert Chat with Dr. Brooke Jackson" discussion thread. That page will remain live so that AFC members who weren’t able to make the chat can read through the discussion.

Read the questions AdoptiveFamiliesCircle members submitted ahead of time in the comments below.

Brooke Jackson, M.D., is the Medical Director of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago. Her specialties include ethnic skin care, laser therapy and skin cancer prevention. Dr. Jackson is the adoptive mom of three young children, and she is currently writing a book about transracial adoption and beauty.

Related Posts on AdoptiveFamiliesCircle


Question moved here from the chat page:
I am hoping someone can help me with the issue of my son’s dry skin!  We have tried absolutely everything we can think of, and it still stays so dry.  His poor little toes are even starting to crack open!  We have tried numerous different kinds of lotions, coco butter, vasaline, and baby oil.  Nothing seems to give him any kind of relief.  Any suggestions?
Posted by djlewis1021

By AFC Editors on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm.

I regards to skin problems & skin & hair care:

I have two A.A. daughters 7 & 3.
When my 3 year old daughter was just a few weeks old she started having serious skin problems, her skin was very dry, cracking and was so raw it was miserable for her….
I finally had to take her to the dermatologist, she was about two months old, I tried every product and lotion that I used on my first A.A. daughter, which doesn’t have skin problems. She can use any of the Carols Daughter lotions and Shea Souffle’ but not my 3 year old.

The doctor prescribed Mimyx Cream and Hydrocortisone 2.5%. 
The Mimyx Cream worked so well along with the Hydrocortisone Cream that her skin healed quickly, I was so relieved!!  He said to use just a small amount of the Hydrocortisone 2.5% and Mimyx Cream three times a day as needed.
Mimyx is very expensive, they now have a similar cream called Zeneiva which works well, I prefer Mimyx because of the ingredients but get Zenieva due to the difference in price.

My 7 year old A.A. daughter has very dry/brittle/tight hair, the only products I can use on her hair and skin are from Carols Daughter. They DON’T have mineral oil, petrolatum or parabens in them, which is VERY important.
The Healthy Hair butter and oils seems to keep her hair moisturized but she needs oils and creams every day. 

I have noticed that most products can get on the scalp causing white, itchy patches that flake, usually they have pet./mineral oil etc. in them which is not good for A.A. hair.

My 7 year old had white patches when she was a baby, I combed thru her hair at that time to loosen the patches and made sure that products didn’t settle at her scalp but now her hair is so tight, it takes hours to comb thu it, usually I do that while her hair smoothie is on so it is wet and easier to section and get to the roots/scalp.
I know it is product build up on my 7 year old but my 3 year old I watch for her psoriasis too.

It is quite a process washing my 7 year old daughters hair and getting the oils/moisture back into it after washing, It is very important to get the oils back into the hair so it doesn’t break off.

As far as washing, we can only wash her hair every 2+ to 3 weeks, I use a pre-treatment oil and hair smoothie before getting it wet.( from Carols Daughter) making sure to get to the roots/scalp, then I use a small amount of shampoo, section hair & wash scalp from roots to ends,  making sure to only go one way while washing, from roots to ends, not scrubbing back and forth, rinse really well, section hair again and put on the smoothie again from roots to ends. I put a plastic hat on or make one out of cling plastic wrap and let sit for at least 30+ min. and then rinse really-really well. 
After all of that, we start putting the oils back into her hair, starting with a leave-in conditioner called Black Vanilla from Carols Daughter, oils and Healthy Hair Butter, they have several products and leave in cond. to choose from.
I have found what works for her and use what I have mentioned.
Then I section hair, making sure to get to the roots so it is nice and oiled/moisturized.  If she needs extra moisture, I use a product called Some of Marguerite’s Magic which has even more moisture and is nice for her hair.  This takes a long time but in the end is worth it, her hair turns out beautiful, clean and moisturized. 
I have found that oils and hair butters are essential for my 7 year old. I can use Hair Milk (a lighter product) on my 3 year old along with the leave in conditioner since her hair is softer and looser curls, much easier to wash and maintain her hair.
This is what I have learned over the past 7 &1/2 years since adopting my daughters, I hope it helps!

By Marla on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm.

I forgot to mention, when my daughters get dry spots from Winter or weather etc. their skin turns white, it eventually goes away after we use cream and lotions. 
They scar really easily too and their skin looks either whiter or darker where they get a cut or scrape, this usually takes time to go away with creams and lotions. 
The Dermatologist recommended Cetaphil lotion for moisture and a litlle Cetaphil cleanser for bath, which works great for faces, body and little ones that are very sensitive.

By Marla on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm.
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