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Aesthetic and Cosmetic Surgery for Darker Skin Types

Few, Julius W. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2008 - Volume 121 - Issue 4 - p 1503
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000307730.36308.88
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Aesthetic and Cosmetic Surgery for Darker Skin Types

By Pearl E. Grimes. Pp. 352. Wolters Kluwer–Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pa., 2008. Price: $179.

According to statistics reported in 2006 by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, patients of color represent the fastest growing demographic in cosmetic surgery. Aesthetic and Cosmetic Surgery for Darker Skin Types by Dr. Pearl E. Grimes offers a significant reference for plastic surgeons and dermatologists who treat this growing population. Dr. Grimes is a world-renowned dermatologist who specializes in pigmentation irregularities and dermal fillers in people with darker skin. The book is short by design, despite the enormity of the subject. This reference has many advantages and some disadvantages.

At the beginning of the text, the subject of cultural concerns is raised and placed into the reader's mind. Some more advanced readers may find the beginning of the text very basic, but this passes as skin care concerns are discussed. Facial skin care considerations, including the treatment of dyschromias and skin rejuvenation, are covered in a very concise and easy-to-follow manner. Laser use in skin of color continues to be a personal challenge, but this reference gives some very useful tips. Dermabrasion and skin resurfacing with a variety of chemical peels are covered, providing some very pointed insight, even for the more experienced provider. I particularly found the “minigrafting” section to be very interesting for the treatment of vitiligo. The outlines are easy to read and used thoroughly throughout the text. Overall, there are nuances of value in treating skin of color for both the beginning and the more experienced provider.

The surgical chapters are oversimplified and not adequate as a comprehensive overview, which may really frustrate the experienced surgeon. The chapters are designed to be short and confirm the paucity of information about this growing subject. This text should be considered ideal for dermatologic consideration and an ancillary resource for skin of color, not a primary plastic surgery text. The most significant contributions include what Dr. Grimes knows best, that is, pigmentation complication prevention/treatment and skin resurfacing. As this area continues to grow, so will the available information on the subject. I congratulate Pearl Grimes on producing this resource, and I hope to see more work done in this area in the near future.


Julius W. Few, M.D.

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©2008American Society of Plastic Surgeons