Types of discoloration
Are you experiencing dark spots, patchy skin, or scarring? This post is for you. Skin discoloration is a common skin complaint. On top of that, it can be difficult to treat. We got many queries about how to treat it on dark skin types. They inspired us to write this blog.
Types of huperpigmentation
We would categorise the skin discoloration into 3 categories.
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (in shortcut PIH): PIH is a type of “skin trauma”. It is very frequently caused by acne, eczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation appears on every skin tone but it tends to be more persistent for people with dark skin types.
- Sun damage: Sunspots, which are flat, can have a different shape and color from light to dark brown. They tend to develop on parts of the skin that are exposed to the most sunlight. Hence, you can develop patchy areas on your face, chest, neck, or hands. When you expose your skin to the sun, you will trigger the natural process of melanin production. Furthermore, the sunspots will get darker with additional sun exposure and unfortunately, they have a tendency to come back.
- Melasma: Melasma is typically associated with hormonal changes. It can be triggered during pregnancy or if you are using birth control pills. Melasma typically affects the cheeks, sides of the face, forehead, and the skin above the upper lip (so-called mustache area).
Why people with dark skin need to be careful while treating discoloration?
If you have a dark skin tone, it is worth taking extra steps to prevent scarring, discoloration. For example, if you are experiencing a skin breakout, focusing on soothing the skin using ingredients such as Centella Asiatica (aka cica), camomile, beta-glucan, snail mucin, or propolis. It is important to use products that support the healing process. If your skin is experiencing inflammation and this is what the skin scar is, you want to ensure you don’t irritate it even more. Furthermore, too harsh cosmetics can create deeper skin discoloration, excess skin lightening, and other side effects.
Ingredients to tackle discoloration/ hyperpigmentation
- Retinoids (creams derived from vitamin A): Retinoids reduce sun damage and dark spots. It was proven that retinoids help reduce uneven skin tone and support collagen production to strengthen the skin and slow down ageing process.
- Glycolic Acid (AHA): we love this ingredient as it has a peeling property. It helps other ingredients to be more effective and achieve faster and visible results. Check more about AHA here.
- Salicylic Acid (BHA): helps increase cell turnover. It helps to increase the effects of dark spot fighting compounds while also helping prevent future breakouts. Check more about BHA here.
- Vitamin C: our got-to-ingredient helps lighten hyperpigmentation. It is anti-ageing and fights free radicals. It will boost collagen production. You can read more about it here.
- Vitamin E: we adore this antioxidant as it protects and strengthens the natural skin barrier.
Time of treatment
Patience and prevention are the most important in this process. Yes, you may not like this and yet it is worth mentioning that a spot that is a few shades darker than your skin will usually fade within 6 to 12 months. If you are impatient, you may consider treatment performed by the dermatologist (such a chemical peel, etc.). Maybe now, we are writing this post, these treatments are not available but they are here for your future reference.
If you struggle with a deep hyperpigmentation, you can consider treatments performed by a specialist:
Microdermabrasion: is safe for people with dark skin. However, you will not be able to remove dark spots that are in the deeper layers of the skin.
Chemical Peels: depending on the strength of the formula, a chemical peel help to remove dark pigment, melasma and sun-induced dark spots.
Laser or IPL Treatments: target the melanin that accumulates in skin cells with a high-intensity light. Using special wavelengths of light, the melanin in the skin cells is destroyed.
Sun protection is crucial
If you want to avoid skin discoloration or reduce the stage of discoloration, it is important you use sun protection. Hence, we highly recommend using a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection. If you use it daily, even when it’s raining, sun cream can prevent further skin discoloration. Read more about sun protection here. Get on a bandwagon of a daily sun protection with us!