Dark Skins: Do They Get Sun Damage? Your Guide To Pigmentation

Dark Skin and Pigmentation

Ah, sun damage… It happens to everyone’s skin, yes, even dark skins. And we mean everybody. So while we’re all lucky to enjoy a gorgeously sunny climate, it’s not so hot for our faces. Paler skin tone’s (Fitzpatrick 1 and 2) is the highest risk of burning, sun damage and skin cancer.

And, those with darker skin’s – Fitzpatrick 5 and 6 – aren’t immune to the sun’s sting either. While less likely to suffer sun damage, it’s known to be late-stage if diagnosed with skin cancer. And the later the stage, the greater the concern. Back to sun damage. Hyperpigmentation can affect many skin tones. But it’s often more intense and can last longer for Fitzpatrick 5 and 6 types.

Hyperpigmentation and Dark Skins

 Hyperpigmentation is one of the five most commonly diagnosed skin conditions in darker skin. And it’s not that it’s harmful, but it is known to cause phycological stress and anxiety. That’s why its treatment is so necessary. A specialist aesthetic doctor is your first haven – not all pigmentation is created equal. Melasma (hormonal pigmentation) is an active condition meaning lifelong management. Across the face, patchiness appears, and the result makes skin tone look uneven.


Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is another challenge for darker skin, especially when the sun is in play. This darkening of the skin happens to an area of skin that’s been injured. A cut, scrape, bite, or even chronic rubbing can be culprits. Your healthcare expert may also need to check for iron pigment left behind when old red blood cells die. However, it’s very often acne that’s to blame. Remember, breakouts are inflammatory, so once your spot has healed, you may be left with a dark spot. This will fade with time, yet it can take longer than usual to disappear. 

Your Guide to Gorgeous Skin

Once you understand your pigmentation better, you’ll know how to treat it. Heard about light and laser therapy for pigmentation? This is where you need real expertise guiding you on your laser journey. A new breed of these treatments – like Laser Genesis and Titan – are less invasive. Specifically for PIH, this type of laser and long-pulsed Nd Yag mean far less risky results. Rather than research traditional methods like peels or microdermabrasion, focus on safe lasers. Once you have this type of therapy for breaking up the pigmentation, deal with it topically. That means hit it deep with laser and then follow up with skin surfacing exfoliation. Smoothing on an SPF is just as important. Probably the most critical; step.  


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  1. Pauline Muki Modise

    Good evening

    I am 45 years old. I think I also have hyperpigmentation and skin ageing. I need help with that and if possible an immediate appointment will do for me.

    PM Modise

    • Beauty desk

      Hi Pauline

      Thank you for reaching out. We can definitely assist, I have passed along your info to our team and either Izak or Eliane will be in touch to assist you further. Regards Heather


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