Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to Fade Dark Spots on Black Skin


Dark spots on black skin can be caused by a variety of conditions, including age spots. However, the most common is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a condition that appears as dark marks on the skin following a cut or wound in the same area. It's the body's response to an injury, according to Brownskin.net, and is much more common in those with black skin than in lighter-skinned people. These marks are not permanent and will fade on their own after a year or so. But in the meantime, there are a few things you can do to treat these dark spots.

Step 1

Apply topical retinoids to your dark spots. Available by prescription, topical retinoid creams work by lightening dark spots. They are safe to use by those with black skin, though a little bit goes a long way. A pea-sized amount of the cream is enough for your whole face, once a day. If irritation develops, you may wish to apply the treatment every other day.

Step 2

Apply azelaic acid to your dark spots. This prescription treatment works to lighten dark spots while reducing inflammation and bacteria. It's gentler than hydroquinone, another lightening agent, making it a better choice for those with black skin. Apply the acid once or twice a day for several months to fade the dark spots.

Step 3

Undergo a professional chemical peel to remove dark spots. Your dermatologist will cleanse your skin, then apply either glycolic or lactic acid or phenols to penetrate deeply into the skin and peel off the top layers. This stimulates new tissue growth and after it heals, will produce a more even skin tone, wherein dark spots are less noticeable. Be sure to see a dermatologist who specializes in ethnic skin to ensure the best results.

Step 4

Apply cocoa butter to your skin twice a day to moisturize your skin. After cleansing your skin, use a small amount of cocoa butter to lock in hydration, without adding oil to the skin. With consistent use, this will soften your skin and make dark spots less noticeable.

Step 5

Slather on a sunscreen with between SPF 15 and SPF 30 before going outside each day. Choose an oil-free formula to prevent clogged pores. Sun exposure can make dark spots even darker, so protect yourself to get the most out of your skin-lightening treatments.

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