Black skin is darker than northern European skin because of the increased amount of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment in the skin and protects the skin from sunlight. This keeps Black people looking younger than white skinned people. The melanin pigment in the skin protects the skin from sunlight and slows down the aging process.
One advantage of having large amounts of melanin in the skin is that the melanin protects black skin from the sun and from many of the ravages of sun-induced aging.
Luckily, Black women are also less susceptible - to developing skin cancer because the melanin in their skin acts as protection. Nevertheless, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to 30 should be applied daily to help protect against getting dark blotches and hyper-pigmentation from exposure to sunlight.
Causes of Irregular Pigmentation:
* Excessive sun exposure
* Birth control pills and hormone treatment with estrogen
* Inflammation from insect bites, acne, trauma, or other causes
Treatment of Irregular Pigmentation:
* Do not use skin lighteners or bleaching creams containing steroids. These can cause permanent skin damage including permanent redness, thinning and blood vessel streaks. Also avoid skin lighteners or bleaching creams containing mercury as this is a poison.
* Tretinoin applied daily for many months will treat irregular pigmentation.
* Daily use of sunscreen will help prevent irregular pigmentation form occurring.
* Products which contain hydroquinone will lighten dark areas.