Did you know that skin care practices and skin conditions actually vary quite dramatically in regards to darker skin tones?
One of the most common complaints from people with darker skin is discoloration and pigment issues. And, many individuals with darker skin often want to lighten their skin, for a myriad of reasons.
What you must keep in mind is that pigment is a good thing; it provides protection against the sun and its damaging rays. In a way, pigment is like your body's built-in sunscreen.
Lightening the skin can be appropriate if you're affected by diseases of pigmentation, such as Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
But, if you lighten your skin unnecessarily, simply for cosmetic reasons, it can be truly harmful. In essence, you're removing that natural "SPF" protection and rendering your skin more prone to the harmful UV rays of the sun, increasing your risk of sun damage.
Also, many people use skin lightening products inappropriately and without the supervision of a physician, which can be quite disastrous to the skin. It may also result in skin coloration differences in the face and the rest of the body, resulting in an unattractive appearance.
Another consideration when dealing with dark skin is vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency increases your risk for common cancers, autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, and infectious diseases. In people with darker skin, the ability to produce vitamin D is vastly reduced. This is because those individuals have greater amounts of the pigment melanin in the outermost layer of the skin. The presence of this pigment reduces the body's ability to produce vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure.
Aside from the diseases and conditions, vitamin D is also essential for effective anti-aging.
Expert dermatologist, Dr. Rachael Eckel, joins Andrea and Lisa to discuss specific considerations in dark-skinned individuals, as well as ways you can take care of your skin to prevent discoloration and diseases of pigmentation.