Does skin tone affect a person’s skin sensitivity?
Simply put, yes. Every person has melanin pigment in their skin. It’s what gives our skin color, and it’s also the component of our skin that protects us from the sun.
We’re going to explore what creates differences in skin tone, how it can affect the skin, and how you should take care of your skin based on your skin tone. We’re also going to be dismantling a few common myths about skin tone and skincare.
So what creates differences in skin tone?
The amount of melanin in the skin. There are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin.
The former is what makes skin darker, while the latter does the opposite by creating red or pink shades. The more eumelanin a person has, the darker their skin is. The more pheomelanin they have, the lighter they are.
Eumelanin pigment is also much more effective in protecting against UV damage, meaning the more eumelanin a person has, the more they are protected from the sun.
The physiological differences in skin tone can affect how susceptible a person’s skin is to certain skin conditions.
Let’s first dismantle the common myth that “darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen.”
This is simply not true.
Dermatologists suggest that it is important for everyone of all skin tones to wear sunscreen because everyone with skin is at risk for skin cancer.
In fact, people with darker skin may not detect signs of skin cancer as easily because it may not be as visible.
Also, certain skin tones and colors are more prone to certain skin conditions than others. Here are the basics of how those particular issues vary between races:
- Age spots are more visible on lighter skin types.
- Medium-Darker skin tones are more likely to experience pigment disorders.
- Darker skin tones are more likely to have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which occurs when patches of skin have overproduced melanin and therefore look darker.
- Eczema is more likely to arise in people with darker skin tones. However, the condition is also genetic.
- Fair-skinned people are more likely to experience rosacea, a chronic skin redness.
People with darker skin tones should stay away from laser treatments and chemical peels.
This is also false.
When laser treatments were initially created in the 1960s, this may have been true. But in the last 2 decades, there have been many different types of lasers and treatments created to make laser treatments available for people of all skin colors.
According to an article by Nina Desai, M.D., F.A.A.D, “In skilled hands, with the right lasers, there are many treatments that are effective and appropriate for skin of color…When it comes to chemical peels, the right compound applied to the skin for the correct amount of time can lead to great results and smoother, more even skin.”
Click here to learn more about a few dermatologist’s favorite laser treatments for darker skin tones.
It should be noted that while your skin tone can play a part in how to take care of your skin, there are still other factors that play a role in issues your skin may face, such as genetics and the environment you live in.
If you live in a very warm climate, your skin routine may require completely different products than someone who lives somewhere that is very cold. So remember to check with your dermatologist and see what will work best for you to take care of your skin.
Talk to a Specialist
At Skin Specialists, we assist patients of all different races and ethnicities. Our hope with this blog was to answer any questions you may have had about the correlation between skin tone and skincare, as well as dismantle myths about the two.
If you have any questions, give our office a call (972)-649-6644
“How Skincare Varies Between Races.” Avail Dermatology, availdermatology.com/how-skincare-varies-between-races.
Chia, Jessica. “The Best Laser Treatments for Dark Skin.” Allure, 19 Apr. 2018, www.allure.com/story/best-laser-treatments-for-dark-skin-at-dermatologist.
Desai, Nina. “3 Myths About Skin of Color and How to Treat Your Top Concerns.” Dermstore Blog, 4 Aug. 2020, www.dermstore.com/blog/skin-of-color-myths.