Irregular pigmentation is quite common. Black skin (people from Africa, Native Australians, African-Americans, Caribbeans, Other Islands) is darker than northern European skin because of the increased amount of melanin that is present in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that protects your skin from sunlight. This keeps black people looking younger than white skinned people as their skin is better protected from the elements.

The melanin pigment in the skin protects the skin from sunlight and slows down the aging process. As black people age, their skin often becomes irregularly pigmented. This shows up as dark patches on the skin. Irregular pigmentation can also be caused by inflammation.

If an area of the skin becomes inflamed or red from an insect bite or from an acne pimple, a brown area can be left behind as the redness or inflammation subsides.

In the pictures below, the before picture shows individuals with irregular pigmentation and dark spots. In the after photo you can see lightening of hyperpigmentation with treatment.

black skin irregular pigmentation

treating irregular pigmentation

What causes irregular pigmentation?

Skin color changes can be caused by prolonged exposure to the sun, pregnancy, the use of birth control pills or hormone treatments that contain estrogen and inflammation from insect bites, acne breakouts, trauma to the skin or other causes.

Treatment of Irregular Pigmentation

Do not use skin lighteners or bleaching creams containing steroids.  These can cause permanent skin damage including 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 the problem. Daily use of sunscreen will help prevent ski color changes form occuring.

Jessner’s solution applied once a week for several months to the dark areas will lighten hyperpigmentation.

Products which contain hydroquinone will lighten dark areas, and the Eva Naturals Cream works very well.

Keep in mind that there is no harm in leaving hyperpigmentation untreated. It does not pose any health risks. Some people choose to do so for cosmetic reasons, and that is OK as long as you use safe, proven products.