Treating darker skin types has historically been fraught with difficulties, since any inflammation of the skin can result in pigmentation changes, and many skin treatments work by stimulating inflammation, causing the skin to bump up its healing mechanisms. Chemical peels have been found to be safe and effective as a treatment for people with darker skin types, with less than four per cent of those treated experiencing unwanted side-effects in a recent study. This percentage is even less than has been found across all skin types.
Chemical peels can help treat acne, premature ageing, and dark or light patches on skin. Side-effects of chemical peels could include swelling, crusts, redness, acne, and pigmentation changes. While dermatologists have known this for quite some time, a recent study just confirmed that chemical peels are an excellent alternative to other treatments, such as lasers and radiofrequency for skin disorders and ‘freshening up’, in darker skin types.
People with darker skin types can rest assured that science has given the green light to chemical peels. The best time to get a chemical peel is in winter, where there are less risks of pigmentation issues due to UV exposure. There are far less side-effects found in winter than any other time of the year, the study found, but they’re not exactly sure why. UV seems the most obvious, but that isn’t always true – our whole bodies are seasonal, so changes are likely at the biochemical/molecular level in skin between winter and summer.
Darker skin types have been traditionally underrepresented in dermatological research, however this trend is changing. There are several ways in which darker skin types differ from other skin types, including the propensity for pigmentation changes with treatments. Finding safe rejuvenation treatments has been key to helping people with all skin types to maximise their skin’s potential and clear up any niggling problems.