February is Black History Month, making it a perfect time to discuss treatments and products for those with dark skin. The most common concern for people with Fitzpatrick skin types V and VI is dark discoloration or hyperpigmentation, usually from sun exposure. Therefore the most important product to use is sunscreen daily with an SPF of at least 30. Brightening products containing hydroquinone, kojic acid, and alpha-arbutin as well as antioxidants such as vitamin C provide further improvement. Certain treatments such as IPL photofacials and certain resurfacing treatments should also be avoided in these skin types. Full field and fractional resurfacing with CO2 lasers (such as Fraxel re:pair) and YSGG (Cutera Pearl) create a lot of heat in the skin and can lead to worsening of the discoloration. However resurfacing with an erbium laser such as the Sciton Pro Fractional does not create heat and is safe for dark skin types. Such resurfacing can provide improvement for texture and color concerns. Light chemical peels work well too. Please contact us for a free consultation (818-835-1833 [email protected]).