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Ask Dr. Schultz | Derm TV | Does Skin Discoloration Mean Your Skin Is Damaged?

Does Skin Discoloration Mean Your Skin Is Damaged?

Skin discoloration and darkening, also known as hyperpigmentation, is most often the result of aging skin and damage from the sun over the years. The darkening of your skin is the skin's way of protecting itself from harm and injury, especially from the sun. In fact, skin discoloration is usually your body's way of defending against ultraviolet rays, as the darker your skin gets, the harder it is for those rays to now penetrate that skin and cause further skin damage. Fortunately, there are certain regimens and products that can help reduce skin discoloration like the Triple Vitamin C SerumIn this video, Dr. Schultz discusses additional forms of skin damaging, including darkening, thickening, and more.


 Video Transcription

Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV. People often wonder why their skin darkens and the darkening I am talking about here are different hues of tans and browns and mostly all of them are caused simply be injury to the skin. Whether the injury is from the ultraviolet light from the sun, or the heat from a cooking burn, or even just a scratch on your arm or leg the common theme here is injury.

Why does the skin darken?

Why does the skin darken, darkening is one of two different defense mechanisms that the skin has. The other is one by the way is thickening. So you will often get a callous from a shoe rubbing, or a handle of a tennis racket, or a golf club that repetitively rubs and the thickening there is to protect the skin from the rubbing so it does not tear, but what protect does darkening offer to the skin. The darkening actually makes sense for protection from the ultraviolet injury from the sunlight, because the darker the skin gets the less ultraviolet light which is damaging the less ultraviolet light can get into the skin. We know as a matter of fact that medium toned African American skin has an intrinsic built-in SPF of 15 or 16. So the darkening is protective against the ultraviolet injury. But what about an injury from a heat burn or an injury from a scratch, on a evolutionary prospective it really does not make any sense to us, however the skin is not that smart and it treats all of these injuries the same. But your take away is if you are seeing darkening areas on your skin, whether they are small areas or large areas your skin is pleading with you “please take better care of me."

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