People with Skin Type VI have a dark skin colour and are usually of African descent. Their skin rarely burns and their risk of skin cancer is low. Still, they should protect themselves from the sun to avoid an uneven skin tone and pigmentation. This skin type has a greater risk of developing acral lentiginous melanoma. These tend to appear on parts of the body that aren’t exposed to the sun. They often remain undetected until after the cancer has spread. This is why it’s important that these individuals inspect their bodies from head-to-toe. They must pay careful attention to any suspicious growths, especially on their palms, soles, and mucous membranes like the inside of their mouth.
Skin Type VI reacts differently and often more severely to common conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. This can lead to potential problems with pigmentation, particularly post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). These are dark marks that appear after an “injury”, be it acne or a burn. Injuries can also cause Skin Type VI to produce less pigmentation resulting in lighter patches of skin, a condition called hypopigmentation.
As darker skin has a better bed of collagen, those with Skin Type VI run a greater risk of keloid and hypertrophic scar development.
Best skincare practices for Fitzpatrick Skin Type VI
- Minimise sun damage
- Even out pigmentation
- Reverse age-related changes like wrinkles
- Exercise caution with certain treatments
Certain cosmetic procedures such as IPL should not be performed on those with Skin Type VI. Fortunately, there are many “colourblind” laser and light treatments that are safe and effective to use, such as Laser Genesis.
Many aesthetic skin treatments are safe for Skin Type VI if performed by aesthetic professionals. A pre-treatment prior to aggressive lasers or chemical peels can help minimize the chance of hyper- or hypopigmentation. IPL and LimeLight skin rejuvenation treatments should NOT be used on Skin Type VI.
At Skin Renewal, each client is booked for a consultation with a doctor before any treatments are done. As every person has a unique set of needs, an individualised package is worked out for each client to ensure optimal results.