Melasma / Pigmentation In Dark Skin Types

People of color are a very large group, which in South Africa includes people of African and Asian descent.

It also includes patients of mixed backgrounds who have more darkly pigmented skin. Darker skin type people represent a significant and growing group of patients seeking aesthetic procedures. This is because of the increased awareness of safe, affordable aesthetic procedures. These procedures include amazing new lasers that are colour blind and are less invasive than previous generations of lasers. Yet special concerns have to be addressed when treating skin of colour.

Melasma, also known as hormonal pigmentation, is a considerable problem for South African women, especially in darker skin types. It is a chronic skin condition that occurs on the face in the form of brown patches and is a dynamic (active) condition that needs lifelong management.

Melasma dark skin treatments

Pigmentation in Dark Skin Types Treatment Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Treatment for melasma in black skin is available in Johannesburg at FourwaysParkhurstMorningside, BedfordviewWest Rand, Waterfall and Illovo as well as in Pretoria at Brooklyn and Irene and in the Western Cape at Cape QuarterClaremontConstantiaStellenboschWillowbridgePaarl, and in KwaZulu-Natal at BallitoDurban & Umhlanga.

  • UVA rays are a stimulant for melanin (brown pigmentation) to develop on the skin and unfortunately can even penetrate through car window glass.
  • Any change in hormonal status with higher levels of estrogen is thought to trigger and aggravate the condition (i.e. birth control pills and pregnancy). Discontinuing the use of contraceptives rarely clears the pigmentation and it may last for many years after discontinuation.
  • After pregnancy Melasma (chloasma) or pigmentation usually clears within a few months of delivery but may persist indefinitely
  • Any activities that cause Intense heat to the face( from steam showers, hot closed environments, sitting on the beach even under cover and with full sun protection, etc causes inflammation which is a powerful stimulator of melanin
  • It is more prevalent in darker-complexioned individuals though persons of any race can be affected due to the intense sun exposure in South Africa.
  • Melasma is seen most frequently in young women but can be seen in men.
  • Centro Facial (forehead),
  • Malar (cheekbones) and
  • Mandibular (jawline).
  • Avoid sun exposure and wear a protective hat when outdoors for extended periods to further block these rays.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ to block the UVA rays every day to help prevent melasma.
  • In addition, your sunscreen should also contain an anti-oxidant as this stops free radicals that cause pigmentation.
  • At least 10ml of sunscreen should be applied daily to the face and neck twice a day to prevent melasma.
  • Taking an oral antioxidant supplement such as Pycnogenol from the French Maritime Pine bark is clinically proven to raise one’s level of resistance to the sun and also helps to reduce the melanin content in the skin down the line.
  • As melasma is a dynamic condition and needs to be managed daily and indefinitely. One day of unintentional sun burn can set you back.

Home therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

We offer highly effective depigmentation topical creams: Dermamelan Maintenance Cream and Cosmelan 2

Pigmentation ranges by top cosmeceuticals house Neostrata is also available at all Skin Renewal branches.

In-house topical brightening agents have been specially developed for Skin Renewal. The Renewal Institute brand includes traditional brightening products such as Kojic, Arbutin, Nicotinamide amongst others. Topical anti-oxidants that protect against infra-red A, a newly discovered deep wavelength that causes accelerated ageing and pigmentation, is also available at Skin Renewal.

In-Office therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

At Skin Renewal, it's mandatory that one of the home brightening products mentioned above be used routinely for 2 weeks on the entire before any exfoliation treatment such as peels. A visit/consultation to one of our doctors who are experienced in treating skin of colour is mandatory before any procedure.

In-Office Treatments available at Skin Renewal include the full epidermal peel for PIH that is resistant to treatment with normal superficial AHA and BHA peels. Transdermal Mesotherapy with prescription Brightening products done straight after our peels improves the final result by removing deep dermal pigment. Cosmelan and Dermamelan mask treatments together with the home maintenance products offer superior results for resistant pigmentation.

The epidermis renews itself every six weeks, by six months, any pigment from PIH is probably in the dermis. Traditional skin rejuvenation treatments such as superficial peels, microdermabrasion, and bleaching agents are not successful for pigment such as PIH that has leached into the dermis. That is when the use of certain lasers such as the long-pulsed Nd Yag become effective to safely treat darker skin including skin type 6. The Laser Genesis procedure by Cutera gently heats the dermis, causing cavitation bubbles, which disrupt the unwanted dermal pigment, breaking it into smaller particles that are able to move upward to the epidermis where it can be easily removed with exfoliation. The PDT Red Light with post peel reduces inflammation and evens out skin tone.

Our Brightening Intravenous infusions with brightening anti-oxidants such as glutathione which work intracellularly to remove resistant pigment. An overall lighter and even skin tone can be expected.


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*Please note results may vary by individuals.
Review -Great Service from the Whole Team
Reviewed on 11 May 2022 by Sithandiwe Ramokolo

I'm so grateful I got to know about you. My skin is feeling looking amazing. And your products works perfectly for my skin. Thank you so much Marisa for your great service. Actually the whole team.

Review -Extreme bad melasma almost gone
Reviewed on 22 August 2018 by Anonymous

I am quite pleased with the treatment I have received from Skin Renewal, Bedfordview Branch. My extreme bad melasma is almost gone. I feel rejuvenated and younger looking. The staff have insight about their job. They are friendly and professional. I enjoy price reduction through Skin Renewal reward scheme. Fabulous treatmenst.

Review -Highly Recommended.
Reviewed on 22 August 2018 by Anonymous

As usual, wonderful being treated by Anel and Dr Toni and the helpful staff at front desk. Highly recommended professionals!

Review -Brilliant Experience
Reviewed on 11 June 2018 by Anonymous

Have had a brilliant experience, both with treatments and how she treats me. She is methodical, precise, takes no shortcuts and leaves me feeling that the treatment I have done will work because she has taken great care to make sure that they are done properly. Highly recommended her on all levels.

Review -Professional service
Reviewed on 4 June 2018 by Anonymous

The staff is very professional, and my therapist is very good. She knows what she is doing and handles everything on a professional base.

Review -Lashes like no other
Reviewed on 31 May 2018 by Anonymous

Helen knows her lashes. She also listens and accomodats the clients request. Not one size fits all approach!

Review -Amazing Lashes
Reviewed on 30 May 2018 by Ilsa Adlem

The best lash extensions ever. Always proffesional and relaxing. Couldn't get better!

Review -Very Professional
Reviewed on 25 May 2018 by Anonymous

Very professional service. Individualized and focused treatment plans with amazing results. Recently started Dermapen and this has been a wonderful and satisfying experience. Thank you

Review -Excellent service and Products
Reviewed on 18 May 2018 by Anonymous

Very happy with my progress of my skin. Loving more radiant, clear and fresh. Excellent guidance from Marisa as she understands my skin.

Review -Professionalism at its best
Reviewed on 23 April 2018 by Esra

I was recommended by a friend.I am so glad I came, the staff are all very welcoming, friendly and very professional. Their knowledge of skin care is outstanding. Abigail does my treatments and I highly recommend her. She is great and does an amazing job.

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