Why Darker Skin Can Also Experience Redness Issues

A portrait of a smiling woman with clear, darker skin

Minimize Red Pigmentation

Skin problems of all shades and colors occur on almost everyone. When it comes to conditions that cause redness on your skin, even darker skin tones can suffer from red pigmentation on the face. There are even some skin conditions that seem to affect darker skin tones more frequently or more severely than lighter skin tones.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to prevent or minimize red discoloration on your face, explore this blog from Senté to learn about the most common conditions that could affect you and which skincare products can help.

Understanding Darker Skin

Skin color stems from cells that are called melanocytes. These cells produce packets that contain a natural chemical called melanin. While all people have similar numbers of melanocytes in their skin tissue, the size and distribution of these packets differ, contributing to the variety of pigmentations. The larger these packets are, the darker your skin will be.

Having darker skin often results in a smaller risk of sun damage. Because melanin is meant to absorb and scatter ultraviolet light, darker complexions are less susceptible to aging and cancer caused by UV rays.

However, the amount of melanin determines how skin will react to external factors that result in rashes and redness. Darker skin develops pigmentation problems, including skin color changes and scarring from even the most minor injuries. Anything from mild acne to bug bites could be responsible for dramatic dark spots, called hyperpigmentation, or red pigmentation on the face.

Skincare Products to Avoid

One of the primary triggers for skin damage is dryness. While you might suffer from dry skin naturally, external elements, such as the weather or your skincare products, can contribute to the issues and exacerbate dark spots and red pigmentation on your face.

If you know that dry skin is an issue for you, moisturizing is that much more important for your skincare routine. Additionally, a tinted, broad-spectrum sunscreen can keep any damaged areas from getting darker and sustaining more permanent changes to skin tone.

Some of the products you’ll need to be extra careful when using include those that contain retinoids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and hydroquinone. These compounds can irritate and dry out your skin, causing darker spots and redness on dark skin. While you can mitigate dryness by moisturizing more, using anti-aging and acne treatments with these ingredients should be done with care.

While lighter skin may experience irritation or red pigmentation on their face that may fade over time, darker skin may have to deal with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can still affect you for weeks after you stop using a product.

Common Skin Conditions

A portrait of a woman with healthy, darker skin

Some common skin conditions seem to affect darker skin worse than lighter skin, resulting in dark spots, texture changes, and red discoloration on the face. These conditions include eczema, rosacea, pseudofolliculitis barbae, and acne.


Eczema is an itchy, red rash triggered by stress, temperature changes, dry skin, allergies, or irritation from cosmetics and occurs twice as often in darker skin. Oftentimes, eczema is misdiagnosed, leading to no treatment or inappropriate treatment. Misdiagnosis increases the risk of pigmentation problems, although UV light therapy, moisturizing, and medical-grade skincare can be powerful treatment options.


Rosacea is known for causing red pigmentation on the face, as well as changes in texture, thickening of the skin, and distortion of nose shape. Because redness on dark skin can be disguised by the background pigmentation, rosacea for darker skin is more commonly identified by sensitivity to topical products, dusky patches on the skin, and acne-like breakouts.

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Another condition that affects darker skin more than lighter skin is PFB and is caused by ingrown hairs that result in bumps under the skin. If manipulated, they tend to become inflamed and infected, prompting dark spots and red pigmentation on the face.


While acne affects any skin type, it can be associated with hyperpigmentation in darker skin. Consistent trauma to the skin from acne, as well as improper treatment, can result in permanent hyperpigmentation.

Treating Darker Skin Tones

Alternative laser therapies, ultra-moisturizing products, and skincare for sensitive skin can improve skin barrier function and minimize dark spots and red pigmentation on the face for the future.

Talk to your doctor as you explore skincare routines and products that highlight gentle ingredients and care for better skin health!

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