Uneven skin tone happens when areas of your skin are lighter or darker than other parts. It affects your skin's overall pigmentation due to a pigment known as melanin. Disruption or damage to melanin-producing cells leads to changes in skin tone.
Areas of patches that are darker have too much melanin production, and this condition is referred to as hyperpigmentation. Areas that are lighter, on the other hand, happen when your body makes little to no melanin.
What are the Causes of an Uneven Skin Tone?
Genetics, an injury, and infections—fungal and bacterial infections—can all lead to changes to your skin tone. An uneven skin tone can also be caused for the following variety of reasons, including:
- Changes to melanin production
- Exposure to the sun and UV light
- Being pregnant
- Certain diseases such as Addison's disease
- Hormonal changes
- Allergic reaction
While most changes to your skin tone are cosmetic and are not likely to affect your physical health, your board-certified dermatologist can help if it starts to affect your sense of self.
Treatment for Uneven Skin Tone is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Dermatologist
Smoothing out your skin's texture will also help when evening out your skin tone. Depending on your symptoms and desired results, your dermatologist may prescribe one or more of the following treatments for an uneven skin tone:
- Chemical Exfoliation
While the use of over-the-counter products are recommended on a regular basis as part of your weekly skincare routine, for more effective results, your derm may prescribe a chemical exfoliation. This treatment can help slough off dead skin cells, stimulate your body's collagen production and improve your skin's texture.
A prescription cream, hydroquinone, is a brightening agent that works by slowing down the production of melanin in your skin.
- Vitamin C
Milder than hydroquinone, vitamin C has been shown to brighten your skin tone, fade hyperpigmentation areas and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.