Uneven Skin Tone
Overproduction of Melanin
It can be challenging to feel your best when you are combating uneven skin tone. Part of your face may look older or darker than the rest and that can be discouraging for some people. Thankfully, there are several cosmetic treatment options for uneven skin tone that can make you look more radiant, youthful, and vibrant.
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What is Uneven Skin Tone?
Known medically as hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone typically involves the darkening of certain areas in irregular patterns. For some people, uneven skin tones and dark spots may cover only a small area of skin. For others, hyperpigmentation can be widespread. When you come in for assessment and treatment, your dermatologist will examine your skin to evaluate the overall health and wellness of your skin.
Many patients treat uneven skin tone for aesthetic reasons. Darker areas of skin can be perceived as older or less healthy than others as people read uneven skin tone as “age spots.”
Forms of Uneven Skin Tone
Uneven skin tone can manifest in a variety of different ways. Some uneven skin tone-related issues include:
Melasma: A common type of facial uneven skin tone, melasma presents as areas of gray or brown on the face. Usually, these develop as patches, often around the cheeks, forehead, or upper lip.
Sunspots: These brown spots are usually caused by excess amounts of UV radiation (hence the name). They tend to show up in areas that receive copious amounts of sunlight, such as the face or the back of the hands.
Freckles: The intensity and concentration of freckles usually respond to sunlight. Freckles can become darker and more plentiful when exposed to UV radiation.
Other forms of hyperpigmentation: Some types of hyperpigmentation can be caused by inflammation or as a response to medication.
Caused by a localized overproduction of melanin, an uneven skin tone can develop for a wide variety of reasons. Research suggests genetic predisposition can increase the chances of hyperpigmentation. Additionally, environmental factors undoubtedly play a role. In most cases, for example, an uneven skin tone can present due to excess exposure to UV light.
Melanin is the chemical in your skin responsible for your overall skin tone. The more melanin in your cells, the more saturated your skin will appear, or the darker your skin tone will be.
Usually, melanin is distributed throughout your skin with relative equality. In cases of uneven skin tone, however, that doesn’t happen. Smaller areas produce an excess amount of melanin, leading to hyperpigmentation.
Uneven Skin Tone Treatment FAQ
Uneven skin tone can be caused by a variety of factors. Genetic predisposition, environmental factors and inflammation can all be causes. Excess exposure to UV light is a primary cause.
Because there are numerous types of uneven skin tone, patients will have a variety of treatments at their disposal. Your dermatologist will examine your skin to determine the best possible treatment options. They may involve laser and light therapies as well as chemical peels and medical-grade skincare.
Some options that can remove uneven skin tone on the face include:
- Broadband Light: Also known as BBL, this technology uses pulses of light to help control melanin production.
- Laser Treatments: Laser treatments have long been used to help improve uneven skin tone and eliminate certain types of hyperpigmentation.
- Chemical Peels: Some chemical peels or facial peels can help reduce the appearance of sunspots, freckles, or dark patches of skin.
While it may be genetic predisposition, darkening skin on the face is often caused by environmental damage and the cumulative effects of UV exposure. These both cause an overproduction of melanin, the pigment in the skin.
Toners don't significantly improve skin tone. Toners are designed to improve the pH balance of your skin and remove impurities. There are other more effective skincare products that can even out tone, such as serums containing hydroquinone or other medical-grade ingredients. Our board-certified dermatologists can guide you to the best skincare routine.
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