Uneven skin tone is a broad term used to describe skin that becomes discoloured in one or more region. It can happen to both men and women, across any area of your body. However, if it arises on your face, you may find that it makes you feel self-conscious. As such, if the signs of uneven skin tone are starting to appear, you may want to look at ways to prevent it, as well as ways to reduce it.
From acne scarring through to too much exposure to the sun, there are lots of modifiable and non-modifiable causes of uneven skin tone. Your skin colour may range from blotches of red that represent hyperpigmentation, through to dark patches that are the signs of ageing. While you can’t prevent the signs of ageing from arising altogether, there are ways to reduce uneven skin tone, and you can slow the process down.
THE CAUSES OF UNEVEN SKIN TONE
As we’ve already mentioned, uneven skin tone forms a natural part of the ageing process. Beneath your skin, you’ll find cells called melanocytes. They’re responsible for producing melanin, which is the hormone that allows you to turn a golden colour when you tan. As you age, your melanocytes are less likely to release the melanin in an orderly pattern. Because of this, some dark patches will appear. They’re more prominent on the hands and face, or any other area that you expose to the sun for long periods.
OTHER CAUSES OF UNEVEN SKIN TONE INCLUDE:
Spending Too Much Time In The Sun
As you may have guessed, spending too much time in the sun causes your skin tone to become discoloured. When you encourage your melanocytes to work harder than they’re used to, they wear out easily, forcing them to lay down melanin in random patches. This is a risk factor that you can modify.
In a few cases, you can experience hyperpigmentation due to ‘melasma’ or ‘chloasma.’ Both of these processes arise when your body undergoes a sudden hormonal change. The most common example is pregnancy, where some women will develop a dark mask across their face that medics affectionately refer to as “the mask of pregnancy.” In most cases, this resolves within a few weeks of giving birth, which is when your hormones begin to settle down.
Discolouration Due To Acne Scarring Or A Wound
As an inflammatory process, acne has the potential to cause scarring. Scarring becomes more likely if you burst spots or scratch at them, which draws more inflammatory markers to the area so that your skin can heal quickly. The same reaction can occur if you encounter problems such as sunburn or wounding. In the latter case, prominently raised scarring also becomes an issue.
Don’t Ignore Colour Changes That Aren’t Due To Hyperpigmentation
If you notice a new mole, have a birthmark or develop a growth, it’s worth noting that these aren’t cases of hyperpigmentation. As such, you may wish to seek advice from your GP, especially if the mole is new and has irregular borders.
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