what causes uneven skin tone?
Uneven skin tone is often triggered by other factors. The most common one is the sun. Exposure to damaging UV rays, whether from the sun or tanning beds, can trigger the overproduction of melanin, causing dark spots and discoloration.
The second most common trigger is hormonal changes. Women who take birth control pills or who are pregnant may experience skin tone changes as the body reacts to the change in hormone levels. This produces a type of skin darkening, which typically affects the cheeks, chin, and forehead.
Inflammation is the third most common trigger. When the skin becomes inflamed, due to acne, chemical peels, or other skin treatments or damage, the skin may react by producing too much melanin during the healing process.
Various medical conditions may also lead to uneven skin tone. These may include Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, celiac disease, and other genetic and hormonal disorders. Smoking can also increase risk.
how is it treated?
Treatment typically starts with skin creams that help fade dark spots through exfoliation. These creams slough away the outer layer of skin, allowing new and lighter skin to show through underneath. Some of these creams include alpha hydroxy acids, as well as Retinol (a form of vitamin A). Many individuals with sensitive skin, however, may find these treatments too harsh.
Hydroquinone is a chemical skin lightener that is approved to fade dark areas by decreasing the production of the skin’s pigment cells. This ingredient is often found in lightening creams, and does work to fade dark spots over time, but can increase the risk of dermatitis and decreased skin elasticity, which can accelerate the look of aging. Animal studies have also found some evidence that hydroquinone may damage skin, so the FDA has restricted non-prescription concentrations to only 2 percent.
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