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uneven skin tone

What is Uneven Skin Tone and What Causes It?

If you have an uneven skin tone, you are not alone. Lots of people find it difficult to maintain clear, smooth skin. Let’s find out what uneven skin is and what causes it. 

What is Uneven Skin Tone?

Uneven skin tone is a common condition that many people experience. The condition is characterised by discoloured patches or areas that appear darker or lighter than the surrounding skin. It can also affect texture, with a build up of dry patches. It can occur on any part of the body, but it is most commonly found on the face, hands, and neck.

What Causes an Uneven Appearance?

Sun Exposure

Exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is one of the leading causes of an uneven skin tone. UV rays can cause the production of excess melanin as the skin tries to protect itself. The effects of sun damage are often cumulative. Over time, excess melanin in the skin can result in hyperpigmentation, and dark sun spots. 

Hormonal Changes

 Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, menopause, or as a result of contraceptive pills can also cause an increase in melanin production, leading to hyperpigmentation and discoloured patches of skin.

Skin Injuries

Injuries, such as cuts, burns, or acne, can lead to the formation of scars, which can cause an uneven skin tone during the healing process. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH can worsen with excess sun exposure, as described above, so you must stay protected to avoid exacerbating the condition.


Uneven skin tones are inheritable. If your parents have it, you may also be prone to it as genetics is an internal contributor to uneven skin. Your genes can affect melanocytes within the skin, causing discoloured patches to appear. 


As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and collagen production decreases. Therefore, the skin becomes thinner, making an uneven appearance more visible. Older people are also more susceptible to skin damage and age spots, particularly those with a lighter skin tone. A combination of a lack of melanin, and a higher contrast between age spots and their natural skin colour increases the visibility of uneven skin. 

Lifestyle Factors

 Other lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and a poor diet can also contribute, due to increased inflammation.

Uneven Skin Tone

In conclusion, uneven skin tone is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, hormonal changes, injuries, genetics, ageing, and lifestyle factors. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to help reduce an uneven appearance. 

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