You might not even realise that when you see someone with great skin, a key factor in the overall appearance of health and vitality is even skin tone. As we grow older, our skin tone tends to become uneven due to several different factors, including environmental, sun exposure and damage, changing hormones especially during pregnancy and menopause, skin allergies and irritants, and even some medications. But, no matter what the cause, there is an uneven skin tone treatment for you.
What Is Uneven Skin Tone?
We all have a variance in skin tone on the face and body to some degree. You might notice the skin on your elbows is darker for instance, or you may experience some redness on the chest. Because there are generally underlying causes for darkening or reddening of the skin, there is most often a way to combat the effects.
The skin on the face and décolletage is particularly susceptible to sun damage and scarring, as well as patches of redness. Persistent redness is commonly related to different types of dermatitis, such as eczema, seborrheic, versicolour or contact dermatitis, rosacea or psoriasis, and is best managed with a dermatologist.
Spider veins can also cause patches of redness and depending on severity, these can be successfully treated with an IPL machine in clinic. At Pellis Medispa we have a specific treatment plan to treat spider veins on the face, typically on the cheeks and chin, and we see very good results.
Other possible causes of redness in the face are some autoimmune disorders, viruses such as shingles and scarlet fever, hormonal changes and allergic reactions. If redness is real issue for you, we highly recommend getting to the root cause and we can help support your skin recovery from there.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
The most common form of uneven skin tone is hyperpigmentation, which is a broad term that describes patches of skin that are darker than the usual skin colour.
Our skin colour, hair colour and iris of the eye is all under the regulation of a dark pigment called melanin. The darker the skin, the more melanin present.
Melanin is produced by melanocyte cells that live in the basal level of our skin. Clusters of melanocytes result in freckles or moles, but when triggered by too much UV light, age spots, so called ‘liver’ spots, and patches of skin darkening can occur.
A suntan is a result of excess melanin production, but hyperpigmentation is a sign that the cells are damaged.
Hyperpigmentation can affect any skin colour, though it appears some people are more prone than others. Hyperpigmentation also varies in onset. It can be the result of years of unsafe sun exposure and then slowly appear over time, or it can appear suddenly as a result of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy.
When melasma occurs during pregnancy, it is also called chloasma, or ‘the mask of pregnancy’. Pregnant women experience increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. This condition sometimes resolves post-partum but can stick around for years.
Other points of hormonal change can also trigger melasma, such as coming off the oral contraceptive and the menopause. Other causes of hyperpigmentation are inflammation and injuries to the skin such as acne.
What is the best uneven skin tone treatment?
It’s essential first to determine the cause of the uneven skin tone. At Pellis Medispa we use the Skin Observ to look deep into the dermal layers to help us get an accurate picture of what is affecting the skin. This, in combination with years of experience and high-level professional training, means that we can target a course of action to resolve your particular skin concern.
Hyperpigmentation can be complex to treat and can in fact get worse if not properly handled. For this reason, it’s best left in the hands of skincare professionals with recommendations for at-home care.
The first and most important is sunscreen! For so many reasons, not least uneven skin tone, it is essential to incorporate a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen into your daily skin care routine. With this fact a given, here are our top ways to help combat uneven skin tone.
- Exfoliation – with acids in the form of the can break up the pigmented cells. Combine exfoliation with a high-quality Vitamin C product to accelerate fading.
- Chemical peels – this method treat the skin at three levels – superficial, medium and deep. A medium or deep peel is needed to treat hyperpigmentation. Downtime ranges from five to seven days.
- Microneedling – a medically tested and safe procedure that is proven to help with hyperpigmentation and is very effective on post-inflammatory scarring, such as acne scarring.
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – IPL is a broadband source of light that is used for photo rejuvenation. It produces very shallow wounds in the skin that stimulate skin renewal and remove superficial damage, skin imperfections, and excess skin pigmentation.
At Pellis Medispa, we offer the Pigment Perfector facial, best taken in a course of three. Speak to us to find out more or to have a free consultation. Call us at (02) 9159 3735