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What causes uneven skin tone

Birth control

The same overload of melanocyte-stimulating hormones that can provoke melasma during pregnancy occurs when you’re taking hormone-based birth control. The pill, the patch, and the ring keep estrogen and progesterone hormone levels in a constantly elevated state, which can bring on the “pregnancy mask” without the pregnancy.


The jury is out on whether diet is a real contributor to hyperpigmentation, but there is sufficient correlative evidence to warrant consideration. Folate deficiency has been linked to the condition. Since foods high in folate also happen to be just generally good for your health—leafy greens, nuts, whole grains, citrus, increasing your consumption can’t be a bad thing. Vitamins C and E help repair pigment-producing UV damage. You find these two hero antioxidants in things like citrus, kiwi, tomatoes, broccoli and bell peppers.

 Your laptop computer

It’s a weird little phenomenon known as erythema ab igne. No, that’s not a typo. It’s a skin condition resulting from prolonged or repeated exposure to radiation from modern conveniences like the battery in your laptop, a heating pad, or the car seats that keep your bum toasty on your way to the ski resort. The resulting lacey pattern of hyperpigmentation usually disappears on its own after the offending heat source is removed.


Getting rid of unwanted hair is painful enough without having to worry about triggering post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a common side effect of waxing. The cellular trauma produced by ripping hair from its follicle can trigger an inflammation reaction that results in increased melanin production.

Additionally, your skin is more sensitive to the sun following a waxing procedure, a major factor in hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation Treatments

Sounds counterintuitive, right? But over-treating can actually worsen, rather than help with hyperpigmentation. Treatments that use heat i.e. laser, microdermabrasion or very high percentage chemical peels can trigger melanin production as the skin becomes inflamed and irritated. 

Gentler treatments and lower acid percentages are the best approach.