Melanin is a pigment that gives your skin its colour and is produced by special cells in the skin. Melanin production is affected when these cells become damaged or diseased. Some pigmentation diseases affect only a tiny portion of the skin, while others might affect your entire body.

When your body produces too much melanin, it can cause your skin to darken or even cause an uneven skin tone and dark patches in different areas. Pregnancy, Addison's illness, and excessive sun exposure can cause an irregular production of melanin, resulting in a range of skin conditions, including discolouration and uneven skin tone.

Types of Skin Discolouration

Here is a list of the most common types of skin pigmentation disorders, as well as some treatment options available: 

1. Uneven Skin Tone

What is uneven skin tone?

Uneven skin tone, also known as hyperpigmentation, is the irregular darkening of the skin due to a variety of causes, which may include stress, sun exposure, and pollution, among others. The cause is an increase in melanin production, the pigment that determines skin and hair color. Dark patches and spots that develop as a result are commonly perceived as “aged skin,” and they can make you look older.

How to treat uneven skin tone?

To fix an uneven skin tone and get back to healthier skin, you would need to follow a skin care routine that includes corrective pigmentation skincare products. Do not forget to cleanse and moisturize daily, use peels and exfoliate, as well as wear sunscreen. 

2. Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

What is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, also known as hypermelanosis, is caused by melanin overproduction following inflammation. Post-inflammatory pigmentation is the temporary pigmentation that occurs after a skin injury (such as a thermal burn) or an inflammatory disorder such as dermatitis, infection). It is more common in people with darker skin (see ethnic dermatology). Acquired melanosis is another name for post-inflammatory pigmentation.

How is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation treated? 

To lighten/bleach hyperpigmented lesions in epidermal post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a number of topical treatments are available, such as vitamin C cream, corticosteroid creams, and glycolic acid peels, among others. Although chemical peels, laser treatments, and intense pulsed light therapies (IPL) can help with epidermal pigmentation, they can also aggravate it by injuring the epidermis. It is critical to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher on a daily basis to prevent UVR-induced darkening. Cosmetic camouflage is an option.

3. Melasma 

What is Melasma?

Melasma is usually seen as pigment patches on the face that range from dark brown to grey-brown. This is known as the pregnancy mask during pregnancy. Melasma is hypothesised to be caused by sun exposure, hormones, and birth control pills.

How is melasma treated?

Melasma can be prevented by using sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure. Prescription treatments including hydroquinone and tretinoin may also be used to brighten the patches. Chemical peels and laser therapy are also options.

4. Skin damage, leading to loss of pigmentation 

What is Skin Damage?

When your skin suffers from physical trauma, such as ulcers, blisters, burns, or infections, the skin may fail to replenish some pigment in the affected area. The affected areas are usually visually distinct and tend to fade to an extent over time.

How are trauma scars treated?

Post-inflammatory and mild post-trauma discolouration can be treated with dermatology developed creams and serums to reduce the appearance of scarring and discolouration. Medical laser treatments are also available to reduce the appearance of more severe scarring. 

Whether you are suffering from skin pigmentation and/or discolouration, be it in the form of acne scars, white skin splotches, dark spots on the face, red skin splotches, and skin redness, among others, it is always best to have a skincare routine that treats your skin with the kindness and care it deserves.

Make sure that the products you choose as part of your skincare routine are safe and backed by clinical studies like Neostrata’s range of dermatology-grade products for pigmentation and discolouration

In conclusion, any change in skin tone might be alarming or distressing. It's natural to feel concerned or frustrated about having to cope with skin damage or a chronic skin condition. If you need additional assistance, don't hesitate to contact a healthcare expert or therapist. Know that you're not alone and that you can deal by seeking help from others who have had similar experiences.



  4. Passeron, T., & Picardo, M. (2018). Melasma, a photoaging disorder. Pigment cell & melanoma research, 31(4), 461-465.