Irregular pigmentation is caused when the body fails to regulate the production of melanin and produces too much or too little in localised areas of skin. It can affect people of all skin colours, resulting in lighter or darker patches of skin of varying sizes and forms.

The appearance of the skin will generally worsen with time if it does not receive pigmentation treatment or adequate protection. But what actually causes this irregular production of melanin?

• Hormones can have an effect on melanin production, and it is for this reason that many women experience changes to pigmentation during pregnancy or if they take a hormonal birth control pill or are taking HRT.

• Sometimes, skin damage can result in changes to pigmentation. Wounds or blemishes can leave behind skin that differs in tone from the surrounding undamaged tissues.

• The sun presents a major risk of uneven pigmentation. If skin is exposed to the sun unprotected, then patches of discoloration can appear in the form of liver or age spots. These are most often found on the face, chest, hands and forearms and will worsen with time, especially if the skin is not protected in the future.