As one of the foremost examples of hyperpigmentation, melasma is characterised by the sudden appearance of dark, brown patches on the skin. This isn’t normally harmful but can lead to significant issues with self-esteem, particularly in cases where skin discoloration is located on prominent body parts such as the face and neck.
Those who experience this skin condition are normally women, with female melasma sufferers far outweighing male sufferers. This is largely because melasma is said to be triggered by the hormonal changes that often accompany pregnancy, the taking of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
Sun damage has also been identified as a cause of melasma and it is far more likely to affect those with darker skin.