Hyperpigmentation is a common condition in which areas of the skin turn darker in colour in comparison to the rest of the skin. This darkening results from an excess of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour.
Age spots represent a common form of hyperpigmentation which tend develop on the hands and face. They occur as a result of sun exposure over time, with a lot of the damage happening before we turn 20.
Melasma spots look similar to age spots but the dark areas of skin are often larger and appear as a result of changes in hormone levels. Pregnancy can cause melasma, as can birth control pills.
The brown spots caused by melasma can disappear over time. Creams such as Avénes D-pigment and Skinceuticals pigment regulator can be used to lighten dark spots. Tranexamic acid and chemical skin peels can also prove helpful. The type of treatment required will depend on the severity of the hyperpigmentation. A combination of treatments may be required to achieve desirable results.