Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. These patches result from excess melanin production, which can be caused by everything from acne scars and sun damage to hormone fluctuations. While increased pigmentation usually isn’t harmful, it can be a symptom of another medical condition.
Age or “liver” spots are a common form of hyperpigmentation. They occur due to sun damage, and are referred to by doctors as solar lentigines.
Melasma is believed to be caused by hormonal changes and may develop during pregnancy. Areas of hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body, but they appear most commonly on the stomach and face.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a result of injury or inflammation to the skin. A common cause of this type is acne.