Certain types of skin are more prone to discoloration, or hyperpigmentation. There are many causes that contribute to discoloration of the skin, including severe sun burn, prescription medications, skin type (olive or darker toned), and injuries that can leave a permanent scar and dark pigmentation after the injury has healed. Skin can appear to be bruised, or slightly discolored in the area affected, and is typically darker than surrounding areas.
All skin discoloration is the result of an excess of melanin, the natural pigment that gives the visual color of human skin. Natural environmental impacts of UV exposure, air or water pollution, free radicals, aging and hormonal fluctuations can contribute to increased problems with discoloration. Typically, discoloration is only impacted on the outer most layers of the dermis, which makes laser therapy and clinical aesthetic techniques highly effective at smoothing texture, and removing discoloration.