“Facial hyperpigmentation can occur in individuals of any skin tone and type,” Dr. Green shares. “And depending on the underlying cause, it may appear at any age.”
However, Dr. Green does note that when it comes to melasma in particular, this skin condition—which is characterized by gray/brown patches of skin—primarily affects women, with only 10 percent of melasma cases coming from men.
“Melasma is also more commonly found in those who have a light to medium brown skin tone (Fitzpatrick skin types III and IV) and darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types V and VI),” she adds. “There are more melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) present in brown skin, meaning that there is a greater potential for making a larger amount of melanin than there is in lighter skin.” Also on account of their higher melanocyte count, people with darker skin tones often cite other types of hyperpigmentation as a top skin concern.
Lastly, Dr. Green adds that having a family history of melasma or hyperpigmentation indicates a greater likelihood of developing discoloration.