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Sun spots and dark patches of pigment on the skin are all examples of hyperpigmentation, a condition characterized by too much melanin, the pigment that gives skin and hair its color. Hyperpigmentation is most commonly caused by overexposure to the sun, but it can also come from other types of skin injury. An example is dark spots left in areas where acne bumps once were. The trauma of picking at or popping those bumps can trigger melanin production. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and from using the birth control pill can also lead to areas of dark pigmentation. Unfortunately, darkly pigmented spots aren’t easy to hide even with the right cosmetics. The good news? You don’t have to live with these discolorations. There are a variety of treatments available that can safely lighten them.