I've had pigmentation issues on my face since I started swimming in high school (4 years ago for 2 years) and not using sunscreen (terrible decision but can't undo it now) From what I've read, it almost seems like I'm too young to have melasma. I am 19, and I am currently on birth control for my acne (started 4 months ago), but the birth control has had no affect on this at all. I had the same pigmentation issues and they'd never subsided (and the birth control hasn't made anything worse).
Is this just sun damage or melasma (or melasma caused by sun damage)? I am trying to figure out the best course of treatment to take and I don't want to use hydroquinone if I don't have to. I definitely have some sort of pigmentation issue, and my left cheek is in much worse shape than my right cheek.
I realize the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne kinda gets in the way of seeing just the discoloration so sorry about that... You'll also probably notice that the area above/somewhat around my mouth is much whiter than the surrounding skin. I'm really confused as to why this is. A theory I have is that the surrounding skin is just darker so the area around my mouth appears whiter. Thoughts?
(sorry about the shiny post-moisturizer skin! left cheek, if you look closely you can see a pretty large area of discoloration starting from jawline and extending upwards)
Any input is appreciated.