Skin discoloration is a common condition that occurs mostly from sun exposure, and leads the skin to become darkened in certain areas or patches. These areas, usually brown, are a collection of pigment called melanin. Melanin is produced by the skin, and absorbs ultraviolet rays to protect the body from the sun. Increased melanin leads to increased discoloration. Anyone can be affected by skin discoloration, but generally lighter-skinned individuals are at greater risk for discoloration and cancer.