Freckles and some skin pigment changes, such as sun spots (lentigines) or melasma are caused by sun exposure, so your best defense is daily use of a full spectrum sunscreen. Look for one that contains high concentrations of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which sufficiently block out the sun’s rays. Some forms of facial discoloration known as melasma can also be associated with the hormones estrogen and progesterone, found in oral contraceptives. Melasma can occur in just about any female, it is identical to the condition known as the “mask of pregnancy,” or chloasma, ehen it occurs during pregnancy. Applying sunblock daily can guard against the skin discoloration. Freckles, sun spots, melasma and chloasma can be minimized by using bleaching creams containing kojic acid or hydroquinone, which inhibit the transfer of pigment from the melanocytes (the cells that create the pigment). Be patient. At home topical lightening can take up to six month. After any professional treatment to fade pigmentation, it is extremely important to use sunscreen to avoid exacerbating existing pigmentation, and prevent this problem from reoccurring.