Pigmentation is an excess colour in the skin that does not fade away like a sun tan. The melanocyte cell gives your skin colour by making a substance called melanin. This is a sun tan. A tan is a protection of the skin cells (mother nature was very aware of the damages of UV light, many years before we realised it). When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. This damage causes darker patches to appear on your skin and they do not fade even after your tan has gone. Pigmentation can affect the face, hands and chest, areas with the most sun exposure.
There are certain influences that will cause the skin to be become sensitive to UV rays. The contraceptive pill, pregnancy, other hormonal changes, certain oral drugs and topical prescriptive creams can all cause the skin to become sensitive to UV light. This sensitivity is responsible for the formation of pigmentation when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Another cause is over exposure to the sun, this will cause cellular damage of the melanocyte cell which which will lead to pigmentation. Preventing pigmentation is very tricky unless you want to live in a room with no windows. Do not be fooled into thinking an SPF can prevent pigmentation as it cannot stop all UV light being absorbed into the skin. Zinc and titanium dioxide should be in the sun protection cream to give the skin a better defence from UVA.
Pigmentation can be treated to improve the appearance of the skin and prevent it from getting worse, but we cannot stop it. It is impossible to stop UV light. Over a period of time we can improve the health of the skin and its cells. You may need to look at all the other influences your lifestyle may be having on your skin, otherwise your condition will be much harder to help. LED Light Therapy and Skin Peels are effective in reducing areas of darker pigmentation.
In the UK the months to be careful of are May to September. You can get a UV index app for your smart phone. If the UV index is 3/4 then please wear a hat that shades your face or apply a sun block. Do not think an SPF50 will block the sun, sun creams will only stop the skin from burning not cooking. Apply a layer of zinc on the areas of pigmentation.
If you are on holiday do not drive yourself mad, be aware that the sun does give the benefit of vitamin D.
It will be impossible to avoid the pigmentation coming back but do remember the skin can be improved upon your return home. Pigmentation is a long term process but with the correct treatment plan it can be kept under control.