I've researched lots and I can only find pictures of Melasma of people who are hispanic or caucasian. I've been having this problem since I was 15. I'm female and above my upper lip is really dark. The picture actually makes it look better. I don't know what it is and I'm getting tired of hiding it now. What could it be?
Diagnosing Melasma in African American Patients
Doctor Answers 2
Treating melasma and skin pigmentation in African American skin
Melasma or normal variations in skin tone could be the cause of your pigmentation. In either case, topical skin lighteners such as Melarase will work well to control the pigmentation in African American skin.
Melasma occurs in all races and skin tones
Melasma occurs in all skin hues; in some it may be more noticeable or bothersome than others. Melasma, however, is not the only cause of darkening of the skin in various areas, and I would encourage you to see a dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis and plan for treatment. As you have mentioned in your question, it is very difficult to determine the type and extent of darkening in your picture; I would recommend an in-person evaluation.