Melasma is a common skin condition that is more embarrassing than it is harmful. It causes brown or gray patches on your facial skin, typically the cheeks, nose, forehead, chin and upper lip. The discoloration is due to an increased production of melanin in the skin. While melasma can be caused by sun exposure or a certain medication, it is commonly triggered by a change in female hormones. It affects pregnant women so much that it has been named the “mask of pregnancy.” If you are an expectant mother and notice blotches of darker skin across your face instead of that “healthy pregnancy glow,” you may be asking yourself the following questions:
There are no specific tests to diagnose melasma. However, it is important that you show your skin symptoms to your OB or a board certified dermatologist to ensure you are not experiencing another type of skin disorder that warrants immediate treatment.
According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, up to 70% of pregnant women develop the mask of pregnancy.
In some women, pigmentation levels skyrocket when hormones change. It doesn’t mean your pregnancy is in danger or that you are more or less pregnant than your friend. Every woman reacts differently to hormone fluctuation, just like some women get morning sickness while others do not.
Your baby is not at risk due to your melasma patches!
For most, melasma due to pregnancy hormones will start to clear up within a few months after delivering your baby.
Yes, wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent further darkening of your melasma patches. Strong sun protection may even help prevent melasma during your next pregnancy. Discuss a safe and effective sunscreen product with your dermatologist. You can also wear makeup to camouflage its appearance.
Rest assured that there are safe and proven treatments for melasma. Choose a dermatologist that is experienced in treating pregnancy melasma.
At Olansky Dermatology Associates, we offer skin lightening creams, chemical peels and even laser therapy to reduce or eliminate dark skin patches. Don’t let your skin discoloration taint your ability to enjoy your new addition. While pregnancy hormones can do a number on your body, a board certified dermatologist can typically reverse any lingering affects it may have on your skin color. Call Olansky Dermatology Associates today if you want to get rid of your melasma with the most effective treatments available.