Pregnancy and Melasma. How to Prevent and Treat!
A pregnancy is a wonderful, magical, and exciting experience. Almost always,
pregnancy is an anxious and overwhelmingly happy experience that is shared and
celebrated with friends and family. During pregnancy however, all expecting mothers
start to see changes in their skin; whether it’s that new happy glow, or fatigued skin. The
emotional roller coaster happening to skin during pregnancy, can be due to hormonal
changes leading to an increase in Melasma.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a very common skin problem for both men, and women and usually results
in brown to gray-brown patches on the cheeks, forehead, and nose bridge. During
pregnancy, melasma is almost like a mask of hyperpigmentation and can leave dark
spots on lighter toned faces, and lighter spots on darker pigmented skin.
The cause of melasma has a lot to do with the elevated progesterone and estrogen
levels, and according to The American Congress of Obsetrictions and Gynecologists, up
to 70 percent of women will develop melasma during their pregnancy. An excessive
amount of sun exposure and genetics play a role on how dark the melasma spots may
be and should be monitored throughout the pregnancy.
How to Prevent Melasma
Although this skin conditional has no effect on the well-being of the pregnancy, it can
become frustrating for the mother. These spots can last the entire pregnancy, and
although usually fade post-partum, they can remain indefinitely when dark enough.
Because melasma is often triggered by hormonal imbalances and soaring progesterone
levels, avoiding the ‘mask of pregnancy’ is nearly impossible. However, minimizing sun
exposure, especially around the face, can prevent darker spots from appearing. An SPF
of at least 30 is highly recommended and wearing hats on excessively sunny days is
essential for keeping skin even toned. Applying medical grade sun screen in areas were melasma is
already present will help reduce the appearance of the spots after the pregnancy. Also
avoid any skin irritants (i.e. sun, waxing, harsh chemicals,) and use mild soaps and
cleansers that do not have any oils or fragrances. Products with too many chemicals in
them can react negatively to the sun and result to sun damage of the skin and
We offer an array of safe and medical grade skincare products that are perfect for sun protection and reducing the visibility of dark spots!
How to Treat Melasma
There are several ways to treat the effects of melasma during, and after the pregnancy.
One of the most common is using bleaching creams on darker
spots to help progress the fading process. (When using these creams however, make
sure when using treatments above 4% to continue checking in with a medical consultant
and professional. Excessive use can put skin in danger of developing exogenous
ochronosis- a condition where the skin darkens and becomes permanently discolored.)
Bleaching agents can also be coupled with other treatment plans such as Chemical
peels. When using a chemical peel usually a light glycolic peel is used and can help
reduce the appearance of dark and light spots caused by melasma.
Free consultations are available to help determine the strength of the peel to use beforehand to determine
the severity of melasma.
Call us today to schedule a consultation and get rid of those dark spots!