Pregnancy can be associated with a lot of changes. Many of the changes are wonderful. Other changes are not great. For many women, these changes are a normal part of pregnancy. One such change is melasma, a hyperpigmentation of the skin that is also referred to as a pregnancy mask. The pregnancy mask occurs on the face as dark patches, though there are other parts of the body that can also experience darkening, or hyperpigmentation. Many women will be glad to know there are treatment options, which the team at Guelph Medical Laser and Skin Centre in Ontario would be happy to discuss with you.
What Is A Pregnancy Mask And Why Do Women Get It?
Because of the distinctive pattern of hyperpigmentation of the face, melasma is called a mask of pregnancy. The splotches of darkened skin typically occur around the cheekbones, forehead, nose, and upper lip. It might surprise you to learn that men can also experience melasma or chloasma. In women, pregnancy mask often goes away after pregnancy, usually within a year, although in some women pregnancy mask never goes away.
The mask of pregnancy is commonly caused by hormonal changes in the body that lead to increased production of melanin, a natural pigment that gives color to skin, hair, and eyes. The linea nigra, the dark line on the abdomen associated with pregnancy, is also caused by increased melanin production during the pregnant state. Melasma is more common in women of darker complexions and women that have a family history. There are things you can do to prevent melasma from worsening including:
- Limit exposure to sunlight
- Use hypoallergenic products on your skin
- Reduce activities that can irritate the skin, like waxing
- Wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day
What Treatments Are Available For Pregnancy Mask?
In most women, melasma will eventually go away, but it may persist in some. For women who are currently pregnant, hypoallergenic concealers can be used to give the skin a natural tone. For women that have already given birth, but are still experiencing melasma, most doctors recommend waiting a few months to see if the condition resolves naturally. If it does not, there are several treatment options available.
What To Expect From Pregnancy Mask
Pregnancy mask often resolves on its own, but it can be frustrating for the afflicted when it does not. Most women expect some measure of return to normal after pregnancy and are not always pleased when their skin has not fully recovered. The professionals at Guelph Medical Laser and Skin Centre in Ontario understand how important skin can be in maintaining a happy, healthy quality of life. Contact us today and schedule your consultation!