Pregnancy Melasma (Chloasma): Causes And Remedies
If you are facing health issues related to Pregnancy Melasma (Chloasma), so you must read the following post containing about its causes and remedies.
Melasma, or chloasma, is a common skin condition characterized by the dark to gray-brown patches on the face. The patches generally occur on the forehead, nose, chin, upper lip, and cheeks, giving the condition another name, the “mask of pregnancy.” These patches are also noticed on other parts of the body such as the forearms, chest, and neck that are exposed to the sun .
In this post, know more about melasma, why it happens, and how can it be prevented.
Is It Normal To Have Melasma During Pregnancy?
Melasma affects around 50% to 70% of women in their pregnancy. The higher levels of estrogen, progesterone, and the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) in the third trimester could trigger melasma . Melasma is not a painful condition and does not lead to any pregnancy complications. But what might cause it?
Causes Of Melasma During Pregnancy
The exact reason of melasma is not clear. It is likely to develop when the melanocytes of the skin originate extra color. Those with darker complexion are likely to develop melasma as they have active melanocytes than those with a lighter complexion .
Some Of The Common Melasma Triggers Include:
- Exposure to the UV (Ultraviolet) light from the sun stimulates melanocytes, leading to melasma. The situation might aggravate during summers .
- Hormonal imbalance is another cause for pregnancy melasma. The enhanced levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and MSH in the third trimester are likely to actuate the symptoms of melasma in pregnant women.
- Other factors are genetic history (if someone else in the family has been suffering from it), skincare products, drugs, multiple pregnancies, and older maternal age.
Melasma that happens during pregnancy tends to go away after a few months of delivery when the hormonal activity stabilizes .
Ways To Mitigate The Melasma Patches
Although melasma vanishes as the time passes, certain things might help in reducing the flare-ups on your skin.
- Stay away from the sun: The first and foremost step is to avert sun exposure as much as possible, to prevent skin damage. If your work compels you to go out in the sun, apply a broad-spectrum sunblock. Use sunscreens or blocks with SPF 25 or higher that may help to prevent exacerbating chloasma . Also, wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved dress, and sunglasses, and do not go to tanning salons.
- Avoid skincare products: Facial cleansers, skin creams, and make-up products may irritate your skin, making melasma worse. Avoid them until you have given birth, or the melasma vanishes.
- Do not wax: Waxing for removing hair might worsen melasma as it could cause skin inflammation. The effect may be high, especially in the areas affected by pigmentation.
Can Pregnancy Melasma Be Treated?
Besides taking precautions to prevent flare-ups, you could consult to a dermatologist about the diagnosis options to minimize the patches. However, the treatment options are limited for pregnant women.
- Topical medications such as retinoids and hydroquinone are usually recommended for melasma, but their safety during pregnancy have not been studied .
- Plant products with vitamin C, glycolic acid, arbutin, azelaic acid, licorice extract, or soybean extract could be helpful. Again, you may only use them when their benefits outweigh their risks .
Most women notice a natural improvement in their skin tone postpartum, as the hormones return to normal levels. However, it is better to talk to your doctor for the proper treatment, especially if you are on birth control pills after pregnancy.
Can Melasma Or Chloasma In Pregnancy be Prevented?
Preventing melasma during pregnancy may not be possible if the condition is due to hormonal changes or genetics. You might, however, take the precautions discussed above to prevent the patches from darkening further.
Does Melasma During Pregnancy Identify Something About The Baby’s Gender?
It is only a folklore that pigmentation in a pregnant woman could indicate the gender of the baby. There is no scientific evidence to support this notion. The only methods to identify the baby’s sex are ultrasound scans, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
Always keep in mind that melasma takes time to heal. Also, the medications used for treatment require time to act on alleviating the symptoms. Do not panic, and rush into things that might not work, or aggravate the skin pigmentation. Consult to your doctor if the sufferings are severe and acute, or you notice other symptoms that are worrying you.