Pregnancy Mask

Published: 27th April 2010
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Have you ever wondered why pregnant women get darker skin pigmentation during their pregnancy? The darkening pigmentation, called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy (also known as melasma), is associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This may also be attributed to race, because women who have darker skin tones are more prone to skin changes. The skin disorder is very common especially for those young women with brownish skin tones and is characterized by tan or brown blotches in the face.

The "pregnancy mask", also referred to as chloasma or melasma, are the brown spots that can show up on the face as a result of the pregnancy hormones (estrogen and progesterone) stimulating the melanin cells, producing more pigment in an erratic fashion (blotches). This can also happen to those taking birth control pills. A way to minimize the severity of the dark patches would be to wear sunscreen, or a moisturizer containing UV protection and limit your time in the sun.

Chloasma, also called melasma, or the "mask of pregnancy" is another skin condition which is diagnosed when certain areas of the skin turn darker because of excess pigmentation. Most often, this condition affects places of the skin which are most often exposed to sun, like the upper lip, forehead, cheeks. This condition is likely to clear up after pregnancy. Again, you can lessen your chances of chloasma by using a good (baby safe) doctor recommended sunscreen throughout the course of your pregnancy.

We do know that the sun can make melasma much worse, so it is VERY important to wear an SPF 15 for daily use (and an SPF 30 if you will be outside for extended periods). It is much easier to prevent pigment problems than it is to treat them! Be sure that your sunscreen has UVA and UVB protection. Many "lightening" ingredients should be avoided during pregnancy, especially Hydroquinone and Vitamin A products. Remember, melasma often gets much better after giving birth.

Although you are trying to look better you can actually make things worse. During pregnancy, levels of elaborates hormone are higher in the body, making your skin more prone to burning and chloasma - sometimes known as a pregnancy mask, those dark splotches that can appear on the face and occasionally the arms during pregnancy.

Since skin discoloration affects anyone, it is recommended that we take care of our skin and make sure that we do not expose ourselves in too much sunlight. For pregnant women, it is expected that after the pregnancy, skin discoloration will eventually disappear. It is true that we have various skin care products that would help us protect our skins.

If you were using certain products to treat your skin prior to becoming pregnant, you will want to check with your doctor in order to be sure that they are safe to use during pregnancy. You may have to make a few changes in your skin care routine, such as changing the strength of your cleansers (more or less) and the frequency that you moisturize your skin.

Read About Pregnancy Weeks and Pregnancy Forums and also read Pregnancy By Week

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