Melasma (the Mask of Pregnancy)

Melasma, chloasma, hyperpigmentation, the mask of pregnancy — whatever you want to call them, these skin discolorations are no fun to deal with. Hope this advice helps.
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Updated February 12, 2017
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What is melasma during pregnancy?

Melasma (the “mask of pregnancy”), aka chloasma, is common among pregnant women and looks like dark patches on the forehead, cheeks or upper lip.

What are the signs of melasma during pregnancy?

Just the skin darkening. You’re likely to notice the brownish spots on your forehead, cheeks and upper lip.

Are there any tests for melasma during pregnancy?

No, but you’ll want to show your OB any skin changes you notice so she can rule out other skin conditions.

How common is melasma during pregnancy?

According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, up to 70 percent of pregnant women develop it.

How did I get melasma?

Pigmentation levels, sent soaring by your changing hormones, are to blame for this discoloration.

How will melasma affect my baby?

It shouldn’t! Melasma isn’t always pretty, but it’s harmless.

What’s the best way to treat melasma during pregnancy?

It should fade a few months after delivery. Until then, you’ll probably be able to cover it up with some makeup. And in the meantime, try to prevent more darkening (see next page). If your mask doesn’t fade after baby’s born, talk to your doctor. She may be able to recommend bleaching creams and other treatments.

What can I do to prevent melasma during pregnancy?

There are a few things you can do to protect your skin and avoid getting melasma in the first place. Minimize sun exposure, especially to your face. Always apply a broad-spectrum, high-protection sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and always cover up when you’re in the sun. Use mild soaps and cleansers that are oil- and fragrance-free. These are less likely to contain chemicals that react negatively with the sun.

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What do other pregnant moms do when they have melasma?

“I use SPF 30 every day and exfoliate twice a week.”

“It’s particularly noticeable on my forehead and around my eyes, so I’m finding myself wearing thick concealer every day.”

“The one thing that I tried that worked was a prescription I got from my dermatologist called Tri-Luma. It really helped lighten it a lot.”

Are there any other resources for melasma during pregnancy?

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