Becoming pregnant brings the greatest joy in most people’s lives, understandably. However, with it come some unexpected issues that no one ever prepares you for, including Melasma. Melasma during pregnancy is actually SUPER common and I have personally gotten it in all three of my pregnancies so far.
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Melasma During Pregnancy
What the heck is Melasma?
Melasma is defined as a dark pigmentation of the skin. It commonly occurs in pregnancy as hormones are what stimulate melanin. And we all know our hormones are C R A Z Y during pregnancy. Melanin is what gives your hair and skin their color. Supposedly it’s more common in women with darker skin however, I’m not dark and as I mentioned above I’ve had it with all 3 pregnancies.
Melasma is also called the “Mask Of Pregnancy” because of the mask-like appearance it tends to give on the face. It often shows up in splotches and is most commonly seen on the forehead, upper lip and cheekbones. Lucky me – I got the upper lip one in one of my prior pregnancies and I looked like I had a mustache. FUN. Thankfully this time it hasn’t shown up that way (though I now have much darker splotches on my forehead and cheekbones).
Melasma during pregnancy is also associated with the linea nigra – the dark line that many women get that runs from their naval down to the very bottom of their belly. Oddly enough, I haven’t had that show up so far this pregnancy!
Can you prevent Melasma during pregnancy from getting worse?
Yes and no. Your hormones ultimately dictate what happens to your skin during pregnancy. However, there are a few things you can do to help ward off any further signs of it. Here are a few of them :
- Wear sunscreen. Exposure to sun causes an increase in pigmentation. Using a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays is the most helpful. I wear a moisturizer that already has sunscreen in it every day but if I plan to be at the beach or a soccer game (anywhere for any extended length of time) I always wear a stronger sunscreen and make sure I reapply every few hours.
- Skin Lightening Products : Skin lightening creams can help to reduce the appearance of melasma. However, if you are pregnant or nursing you always need to check with your doctor before using these products. Here are a few I found that claim to have the best results:
- Microdermabrasion – While there are so many different types of microdermabrasion out there I would think a gentle one would be best for during pregnancy. Microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin and removes the dead skin cells while clearing up unevenly pigmented areas. I’m no expert on skincare but if I had to take a stab at it I’d say it’s a great way to stay on top of your constantly changing skin if you have melasma.
Will melasma go away post pregnancy?
In most cases, yes. But not always. Luckily mine went away shortly after giving birth however, I know this isn’t the case for everyone.
If you happen to be of the unlucky bunch whose melasma doesn’t clear on it’s own post-pregnancy there are a few more things you can do coupled with the ones mentioned above.
Post-Pregnancy Melasma Treatment Options
- Chemical/Facial Peels – In short a chemical peel is a process where a chemical solution is applied to the face to exfoliate the skin and then peeled off.
- Fractional Laser – Fractional Laser treatments treat smaller aka fractional portions of your skin allowing for less down time. It can help improve uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, scars and more.
- Bleaching Creams – Exactly as it sounds bleaching creams help to lighten dark spots. Whether it be scars, melasma, age spots, etc. bleaching creams can help lighten these areas to blend better with the rest of your skin. Here are a few that are top-ranked:
I haven’t researched all of these to decipher which ARE and which AREN’t safe to use while nursing so as with all other products I mention, always discuss them with your doctor before using.
While melasma certainly isn’t the worst thing to get during pregnancy it also isn’t fun, especially when it’s on your face. I’m not one to really care too much about what others think but I personally prefer when my skin is more even looking. If you’re like me and you’re pregnant and/or nursing and want to try to conceal some dark spots I highly recommend trying some of these products below in the mean time. I just grabbed these over the weekend and they are SO GREAT at covering up melasma. Here’s what I got:
- Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
- Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correct in DEEP PEACH
- Urban Decay Naked Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer
- Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Concealer
I’ve personally found this Bobbi Brown foundation that I’ve used in the past to also be great at offering full coverage for melasma.
If you’ve dealt with melasma during pregnancy and found a great product to help clear it that’s not on my list I’d love to know! Feel free to drop a comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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