For most women, pregnancy is one of the most enjoyable times of their lives. The feeling of life growing and kicking in their bellies is such a miraculous experience that pregnancy is thoroughly enjoyed. But for some women, pregnancy is not all enjoyment like they expected it to be. Many women have severe morning sickness and others are plagued by the skin condition known as Melasma, or “The mask of pregnancy.”
Melasma is a tan or dark skin discoloration that appears on the face of some women during pregnancy and at different times when hormones go through dramatic changes – such as when taking oral contraceptives or when going through menopause. The symptoms of Melasma are dark, irregular hyper-pigmented patches found on the cheeks, nose, upper lip, and forehead. Patches typically develop gradually over time and cause no other symptoms beyond the cosmetic discoloration. Because the discoloration is often deep within the skin’s tissue, most women need professional treatments from a dermatologists to get rid of their discoloration.
As with most skin irritations, limited sun exposure is recommended. UVA and UVB rays from the sun can cause discolored skin to darken even more, even with sunscreen. Topical treatments are often used to fade dark spots on the face. Many women go to their dermatologists for microdermabrasion treatments and/or chemical peels in hopes to rejuvenate the skin and replace dark spots with new, fresh skin. In all treatments, women with Melasma are expected to stay out of the sun and to wear a multi-spectrum sunscreen with physical blockers. Treated skin is highly sensitive to the sun’s damaging rays, and women who are hoping for positive results from their treatments will not want to undo the improvements with sun exposure.
You don’t have to go through your day feeling self-conscious or feeling like you must “cover up” your face with make-up. Talk to your dermatologist today for ways to treat Melasma and bring your skin back to life with a beautiful, evenly toned appearance.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates