During your pregnancy, if you’ve noticed new, discolored dark patches on your skin, don’t be alarmed, you’ve probably got melasma, a condition that affects most expectant mothers.
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Melasma or hyperpigmentation is a skin disorder, also known as, “Mask of Pregnancy or Pregnancy Mask”. It is a condition where the color-producing cells in the skin produce extra pigment. This skin condition is mostly seen affecting pregnant women. It does not pose any threat to the mother or the baby. However, the changes that can appear on the skin or the face of an expecting mother, due to melasma, can be disheartening.
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The distinct symptom of melasma is the darkening of the skin. Dark patches may appear on the face, forehead, cheeks, chin, or around the mouth. The patches may get darker if exposed to too much sunlight or as you are further along in your pregnancy.
However, keep in mind that melasma does not cause pain or itchiness, or soreness. If these symptoms persist, along with dark patches, then you may have developed another condition. Consult with your doctor, if there are any additional or severe symptoms.
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Melasma most commonly starts in the second or third trimester. However, it may also start at any point in your pregnancy. If, at the start of your pregnancy you are exposed to too much sunlight, it may be difficult to presume the causes for skin darkening, until a much later stage.
Hormonal imbalances or deficiency in iron and possibly vitamin B12 may be the cause of melasma. Hence, you must ensure that you:
If your melasma doesn’t fade on its own after the pregnancy, you should seek treatment from your dermatologist, who may suggest topical medications or skin lightening procedures.
With melasma, being patient is the key. We understand it's easier said than done but by maintaining a healthy lifestyle you can try to prevent the condition from progressing during pregnancy. Fortunately, melasma fades within a few months post-pregnancy, and before you know it, your skin will return to its earlier healthy and glowing state.
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