Many pregnant women develop a skin condition called melasma which is means that there are plenty of dark and discolored areas of the skin. Melasma is also known as chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy which it is often referred to as. And, these discolored and dark patches are most noticable on the face, specifically the cheeks, the forehead, and the nose and the upper lip. Sometimes it can appear on the arms and chest. When it is on the face, the patches are symmetrical as it appears on both sides. Melasma is most definitely a condition that pregnant women are self-conscious about. This skin issue is likely caused by the melanocytes that are responsible for the skin pigmentation are extremely active due to the pregnancy hormones. However, this is still yet to be determined as the exact cause is still not pinpointed. Before a pregnant woman is diagnosed with melasma, she has to be exam ed thoroughly to make sure that there are no other potential issues coming into play that could be causing the skin discoloration. Sometimes bacterial and fungal infections are to blame for these issues as well.
However, even though it is not known what the exact cause is for melasma, the one way to minimize it from happening is to reduce sun exposure. Pregnant women need to limit themselves to being exposed to the sun for too long as it is even though it provides them with a healthy dose of vitamin D. However, the sun as you know gives off UV rays which are dangerous, and this can easily aggravate the incidence and severity of melasma. That means, if a pregnant woman has to spend time in the sun for prolonged periods for whatever reason which would involve work or going to an event, then she would have to apply heavy duty sunscreen that is at least 50 or 60 SPF every 2 hours. This will reduce the risk of the condition not just occurring but worsening if she already has it. It is also crucial to wear a wide-brimmed hat as well as sunglasses while being out in the sun for prolonged periods as well for extra protection. Additionally, you don’t even have to physically be in the sun outside for prolonged periods of time. You can still get plenty of UV ray exposure if you are going for long car rides even with the windows up. This is also why it is important to have tinted glasses on car windows to help minimize the UV exposure that can come in easily.
Other ways to reduce the risk of melasma or minimize the condition’s severity is by not using certain skin products such as exfoliates. That will only aggravate the condition even further which is the last thing you want to do. And, doing other treatments such as waxing or removing hair will also aggravate the condition as well. The reason this happens is that it will trigger the activity of the melanocytes and cause it to become uncontrollable. If a pregnant woman wants to use safe skin products that can be used for pregnancy, then the best thing she will want to do is go to a dermatologist that is knowledgeable in pregnancy. She can see the dermatologist to be advised on the skin products that are not just safe to use during pregnancy but are also not going to aggravate the melasma as well. There are products around that will be able to keep her safe. Products that contain retinoids are not known to be safe during pregnancy so it is best to avoid those. Skin products that have glycolic acid, vitamin C, arbutin, licorice extract, and soybean extract are much better options for pregnant women to use that will not likely aggravate or increase the chances of melasma from happening. However, again it is always advisable to go to a dermatologist that knows what is safe to use during pregnancy for that advice and to ask the specialist about products that contain those ingredients.
Melasma is a frustrating condition, especially since it is still not completely known what the exact cause of it is. However, as research evolves and as time goes on, a specific cause for the condition will be pinpointed, and more effective treatments will also be on its way as well as a result. This does not help pregnant women today or even those who would become pregnant in the immediate future. But most definitely for down the road it will be a great thing for pregnant women if an effective treatment and a known exact cause was found.