Why Is Melasma Called the "Mask of Pregnancy"?

Why Is Melasma Called the "Mask of Pregnancy"?

When you found out you were pregnant, you probably started to brace yourself for some unwelcome bodily changes. From stretch marks to swollen feet, women don’t have it easy as they carry their children. And that can make a common skin problem especially frustrating.

During pregnancy, you’re more likely to deal with a pigmentation disorder called melasma. In fact, it’s so common in expectant mothers — affecting 50-75% of them — that it’s often called the mask of pregnancy. 

You don’t have to go through months with dark patches on your skin, though. Here at our Rapaport Dermatology offices in Beverly Hills and Culver City, California, Vicki Rapaport, MD, and our team offer targeted treatment for melasma

If you want to enjoy your pregnancy glowing rather than with patchy skin, talk with us. 

Understanding the mask of pregnancy

You might be wondering why so many women have to deal with this unwelcome skin condition during pregnancy. As with so many other challenges, you can thank your hormones. In fact, some women get melasma when they start taking hormonal birth control. 

Why does this happen? As your estrogen and progesterone levels climb, they cause your body to create more melanin. In your skin, this appears as splotches or dark spots. 

The good news is that as your hormones regulate after pregnancy or breastfeeding, your melasma should clear up. Still, you likely don’t want to go through your pregnancy feeling like you need extra makeup. 

We can help. 

Minimizing melasma

At our offices, Dr. Rapaport evaluates your skin and tailors a care plan for you. Your personalized treatment plan might include microdermabrasion or topical solutions, for example. Dr. Rapaport ensures that everything she recommends is safe to use while you’re pregnant. 

At the same time, we recommend you take steps to prevent your melasma from worsening. To a large extent, that means minimizing your skin’s exposure to the sun. You should:

Additionally, be gentle with your skin. Choose skin products for sensitive skin — Dr. Rapaport can recommend options — and avoid doing anything that could aggravate your face, like waxing. 

Ultimately, the majority of women will deal with the mask of pregnancy while they’re expecting. You don’t necessarily have to wait until after you give birth to improve your skin, though. So that Dr. Rapaport can develop a melasma care plan for you, call our Culver City or Beverly Hills, California, offices today.

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