Q&A: What's the mask of pregnancy?
What is “the mask of pregnancy” and how can I manage it?
Here is another pregnancy skin change that’s caused by your fluctuating hormones. The increase in hormones occurring during pregnancy has an effect on your body’s melanin production, and this increase in melanin manifests itself as small brownish patches or darkened areas on the skin. (The melanin increase is also responsible for the darkening of your nipples and labia.) The dermatological term for the “mask of pregnancy” is melasma or chloasma.
A large percentage of women will experience this skin change to varying degrees. The reason it is called a “mask” is because it is most commonly seen on the cheekbones, nose, and forehead. It can also be seen on the forearms, hands, and other parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight. Women with darker pigmented skin may be more prone to this than women with lighter skin pigment.
For many women, these brownish patches will fade after childbirth; however, some women may not see them completely disappear. Skin bleaching or lightening can sometimes be effective to improve the appearance of the skin. But never use these products while pregnant (here is a look at what skin products are safe during pregnancy).
Give your body time after the baby is born to see what will happen with your skin. Check with your doctor or a dermatologist for the best method of lightening any remaining discoloration.
Use these pregnancy skin-friendly tips: