Melasma, otherwise known as pregnancy mask, is one of the most common forms of hyperpigmentation. Women who are pregnant, nursing or even using hormonal therapy run a risk of developing this issue. While this “mask” occurs due to a hormonal imbalance, sun exposure may worsen the condition. Women who have already suffered from sun damage may experience more severe pigmentation. The pigmentation generally affects the forehead, lips, chin and cheeks giving it the name “mask”. It is estimated that about 70% of all pregnant women have some form of melasma during pregnancy. (It also can occur in men, but very rarely).
Most people affected by melasma are advised to avoid prolonged sun exposure and use sunscreen throughout the day, we suggest Belli Pure Radiance Facial Sunscreen. Exfoliating the skin can be beneficial to removing the darkened skin cells, we recommend the Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub which is specially formulated to be gentle enough for pregnant woman. Belli offers a wide range of products for women who are pregnant, nursing or plan on becoming pregnant.
You can find the products mentioned above on SkinStore.com!
Melasma also known as the mask of pregnancy is hyperpigmentation that forms patches of brown to gray-brown patches on the face. It’s most often found on the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, chin and above the upper lip. Melasma occurs when the color making cells in the skin or melanocytes produce too much color. If you have a darker complexion you’re more prone to melasma because you have more active melanocytes than someone with a lighter complexion.
Common causes include:
Sun exposure: Ultraviolet or UV light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. Even just a small amount of sun exposure can make your melasma return after fading. It often gets worse in the summer with continued sun exposure.
Change in hormones: Melasma is common in pregnant women, is often called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy. Birth control pills can also trigger melasma.
Not all hyperpigmentation is Melasma. To be properly diagnosed, you will need to see a Dermatologist.
Hydroquinone-this can be found in a 2% strength OTC or 4% strength with a prescription, to help lighten the skin.
Tretinoin- a prescription vitamin A or all-trans retinoic acid enhances skin lightening.
Professional treatments that may help include: chemical peels, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion.
Melasma is a difficult skin condition to treat because sun exposure, the main cause, is present in our everyday lives. It’s very important to wear sunscreen every day and reapply every 2 hours. If you know you will be in the sun for long periods of time, be sure to wear a wide brim floppy hat for more coverage.
We recommend PCA SKIN Pigment Gel and Colorscience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Sun Protection Brush SPF 50 for best results.
Melasma is a dark skin discoloration that appears on areas of the face that are exposed to the sun. A uniform brown color may appear on the cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip, or chin. It is often symmetrical on both sides of the face. Melasma is a very common skin condition that most often affects women that are pregnant, women that are taking oral contraceptives, or women taking hormone replacement therapy during menopause. Melasma is associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Melasma doesn’t cause any other symptoms besides skin discoloration which is only of cosmetic concern. Your physician can easily diagnose the condition based upon the appearance of your skin.
Melasma can be treated with a variety of topical creams. For severe cases your doctor may recommend seeing a dermatologist for laser treatments. Avoiding the sun and using sunscreen are crucial to preventing melasma. Melasma often fades several months after giving birth or stopping the use of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. It may return with additional pregnancies or use of medication again.
SkinStore.com offers a wide selection of products that help fade melasma. For use during pregnancy we suggest Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. Caudalie is a natural baby safe alternative to stronger treatments that are not safe for use until after pregnancy, but please make sure to ask your doctor first before using any new products in your regimen. Vinoperfect Radiance Serum brightens and smoothes the skin boosting radiance. Your complexion looks more even improving the overall skin tone and clarity.
If you are not pregnant or nursing we suggest iS Clinical White Lightening Complex. White Lightening Complex effectively brightens and lightens skin with beneficial moisturizing properties. Using an innovative blend of lightening ingredients and pharmaceutical grade botanicals, this formula concentrates on not one or two but all five mechanisms that address hyperpigmentation.
In addition to using these great products, it’s crucial to use a sunscreen daily with an SPF of at least 30. We love La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50. It’s a 100% mineral UV protection sunscreen that is super lightweight, non-greasy, and does not leave a white residue perfect for everyday use.
Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine
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