Different people have different experiences during pregnancy. Have you ever had facial skin discoloration when pregnant? Ever wondered what caused it?
Well, Melasma mostly occurs in women in their conceptive years of between16-45. It appears mostly on the forehead, chin, cheeks and upper lips. It often spotty brown or grey facial blemish.
Common reasons why Melasma occurs are sun exposure, hormonal changes or external hormones caused by the use of birth control pills.
In this article, we will focus on what causes Melasma, symptoms and how to treat it.
What are the common causes of Melasma?
During pregnancy, most women face hormonal imbalance. This is due to the use of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
There is also an increase in estrogen, melanocyte-stimulating hormone and progesterone during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. However, increase in progesterone levels is believed to be the biggest reason leading to pregnancy Melasma.
If most people in your family experience this condition during pregnancy, then it is most likely to happen to you too. The genes are passed through genetic predisposition.
People with this genetic disorder mostly get Melasma during summer. This is due to sunlight exposure. During winter the Melasma pigmentation regresses.
Most women use facial products such as skin tone creams to enhance their beauty. However, during pregnancy, some of this products may cause an increase in melanin and accelerate Melasma symptoms due to skin irritation.
Some people may also be allergic to medication and cosmetics and this may lead to a reaction leading to Melasma formation.
The incidence of Melasma increases in pregnant women who are patients of thyroid disease. The medication effects lead to the overproduction of Melanocyte-stimulating hormone which is brought by stress.
The ultraviolet rays released by the sun can cause Melasma. They affect cell production that controls pigment.
What are the common signs and symptoms of Melasma?
Melisma is readily diagnosed by recognizing appearance of brown skin patches on the face. It mostly occurs on the cheeks, upper lip, nose, chin and forehead.
One technique used is woods lamp examination. It’s a special light held up on your skin which allows check-up bacterial and fungal infection.
Skin irritation due to continuous use of sunscreen creams with over 2%hydroquine concentration. There is dark, irregular well-demarcated post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Melasma does not cause any other symptoms beyond the cosmetic discoloration
What is the treatment for Melasma?
Once you have been diagnosed with Melasma you should take the following steps
Avoid the sun during summer or if unavoidable apply sun-blocks to avoid stimulating pigment production.
Use 2% Hydroquinone creams which are effective in lightening the skin and less irritating. Those with higher concentrations lead to Melasma. Apply the creams on the patches at least twice a day.
Melasma may clear spontaneously if you discontinue using birth control pills and hormone therapy. This will lead to discoloration disappearance during pregnancy.
Just as Melasma develops slowly, its clearance is similar too. Please be patient as the disappearance will be gradual with the right treatment.