Hyperpigmentation affects approximately 90% of pregnant women. It is characterized by the skin with dark patches or spots covering any part of the body but it is most common on the breasts and inner thighs.
Hyperpigmentation on the face is known as Melasma gravidarum, closma, or 'mask of pregnancy'. It may appear as dark spots on the forehead, upper lip, cheeks, and chin.
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It is believed that the hormones progesterone and estrogen stimulate melanocytes to produce more melanin – a substance that colors the skin and hair. Melasma affects about 70% of women in pregnancy, but women with dark skin, Asian, Indian, African-Caribbean / African American, may have a higher rate.
The good news is that melasma often goes after women have their babies with fewer than 10% of women having persistent cases.
Prevention and treatment
There are several options available to help you deal with melasma. First, avoid direct sunlight, especially between 10 am and 2pm, and use a high-factor sunscreen – Factor 30 and higher. This will prevent any further blackening of your skin.
There are many topical creams on the market that contain active ingredients known to help in the treatment of hyperpigmentation; Hydroquinone and tretinoin.
Even though tretinoin or Retin A contains a minimal skin absorption rate, which has been enjoyed for retinoid embryos in four printed examples. Other research examined use in the first trimester of pregnancy using 96 and 106 girls. These studies did not find an elevated chance of birth defects or retinoid fetal signs.
Hydroquinone is used as a skin lightener at treating melasma (in nonpregnancy instances ) however, it's estimated that a top 35-40percent is absorbed via the skin. A single study was published between using hydroquinone when pregnant, and it doesn't seem to be connected with any threat to the developing infant, however, because of the absence of additional study and due to the high amount of absorption it's probably better to prevent it.
Sun cream is used to protect the skin from the sun's harmful rays. Very few active ingredients are absorbed into the skin or into the body. Pregnant women have used sunscreens for decades to help prevent melasma without any adverse effects.