Melasma is the brown or tan skin discoloration, usually seen during pregnancy. Dark underarms during pregnancy are a common dilemma for moms.
Let’s talk more about this!
What can you read in this article?
- What is Melasma and its causes
- Will my dark armpits go away after pregnancy?
- How to lighten the underarm after pregnancy?
What is Melasma
Image from Freepik
Melasma is prominently found on some facial parts, nape, underarms, and all the nooks and crannies of a woman’s body. People with olive or darker skin, like us, Asian and Middle Eastern individuals, have higher incidences of melasma.
When melasma occurs during pregnancy, it is also called chloasma, or “the mask of pregnancy.”
Pregnant women experience increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels during the second and third trimesters of the reproductive period. Melanocytes are the cells in the skin that deposit pigment which can be one of the causes of having dark armpits after pregnancy.
Common causes of Melasma
Scientists are not able to pinpoint the major cause of Melasma, but it is thought to be primarily related to external sun exposure, external hormones like birth control pills, and internal hormonal changes as seen in pregnancy.
Most people with melasma have a history of daily or occasional sun exposure, although heat is also suspected to be an underlying factor.
People with a known family history of melasma are prone to skin darkening as well.
Melasma may clear spontaneously without treatment. Most Mommies say that it just gradually went away after pregnancy. The discoloration with melasma may disappear if birth control pills and hormone therapy are discontinued.
Will my dark armpits go away after pregnancy
For some women, melasma can fade on its own. Pregnancy or birth control medications are the most common causes.
Skin-lightening lotions might be prescribed by your doctor. To assist lighten the affected areas, topical steroids may be administered.
If chemical peels, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion don’t work, there are other options. These procedures assist to brighten dark spots by removing the top layers of the skin.
Melasma may recur following these operations, and certain cases of melasma cannot be completely removed. You may need to return for follow-up consultations and adhere to certain skin treatment methods to reduce the risk of melasma recurrence. These include reducing your sun exposure and applying sunscreen daily.
How to lighten the underarm after pregnancy
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels
While medication will not cure all types of melasma, there are things you can do to keep the condition from getting worse and to make the discoloration look less noticeable. They include:
- concealing discoloration with cosmetics
- taking medicine as prescribed
- Applying SPF 30 sunblock daily
- donning a wide-brimmed hat that shades or protects your face
Protective clothing is essential if you will be in the sun for a lengthy period of time.
If you’re self-conscious about your melasma, talk to your doctor about local support groups or counselors. Meeting other people who are suffering from the same condition or talking to someone about it can make you feel better.
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How to lighten dark armpits
Because it protects the neural tube, folic acid is an important prenatal vitamin for pregnant women. It can also help you avoid preeclampsia and reduce your baby’s chance of cleft lip and palate, as well as some heart abnormalities (high blood pressure during pregnancy).
While skin darkening isn’t as important as your baby’s brain development, folic acid can help prevent hyperpigmentation.
2. Aloe Vera
Dark spot eradication can be aided by pure aloe vera gel, whether bottled or fresh from the plant. Apply the gel immediately to hyperpigmented areas, wait 15 to 20 minutes, then wipe it away gently with warm water. For best results, repeat this approach every day.
Cut a potato in half and apply the juice to melasma spots to lighten the skin. Do this on a daily basis for the best results.
Photo by Vanessa Loring
Avocados are high in healthy fats. These fats help several functions in the body, including skin health. To keep skin flexible and hydrated, you must ingest enough of these fats. Avocados are also high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that prevents oxidative damage to the skin.
5. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel, and herring are beneficial to your skin. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for skin health.
For thick, supple, and moisturized skin, omega-3 fatty acids are essential. Dry skin can be caused by a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fats from fish aid to reduce inflammation, which can cause acne and redness. They may even make your skin more resistant to the sun’s UV rays.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and contain all of the key carotenoids, including lycopene. Beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene are antioxidants that have been shown to protect your skin from UV damage. They may also help with wrinkle prevention.
Soy contains isoflavones that have been shown to minimize wrinkles, collagen, suppleness, and dryness in the skin. It also protects the skin from UV sun exposure.
Practical moms use home products to lighten dark armpits after pregnancy such as calamasi. This is a cheap yet helpful product that is rich in Vitamin C. It promotes a healthy skin glow with natural bleaching properties at the same time.
Other times, it may clear up with the help of sunscreen usage, cream application, and sun avoidance. Creams with 2% hydroquinone (HQ)* is said to alleviate skin darkening.
*Hydroquinone is a skin lightener used in many whitening creams and dark mark fade treatments. It reduces the production of melanin in your skin, so it is great for fading hyperpigmentation, acne marks, sun spots, melasma, and other skin discoloration issues.
If you would like to use a cream or sunscreen that does not have hydroquinone, you can use the ones with azelaic acid and tretinoin cream.
Photo by Armin Rimoldi
Sunscreens may help as well. A daily sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50 that contains physical blockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, is recommended to block UV rays. However, it is important to have a sunblock that also covers for UVA protection.
You should be cautious when using these products. Pregnant women or mothers breastfeeding may need to wait to treat melasma.
Many melasma creams need to be discontinued in pregnancy and breastfeeding because of possible risks to the developing fetus and newborn. You may use cosmetics to temporarily conceal the skin discoloration.
In some cases, if treatments are too harsh or abrasive, melasma can worsen. It will be wise to check the product’s ingredients or ask your doctor if it is alright for you to use it. Prioritize your safety, moms!
Prevention tips for Melasma
Women who have a family history of melasma must take extra precautions. The most important way to prevent the onset of melasma and premature aging is to avoid the sun. If exposure to sunlight cannot be avoided hats, sunglasses, and sunblock should be worn.
Time to take out those fashion gears and beat the heat, moms!
The gradual disappearance of dark spots is based on establishing the right treatment combination for each individual skin type. Melasma cases that do not successfully respond to treatment are due to excessive sun exposure.
Try the natural remedies or you can also check if application of creams, and sunscreens will help you get that smooth underarms and feel much better about yourself. An extra confidence booster is always a plus!
Additional information from Margaux Dolores