5 Facts moms-to-be need to know about melasma

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Also known as "the mask of pregnancy," melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation common during pregnancy.

As an expectant mom's body makes room for her growing baby, she will experience various physical changes, one of the most common are skin problems, like hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation causes skin darkening due to an increase in melanin production. Melanin is responsible for the color of our skin.

Melasma, which is also referred to as chloasma, is a type of hyperpigmentation. Also known as the "mask of pregnancy," melasma often appears as brown, tan, or blue-gray patches on the face, particularly around the nose, cheekbones, and jaw.

Here are 5 important facts moms-to-be need to know about this common pregnancy skin issue.

Melasma usually disappears after birth or when you stop breastfeeding

Though the exact cause of melasma is unknown, possible factors are sun exposure, external hormones (birth control pills), or an increase in natural hormones estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH).

Once the hormones returns to its original hormonal imbalance.

It can reappear long after pregnancy

Even if it recurs, there's no reason to be alarmed by this skin problem. It is more than a cosmetic problem than anything.

Those with tanned skin are more at risk for melasma

Those with a deeper skin pigmentation are more prone to developing melasma.

It can only be treated after childbirth

Since it may take months before the discoloration completely fades, many women are prescribed topical medications, like Hydroquinone, Tretinoin, and corticosteroids.

If none of these work, dermatologists usually recommend a chemical peel, microder­mabrasion, or dermabrasion treatment.

But there are home remedies that are effective

If you prefer to treat melasma the natural way, here are some home remedies to try: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, aloe vera gel, oatmeal, and powdered almonds with honey.

To prevent melasma, it's important to avoid sun exposure by wearing sunscreen every day. You can also wear sunglasses or wide-brimmed hats and avoid waxing. Be sure to choose mild skin products daily.

READ: 5 Common skin problems during pregnancy and how to fix them

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