Pregnancy and Skin Discoloration
Throughout pregnancy, women will experience many different changes that will affect all aspects of their bodies. Of course, weight gain and an expanding belly are the most obvious, but there are other changes that occur – some appreciated, and others not so much. Hormones play a huge role in pregnancy, and their effects will often be noticed in the skin, hair, and nails. While many women are complimented on their “glowing skin,” other women find that they want to hide. Skin discoloration during pregnancy, called melasma, can be a disheartening issue to deal with.
Hormones fluctuate significantly before, during, and after pregnancy. With these massive changes in a relatively short amount of time, your skin can reflect adverse side effects. Melasma is a medical condition of the skin that causes dark patches to form on the face. Some women who take oral contraceptives also suffer from melasma, and it, too, is caused by hormonal shifts. While melasma can happen during any time of the year, the most noticeable effects often occur during warmer weather due to prolonged sun exposure. With temperatures already reaching the mid-80s here in Georgia, people have been donning flip-flops, shorts, and tank tops for weeks. As spring and summer continue, you need to take steps to protect your skin from sun damage and reduce the appearance of melasma.
As Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The best way to decrease the appearance of melasma is to prevent prolonged exposure to the sun. Stay in the shade when you can! Not only will shade help you not become overheated, but it will also prevent your skin from receiving direct sunlight. When you do have to be out in the sun, wear a sun hat with a wide brim to keep your face shaded. Of course, more than both of these preventative measures, you need to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 45+ every single day. Even if you think that you will be indoors or not directly exposed to the sun, wearing sunscreen daily can protect your skin from sun exposure that you inevitably receive.
Treatment for Melasma
Skin discoloration can cause many women to feel self-conscious. Gaining a significant amount of weight, even for a good cause, is hard enough. If melasma is causing you distress during your pregnancy, contact Spectrum Dermatology. We can offer you safe and effective treatments for skin discoloration.