Treatment For Pregnancy Mask

March 21, 2012

Many women are affected by melasma when they are pregnant. This is characterized by formation of dark spots on certain parts of the body. The areas affected are mostly the areola/nipple area. A dark line referred to as ‘linea nigra’ might also form on the midline of the stomach. The medical term for hyper pigmentation associated with pregnancy is Melasma, commonly known as the ‘pregnancy mask.’ More than half of pregnant women are affected by this condition. The main cause of pregnancy mask is fluctuation of progesterone and estrogen hormones. Melasma is a fairly harmless condition and can be left untreated. There are other causes of melasma such as using contraception pills and thyroid diseases. Melasma is not only prevalent in women but more than 90% of the cases affect women.

Hyperpigmentation in melasma cases mostly occurs at the center of the face especially the forehead. The condition occurs on the cheeks and jawline in rare cases. The pigmentation associated with melasma is usually deeper than other forms of hyperpigmentation. The melanocytes produced as a result of melasma usually have a very high concentration of melanin (pigment). They are also known to have connecting bridges that are higher than normal melanocyte cells. This increases the cells’ ability to transfer pigment to surrounding cells.

Melasma usually disappears without medical intervention within a period of between 6 and 12 months after delivery. During this period, it is important to use sunblock lotion to prevent further production of pigment. This is because ultraviolet light causes the skin to produce melanocytes, which are the type of cell responsible for producing pigment. Melasma treatment is usually involves preventive measures such as using sunblock. Other methods of reducing exposure to the sun such as using hats and umbrellas are also recommended.

From a medical perspective, a consultation with a physician is recommended when a person has melasma. A treatment plan can be developed that involves the use of anti-inflammatory agents, notably topical steroids. These help to minimize inflammation that is associated with melasma and it also reduces skin irritation. The skin should also be kept clean and use of skin care products that cause irritation should be stopped.

Some remedies that have been known to deal with pregnancy mask include: lactic acid, azeleic acid, Vitamin C, steroids, and retinoids. These are usually used in combination therapy but might sometimes produce too much irritation for the patient. Use of hydroquinone treatments has also been said to provide relief but no clinical trials have proven it yet.


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