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Skin Darkening During Pregnancy

5 min read

Pregnancy is one of the happiest experiences in a woman’s life time and while you do enjoy this lovely phase, there are of course some side effects that pregnancy brings in its wake. Now, not everyone enjoys the ‘pregnancy glow’, some women face skin related issues as well. One of the most common issues among them is skin darkening or pigmentation which mars your happiness. However, it is common for pregnant woman to develop blotches of dark skin, and is most likely a temporary skin change during pregnancy.
Skin pigmentation

What Are These Dark Spots On My Skin?

Medically termed as Chloasma, these blotches of dark skin are commonly referred to as the “mask of pregnancy”. These splotches appear around one’s cheek bones, upper lips and forehead and often resemble a mask’s shape. This is indeed something that makes a woman quite apprehensive about how to handle this issue and how soon your skin will return to normalcy. These splotches normally appear either in the first or second trimester of one’s pregnancy and may increase with each pregnancy. Women with darker skin tones are more likely to get it than woman who have lighter skin tones.

What Causes Darkening Of The Skin During Pregnancy?

Apart from the face, you would have noticed other areas in your body getting darker as well. Your nipples, freckles on the skin, old scars, and the skin of your genitals may all appear to be getting darker. Your underarms and inner thighs, which are objects of friction, may appear darker too. This condition is mostly caused by-

  • Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy phase that trigger a temporary hike in melanin production. Melanin is the natural content which provides color to eyes, skin and hair
  • Exposure to the sun’s rays
  • Hereditary factors
  • Darker skin women have more chances of developing skin pigmentation than those who are light skinned
Can I Prevent Skin Darkening During Pregnancy?

Although in most cases, there is nothing much that can be done to avert this issue, there are some precautionary measures that can be adopted in order to avert this condition. They include:

  • Dab yourself with sunscreen with SPF of minimum 15 atleast, before stepping out during the day
  • Make sure only to use cosmetics and creams that are free of fragrance and oil apart from being extra mild. Avoid the use of products that irritate your skin
  • It is good to always adorn clothes that are full sleeved when going out
  • Folic acid deficiency is known to trigger hyper pigmentation. So make sure to include foods rich in folic acid like leafy veggies and fruits

Pregnant woman using cream

Natural Home Remedies To Treat Chloasma

Skin pigmentation changes usually go away with pregnancy, while some women may have to deal with them for a longer time. Anyhow, you can relax as there are some wonderful home remedies that have been proven to be extremely effective in treating Chloasma during pregnancy. They are-

  • Lime juice: Applying the juice of one lime on the pigmented areas twice daily will surely help to get rid of this issue within a month or two
  • Apple cider vinegar: This is yet another simple home remedy that is quite effective to combat pigmentation issues during pregnancy
  • Horse radish: Dabbing horse radish paste on the pigmented splotches for around fifteen minutes and washing with water that is lukewarm is another natural remedy for this problem
  • Banana mask: Make a pulp out of a banana and apply this on pigmented splotches to get rid of your dark spots. This mask has been found not only helpful in clearing these kind of pigmentation but also effective in making your skin supple and bright
  • Aloe vera: You could also try applying aloe Vera juice or gel on these pigmented areas as this is yet another sure and effective home remedy for pigmentation issues
  • Essential oils: There are a variety of essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil that are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and have been proven to be excellent for all kinds of skin issues. However make sure they are safe during pregnancy phase by just consulting your doctor about the same before you begin using them to get rid of your pigmentation
  • Extract of grape fruit seed: Grape fruit seed is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C that is excellent to combat pigmentation issues if applied on a regular basis

All the above mentioned natural and home remedies are tried and tested and have been found to be helpful in removing these pigmentation blotches to an extent if applied meticulously every day. You just need to choose some remedy that is easily available and comfortable for you at this phase and lo behold, you can get rid of these blotches very soon. You can even get a glowing skin during pregnancy with these simple tips.
Dermatologist checks skin

Is Chemical Peel Treatment Safe For Combating Chloasma?

If the skin pigmentation does not return to normal a few months after the delivery and becomes bothersome for you, you can talk to your dermatologist for any treatments that may suit you. There are umpteen Melasma treatments which you may be tempted to try out to get back your normal skin in no time. If you are breastfeeding or plan to get pregnant again soon, make sure you mention this to your doctor. But you need to be aware that all the below mentioned treatments are totally unsafe for you during this sensitive phase.

  • Chemical peels: Chemical peel treatments comprise of chemical substances that can get into your blood stream and straight into your fetus causing all kinds of harm to you and your unborn child. So it is imperative you steer clear of any kind of chemical treatments to do away with pigmentation is issues
  • Treatment of laser: This is also a big no during pregnancy period as there are chances of all kinds of skin irritations being triggered due to such laser treatments
  • Ointments and creams: Also do not try out any prescribed creams or ointments for skin pigmentation problems as majority of these ointments comprise of nonphenolic bleaching products, kojic acid and azelaic acid which a pregnant lady can no way use during this period

So make sure you stick to home remedies that are absolutely safe to treat this condition. And also remember this issue normally fades away on its own after giving birth in most cases. Just give it some time and you will surely regain your normal skin as time passes by.

How Long Does The “Mask Of Pregnancy” Stays After Delivery?

After delivery, it usually takes time for the skin to become what it was before. However, expecting instant results may disappoint you, sometimes it takes months to see any improvement. Some women may even get skin discolorations by contraceptives that contain estrogen. In such a case, do talk about birth control options after delivery with your doctor.

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