A woman’s body will experience a lot of changes during pregnancy. These are caused by the body’s hormones in preparation for childbirth. One of the problems faced by pregnant women is the development of chloasma or the mask of pregnancy.
Sometimes dubbed as melasma, this is a skin condition in which some areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding skin. Normally, this skin condition occurs on the face, especially the cheeks, forehead and above the upper lip. For pregnant women, the patches last until the end of pregnancy. However, in some cases, these may remain even after giving birth.
Causes Of Chloasma
The exact mechanism and cause of melisma are largely unknown. One of the hallmarks of chloasma is having an increased level of melanin. Sometimes, this can be caused by hormonal changes. However, one of the factors that may lead to melasma is the overexposure to the sunlight.
Pigmentation happens because of an overproduction of melanin pigment cells called melanocytes. There are many reasons why this happens. For instance, some people are genetically predisposed to the disease while others, use cosmetic products that may contain irritating ingredients, may be overexposed to the sun or use hormone drugs like contraceptives and hormonal replacement therapy.
How To Prevent Chloasma?
Direct exposure to the sun for long periods of time may lead to the formation of melasma. Thus, it is crucial to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Using sunscreens both indoors and outdoors, using protective clothing and avoiding direct sunlight are recommended.
How Is Chloasma Treated?
There is a wide spectrum of treatment options for chloasma. One method is through the use of topical treatments. Dermatologists may prescribe skin-lightening agents like hydroquinone, tretinoin, and fluocinolone acetonide.
Another treatment option is laser therapy. Specifically called Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, this method uses certain wavelengths of light to eradicated pigmented areas of the skin. Also, chemical peels are used to provide a mild chemical burn. In the long run, the burned areas peel off, leaving a fresh and new skin.
These treatment options are affordable and available in various dermatology clinics. It’s important to treat the condition early so it will not progress into severe patches that are hard to treat. Also, chloasma, melasma or the mask of pregnancy may lead to reduced self-esteem among women. Though it may go away on its own among pregnant women, others may have them longer than expected.
Thus, it is important to consult a dermatologist on how to treat chloasma. These doctors are skilled, experienced and well-versed when it comes to the prevention and treatment of chloasma or melasma and other skin conditions.