Everything you need to know about melasma

Pregnancy brings about a lot of strange changes in the body, not least of which is the human now growing in your womb! Sometimes we can notice differences in our appetite, hair and skin. Melasma is one of these skin conditions that can show up during pregnancy.

What is melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition that can show up during pregnancy. Also known as the ‘mask of pregnancy,’ it is a dark, discolouration of the skin. It is not inherently dangerous, but if you notice any of these differences in your skin while pregnant, it’s always safe to check with your doctor.

When will it go away?

Melasma is usually a result of the extra hormones running around in the pregnant body. If this is the case, then it should clear up a few months after the baby is born.

Where does it occur?

Most people get it on the bridge of their nose, cheeks, forehead, chin and above the upper lip.

Is it serious?

It is not usually serious, but your doctor will do a number of tests to check how deep the infection goes. They might use a Wood’s lamp or do a biopsy to check the different layers of the skin.

How do I treat it?

Melasma is treated with some creams that can be bought over the counter or prescribed by your doctor. There are also some things you can do at home to help with the effects of melasma. These include:

  • Wearing SPF in the affected areas
  • Covering affected areas with either a hat or clothing to avoid contact with the sun

As always, if you notice anything strange about your body during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or medical care team.

For more information on melasma please check the HSE website here.

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