The "mask of pregnancy" is another pregnancy skin change that's caused by your fluctuating hormones. The good news is that for most women these brown patches vanish after childbirth.
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The dermatological terms for the mask of pregnancy are melasma or chloasma. Of course your hormones are to blame. What else! The increase in hormones during pregnancy has an effect on your body's melanin production. This increase in melanin causes small brownish patches or darkened areas to appear on your skin. It is also responsible for the darkening of your nipples and labia.
A large percentage of women will experience this skin change, to varying degrees. The reason it is called a mask is it is most commonly seen on the cheekbones, nose and forehead. But it can also appear on the forearms, hands and other parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight. Women with darker skin are more prone to melasma than women with lighter skin pigmentation.
So, what to do? Follow these pregnancy skin-friendly tips for your own treatment and prevention program:
- Always wear sunscreen! This may help prevent getting brown spots at all and will stop any you do have from getting too dark.
- Use a good moisturizer, such as NIVEA Visage Silk Comfort.
- Drink plenty of water (at least eight glasses per day).
- Make sure you're getting enough sleep.
For many women, these brownish patches will fade after childbirth. However, in some women they won’t completely disappear. Give your body time after your baby is born to see what happens with your skin and contact a registered dermatologist if you think you need treatment for a stubborn pregnancy mask.