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What is a Pregnancy Mask?

By June 28, 2008 - 12:06pm
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pregnancy mask

I have melasma, or what is sometimes called 'mask of pregnancy' or 'pregnancy mask'.

I got it in my third pregnancy and my OB/GYN told me it would probably go once I gave birth. 'Probably' being a key word! Nearly two years later it is still here.

Melasma is a tan or brown patch that women often get in pregnancy (although men can get it too) and can be made worse by sun exposure. It's usually on the face, particularly the cheekbone and forehead area. That's exactly where I have mine. Some women do not lose the melasma after birth and I'm one of them.

It doesn't really bother me from an aesthetic point of view because it's high up on my forehead by my scalp and I wear bangs and I have a little on the top of my cheek bones that can easily be covered by foundation.

I'm wondering if I should see a dermatologist about this or just put up with it? Even though it's not life-threatening or even life-changing, I'd be happier without it. When I am just natural, without concealer, it can be quite noticeable. I have read that some prescription creams can work.

Has anyone else had this?
Thank you.

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EmpowHER Guest

Being someone who has been to the dermatologist to battle my melasma and dark spots, I have to recommend to you the Lady Soma Renewal Serum (w/ hyaluronic acid). Its the only over the counter product that has actually worked! The spots are not gone but significantly faded to where you do not notice them after putting on my makeup. I tried Nerium for a month and it did nothing!! Nothing completely disappears without major dermatological help but the Lady Soma Serum has done exactly what I wanted it to do.

It took about 3 weeks to see results so hang in there and stay out of the sun.

August 14, 2014 - 3:20pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am usually critical of skin care product that doesn't come from a dermatologist's office, however the Lady Soma Antioxidant Masque is dermatologist quality, and it will save you so much money on caring for your face!

I love the smell and my skin really does look shinier and refreshed after I use it. Also, it only has to stay on for 8 minutes so it's something I can do more often than masks that require 20-30 minutes. It tingles when its on your face, and the next day OMG - my face looked AMAZING. I looked like 5 years younger. LOVE IT!

April 21, 2012 - 2:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

I too have brown marks on my forehead from my pregnancy 2yrs ago. During the summer it is more noticable so i did get it checked out by a Doctor who informed me that Laser does help but does not offer permanent results as the possibility of the marks returning with my next pregnancy is very high.

February 18, 2011 - 6:00am
EmpowHER Guest

if you have melasma / dont apply any cream contain Hydroquinone- Obagi- Tretinoin-do a good homework first / "RESEARCH" before use any chemical product on your skin- mine is just about the size of pea / appear on my cheeks- after using the about products now it 's getting really worse- I am not prenance / nor smoke / nor drink / and not using BC pill-it may cause by inbalance hormone in my body ( Zinc & Copper) then over sun- exposure without sun screen protection and now 2 dark patchs in my face - very notiable !
Google : " copper toxicity " ---" Melasma "---
Visit: earthclinic.com
- Remember- no chemical product- or you will sorry later.

July 14, 2008 - 10:52am

Thanks for asking the question, and then the two responses about Melasma.

I have been slightly bothered by these two brown spots on my temples, and had considered going to a dermatologist to make sure they weren't the beginnings of skin cancer. It is nice to read more about Melasma, because that sounds like exactly what I have! I'll still go to a dermatologist to make sure, but it is great to know there are other women who have some changes in their bodies from pregnancy that have not gone away---my last pregnancy was a year and a half ago, and these brown spots have not disappeared! I wear sunscreen daily, but will be more vigilant about it.

June 29, 2008 - 12:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

Careful research first before apply any chemical products- bc that could be more harm than good !
google : melasma- copper toxicity

July 14, 2008 - 11:01am
EmpowHER Guest

Carcinogen, banned in Europe.

Great article showing melasma does last for some. Too many think it goes away right after birth.

June 28, 2008 - 8:56pm

As you mentioned, melasma is something that can remain for many years. The American Academy of Dermatology says that while there is no cure, sunscreens are essential for the treatment of the condition. And you're right, some prescription creams are available. Here's the rest of what they had to say.

They (sunscreens) should be broad spectrum, protecting against both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. A SPF 30 or higher should be selected. In addition, physical sunblock lotions and creams such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide, may be used to block ultraviolet radiation and visible light. Sunscreens should be worn daily, whether or not it is sunny outside, or if you are outdoors or indoors. A significant amount of ultraviolet rays is received while walking down the street, driving in cars, and sitting next to windows.

Any facial cleansers, creams, or make-up which irritates the skin should be stopped, as this may worsen the melasma. If melasma develops after starting birth control pills, it may improve after discontinuing them. Melasma can be treatedwith bleaching creams while continuing the birth control pills.

A variety of bleaching creams are available for the treatment of melasma. These creams do not "bleach" the skin by destroying the melanocytes, but rather, decrease the activity of these pigment-producing cells. Over-the-counter creams contain low concentrations of hydroquinone, the most commonly-used depigmenting agent. This is often effective for mild forms of melasma when used twice daily. A dermatologist may prescribe creams with higher concentrations of hydroquinone. Normally, it takes about three months to substantially improve melasma. Creams containing tretinoin, steroids, and glycolic acid are available in combination with hydroquinone to enhance the depigmenting effect. Other medications which have been found to help melasma are azelaic acid and kojic acid. It is important to follow the directions of your dermatologist carefully in order to get the maximum benefit from your treatment regimen and to avoid irritation and other side effects. Remember, a sunscreen should be applied daily in addition to the bleaching cream. Some bleaching creams are combined with a sunscreen.

For more, visit http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_melasma.html

June 28, 2008 - 6:45pm
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