Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many dramatic changes. Aside from weight gain and an ever-expanding midsection, a woman’s hormones go through drastic shifts as her body grows a baby, gives birth, and then adjusts to not being pregnant following delivery. It is no wonder pregnancy and giving birth are considered to be the miracle of life! Yet, throughout the months during and after pregnancy, the massive fluctuation of hormones affects more than just the development of a growing baby.
A woman’s skin, which is the largest organ of her body, will also show signs of pregnancy. From stretch marks and acne to unwanted discoloration, hormones are responsible for some of the less desirable effects of pregnancy. Melasma is a skin condition that affects many pregnant women. This condition causes tan to brown patches to form on the face, often on the upper lip, around the mouth, cheeks, and forehead.
While hormones are the root cause of melasma, sun exposure can make this skin condition much worse. It is not fully understood, but some women are more sensitive to the effects of sun exposure and develop severe melasma. The most effective form of treatment for melasma is prevention. Taking preventive measures to protect your skin from sun exposure and damage can help you lessen the appearance of skin discoloration.
It is imperative that you wear sunscreen on your face every day, even when it is not summer. For those women who are prone to melasma, even just sitting next to a window in the middle of winter can worsen the effects of skin discoloration. Since it is now approaching summer weather here in Georgia, you will most likely be spending a great deal of time outdoors. Using a sunblock of 45+ is essential for protecting your skin. You will also want to wear a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside to help shade your face from the sun’s harmful rays. Also, an area that many people overlook is sunlight coming in through the driver’s side window. Most people who spend a lot of time in their cars will develop more discoloration on the left side of their face because it is more exposed to the sun. Make sure to use your sun visor to protect your face.
If melasma is causing you to feel self-conscious during pregnancy, contact Medical Dermatology Specialists today. We are skin experts who can help you feel and look your best.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM