Pigmentation During Pregnancy – How To Protect Yourself? June 24, 2016

Developing blotchy areas of darkened skin for pregnant women is quite common which are usually known as marks of pregnancy. Scientifically this is known as Chloasma gravidarum or Melisma gravidarum. This condition is seen more in women with dark complexion when compared to light complexion. Pigmentation during pregnancy also occurs due to heredity. If this condition is seen in your family, then they are higher chances for you to get it during your pregnancy.

Pigmentation Changes During Pregnancy

Pigmentation during pregnancy may fade over with time after child birth but there is a chance of increase in these marks during different stages of pregnancy. The various lines of pigmentation include the following.

  • During these stages, pigmentation forms extremely an apparent line running down towards the center of the abdomen all the way from the belly button to the pubic bone.
  • Another line of pigmentation can also be found around perineum and genitalia areas.
  • Pregnant women are more prone to increasing face pigmentation during pregnancy especially when exposed to sunlight. They are prone to these kinds of marks when depressed even slightly. This generally happens when it’s her first pregnancy due to sudden un-habitual changes in the body. During second pregnancy there is a lesser chance to get such pigmentation marks.
  • Marks can develop around upper lip, nose, cheek bones and forehead. These may develop even in the shape of mask. It may appear on your cheeks, jawline, forearms, and other parts of body those are usually exposed to the sunlight.
  • Skin which is already pigmented generally becomes more pigmented or darker during pregnancy. These changes take place due to hormonal changes during these stages which stimulate a temporary increase in your body melanin production.
  • Body parts such as knees, elbows, underarms etc. which are dark usually have more chance to become darker than before.

This increased pigmentation in pregnancy may reduce after few months of delivery but in few women, these marks become permanent or never disappear completely. There are numerous methods through which these hyper pigmentation marks can be reduced during pregnancy.

How to Avoid Pigmentation During Pregnancy?

  1. Avoid going outdoors maximum during day time. Try to stay indoors as much as possible. If its extremely urgent to go out, then use a sunblock with minimum SPF 30 in it. Wear safe clothes with long sleeves, long bottoms to cover entire hands and legs. Wear a hat to cover your head. If you have to go out, then try to avoid outing between 10am to 3pm.
  2. Use good cleansers and creams that are not harsh on your skin. Don’t use new products which you aren’t aware of. Use products you already used before and  make sure your confident on how it works on you.
  3. You may use some medications like Azelaic acid, Retinoic acid, Hydroquinone etc. but only with doctor’s recommendation. Your doctor should know what medications you are taking. Take proper advice on these medications before using them.
  4. If the pigmentation marks are bothering you, then use concealing makeup to cover them. After giving birth, these marks will fade off slowly.
  5. After delivery also take utmost care for few months by staying indoors at most of the time, using protective clothes and sunscreens. Do not go out during midday.
  6. Feed your baby well. Yes, this works best. The longer you do breast feeding, easy is to reduce those pigmentation marks. In most cases these marks fade without treatment.

If these marks don’t disappear after few months of child birth, then consult a dermatologist. She’ll suggest you good treatments which may include bleaching creams containing hydroquinone etc. These may also contain sunscreens. You can opt for chemical peels. You cannot expect instant results from these. Pregnancy marks fade slowly with time.