Melasma manifests as brown (melanin) pigmented spots that appear on the skin. They are generally symmetrical on both sides of the face and spread across the cheeks, forehead, nose, and near the upper lip. Although the exact cause of this disorder is not known, it is often associated with a hormonal change due to pregnancy, hormone therapy during menopause, or oral contraceptive use. Exposure to the sun is also a major risk factor for melasma.
The best way to prevent the mask of pregnancy is to protect yourself from the sun. Apply a day cream containing sunscreen every day to protect yourself as you go about your daily routine. When you plan to spend the day outside, use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or over that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to reapply it every two hours, even in cloudy weather. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face is also an excellent solution.
Generally speaking, the darkest areas of the skin will disappear on their own a few months after the pregnancy or after stopping oral contraceptives or hormone therapy. However, some women may experience pregnancy mask for years or even their entire lives. There are effective treatments to deal with the problem.
CAUTION Sunscreen must continue to be used even after the darker patches disappear to prevent them from reappearing.