Does your skin go dark during some stages of pregnancy? Don’t worry, this is just a symptom of pregnancy and is known as skin discoloration.
The skin will look blemished and pigments will become brownish. Scientifically it is called chloasma or melasma.
Up to 70% of the pregnant women will get chloasma. Those who have darker skin are more susceptible to this condition.
Reasons for skin darkening during pregnancy
This condition is known as a mask of pregnancy. This happens due to the increased production of melanin from your body.
This is a non-toxic substance, which is responsible for the color of your skin, hair and irises. Along with the face, you will be able to observe this condition at any place on your body.
This doesn’t cause any discomfort for you during pregnancy and is another symptoms of early pregnancy that can appear in some women.
The splotches appear around the nose, forehead, upper lip, upper cheeks and also on your forearms. This condition is severe in areas that are greatly exposed to the sun.
During pregnancy, you will find that the nipples, scars, freckles and skin surrounding the genitals and the regions susceptible to friction become darker or hyper-pigmented in your pregnancy.
Usually, you will get back that previous look within a few months after the delivery, but for some women these changes never totally disappear.
Dark line below your belly button:
This line is commonly known as linea nigra. This line appears from your belly button to your pubic bone. Most of you don’t notice this because it appears to be the same color as the rest of your skin.
Production of melanin is responsible for darkening this line on your belly. This reverts to its previous color several months after the delivery.
Preventing skin darkening during pregnancy:
Following a few simple steps minimizes skin discoloration in the meantime.
1. Protect yourself from sun exposure. This is most important because sun exposure intensifies skin discoloration.
Every day, apply a sunblock with SPF 30 or even higher and continue applying often if you are outside. Even if you don’t leave the house, apply sunblock every morning after you shower. Don’t spend too much time in the sun, particularly between 10am and 2pm.
2. Use facial creams and cleansers. Don’t apply them if they irritate your skin. Use creams containing alpha hydroxyl as they help in peeling dead skin layers.
3. Apply a concealing make-up when you go outside. Avoid the usage of skin bleaching products.
Certain types of skin discoloration are signs of skin cancer. It is very important to inform your doctor if you experience any pain, redness, bleeding, or tenderness along with skin pigmentation.
Sometimes, you may notice any changes in the color, shape or size of the moles. Be sure to inform your doctor of these changes. S/he can determine the causes and suggest appropriate treatment.