More than half of all pregnant women will experience changes in the pigmentation of their skin during pregnancy.
For some women this takes the form of melasma or chloasma, commonly called the mask of pregnancy, which are dark, blotchy areas of skin.
Other women will find the skin that is already pigmented, such as freckles, will become even darker.
Some women also develop a linea nigra, a dark line running from their belly button toward their pubic bone. Women with darker skin are more prone to increased pigmentation. These are all normal skin changes.
Here are some things you can do to manage these skin pigmentation changes while you are pregnant.
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher every day. Remember that you can get significant accumulated exposure doing simple daily tasks, such as walking to your car, checking the mail, or even sitting near a window indoors. Make sunscreen a lifetime habit; your skin will thank you.
- Treat your skin gently. Avoid harsh cleansers and creams. During pregnancy, use hypoallergenic products, or products for sensitive or irritated skin.
- Do not use skin bleaching products. Skin pigmentation changes that happen during pregnancy usually fade away after delivery. Be patient; it may take a while.
- It is OK to use concealer to cover up pigmentation changes.
- Do not use skin products containing Vitamin A.