The dark spots that appear on the face during pregnancy are scientifically called melasma or mask of pregnancy, and appear by the hormonal alterations typical of this phase in which the production of melanin in certain areas of the face is stimulated.
These brown spots usually appear around 6 months, and although they are more frequent on the face they can also appear in the armpits, in the groin and in the belly.Although they are more common during pregnancy, they also arise when there are other hormonal changes such as during menopause or in the presence of a uterine myoma or polycystic ovary syndrome.
Are the pregnancy spots removed?
Melasma tends to become more evident whenever the woman is exposed to the sun, so depending on their daily activities and the care they have with the skin, the spots may be lighter or darker. When the woman presents spots that do not vary much of their skin tone, they can disappear naturally after the baby is born, since they use sunscreen and avoid exposure to the sun to the maximum.
But when the spots are more obvious because they differ a lot from the skin tone of the woman, these can be more difficult to remove, being necessary to follow a treatment that can include skin cleansing, use of whitening creams, or use of laser or intense light pressed.
How to treat Melasma
During pregnancy, the woman should use SPF sunscreen at least 15 and can also use a moisturizer with Vitamin C. After the birth of the baby can be used other treatments such as:
- Whitening creams prescribed by the dermatologist which should be used regularly, usually at night and should contain retinoic acid or hydroquinone;
- Peeling with acids that cause a slight peeling in the skin helping to remove dead cells and pigment, it takes between 3 to 5 sessions with intervals of 2 to 4 weeks;
- Laser or intense pulsed light which have a deeper action to remove the pigment, usually takes 10 sessions, leaving the skin red and swollen after a session. The laser is indicated for spots that resisted creams or peels or for women who want faster results.
During the treatment you should use sunglasses, hats and sunscreen.
How to avoid Melasma
There are no ways to avoid pregnancy spots, since they are related to the amount of hormones. However, it is possible to soften the situation avoiding sun exposure in the hottest hours between 10am and 4pm, using hats or sunscreen and sunscreen indicated by the dermatologist, reapplying from 2 to 2 hours.