Contrary to popular belief, not all women experience the sought after “pregnancy glow.” Aside from weight gain, many women complain about skin problems such as acne, spider veins, and dark blotchy skin or melasma. It is actually the latter occurrence that causes the most heartache for some women.
Melasma, or chloasma, is characterized by dark, blotchy, brown patches of skin on your forehead, upper lip, and cheeks. This common condition also referred to as the “mask of pregnancy”, affects 50- 75 % of pregnant women.
Causes of Melasma
Melasma appears when a steep rise in estrogen and progesterone levels (the primary female hormones responsible for pregnancy) stimulate excess melanin production, also known as hyperpigmentation. Melanin is the pigment primarily responsible for skin color. This increased pigmentation will make your freckles, moles, and areolas appear darker. In addition, you might also see a dark line down the center of your abdomen called the linea nigra which is also caused by melasma and is yet another common occurrence among pregnant women.