Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — written by Ashley Marcin on April 30, 2021

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Your body goes v tremendous changes during pregnancy.

You are watching: Brown spots on face from pregnancy

Your ship gets larger and also your blood volume boosts as your baby grows. You might experience cramping, morning sickness, and all sorts of unfamiliar aches and pains. Your hair and also skin may also go with a transformation for the far better — or worse. (You’re beautiful every the same.)

If you’ve noticed dark job of skin on your face, you may have actually melasma. Here’s an ext about this condition, why it plants up in pregnancy, and how you can treat that safely.


What is melasma in pregnancy?

Melasma is a skin disorder where the melanocytes (color-producing cells) in your skin create extra colors for some reason. In pregnancy, it’s often referred to together chloasma, or the “mask that pregnancy.”

Chloasma is a cosmetic concern. That doesn’t influence your infant in any method or indicate any type of other pregnant complications.

People with much more pigment in your skin — because that example, those of African, north African, center Eastern, Latin or Hispanic, Asian, Indian, or Mediterranean descent — are more likely to develop chloasma, as they normally have an ext active melanin production.

Overall, in between 50 and also 70 percent of world will develop some kind of melasma throughout pregnancy.

Related: Skin color needs to be factored in when discussing skin diseases


Symptoms of melasma in pregnancy

The primary symptom that chloasma is darkening the the skin on the face. Friend may an alert dark patches or splotches on her forehead, cheeks, chin, or roughly your mouth. These locations may acquire darker the an ext you’re exposed come the sunlight or the more along you room in her pregnancy.

Pain, itchiness, or soreness space not symptoms of melasma. If you endure these indicators or build severe irritation, you may be handle with one more condition. Lug up any additional symptoms you have actually with your doctor.

A dermatologist can accurately diagnose your condition using a Wood’s lamp, i m sorry helps show whether a skin condition is bacterial, fungal, or otherwise concerning.


Causes of melasma in pregnancy

Skin hyperpigmentation throughout pregnancy is really common. You may notification your nipples/areolas, armpits, or genitals become darker. You may see a line (linea nigra) prolonging from the pubic area end the belly, or darkening the the skin all over the body.

Changing hormones, specifically the overfill of estrogen and progesterone, is the main cause of melasma throughout pregnancy. Beyond that, the dark spot on the face can be exacerbated by sun exposure, the usage of specific skin treatment products or treatments, and also even genetics.

Chloasma may also be worsened by hormonal discrepancies that may have been existing even before pregnancy.

Whatever the case, your melanocyte-stimulating hormones reaction to this triggers by make an overfill of protective colors (dark patches) top top the skin dubbed melanin.


When melasma may start in pregnancy

Melasma may start in ~ any suggest in your pregnancy, despite it many commonly starts in the 2nd or third trimester.

Again, there space a range of factors at play once it pertains to darkening pigment. Your skin shade and form may make this condition much more or much less noticeable. Just how much you’re out in the sunlight or also the time of year once you’re pregnant may also influence when you an initial notice it.


Does melasma go away after delivery?

The an excellent news is that this hyperpigmentation most likely won’t obtain worse after you provide your child. The said, it might take time — perhaps months — for it to fully fade without any type of targeted treatment.


Pregnancy-safe treatments

Speak with your doctor around ways to treat your melasma throughout pregnancy. Her doctor might refer you come a dermatologist for much more information.

Some specialists don’t recommend treating melasma throughout pregnancy. One reason is the it might resolve ~ above its own. And some treatment methods might not be safe or reliable to use once pregnant.

The best course the treatment might actually it is in prevention, v the help of a few lifestyle changes.

Seek shade

Since the sunlight may create the advance of more pigment, it’s a good idea to remain out of its rays, especially for lengthy periods the time.

Yes, this also applies come tanning beds or any kind of other atmosphere where you would certainly be exposed to UVA and also UVB rays. Limit sunbathing and try relaxing under a tree or umbrella instead.

If she exercising, try avoiding peak sun hrs in your area, usually the center of the day. Head out early on in the morning or later in the evening when the sunlight is low.

Wear sunscreen

This doesn’t median you have to stay indoors when the sunlight is out, though. Attract a good pregnancy-safe sunscreen through SPF 30+ is key.

Look for assets that save on computer zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or other physical blockers (mineral sunscreens) versus those that rely on chemistry blockers. Physical blocking sunscreens often tend to offer more comprehensive protection and may be much less irritating come the skin.

Dress for success

Another alternative for sun cover is garments with or without UV protection, such together SPF rash security or sunlight protective clothing. Also if it’s warm outside, loose-fitting apparel can be comfortable and protect your skin.

What around the face? large brimmed hats room your finest friend. And don’t forget a stylish pair of sunglasses — the enlarge the better.

Use gentle skin care products

Face washes, lotions, and serums the irritate her skin might make melasma worse. Slather up with gentle assets instead. Look on the brand for words like “noncomedogenic,” “sensitive,” “fragrance-free,” or “dermatologist approved” if you obtain overwhelmed in the beauty aisle.

The very same goes because that makeup you might use to conceal the dark areas. Look for noncomedogenic or hypoallergenic foundations, concealers, powders, and also other products.

Related: Your guide to pregnancy-safe skin care

Try at-home masks and methods

You may be able to lighten your melasma using ingredients from your pantry. If there room no particular studies top top these techniques for chloasma, the complying with topical treatments may help:

Lemon juice. Mix with each other a systems of fifty percent fresh lemon juice and fifty percent cucumber juice or water. The acid in the juice may help remove pigmentation in the top layer the the skin.Apple cider vinegar (ACV). similar idea here. Mix a solution of fifty percent ACV and half water to usage as a toner on dark areas. Milk that magnesia. ~ washing your face, apply milk of magnesia come dark areas using a cotton ball. Leaving on the skin overnight and wash off in the morning.Oatmeal and also honey. Whip increase a mask made through cooked oatmeal (let the cool under so it no hot) and raw honey. Leave on the skin because that 10 minutes prior to washing away. The mask helps to exfoliate your skin and also the enzyme in the honey may lighten the a bit.

Eat well, rest, and try a few supplements

Since melasma may also be the result of hormone imbalances, friend may boost matters by offering yourself part much-needed TLC. Make sure you’re remaining hydrated, eating a diet v plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and also getting enough sleep each night.

Be certain that you’re round off out your diet by consuming supplemental omega-3 fat acids. And also ask her doctor about any potential vitamin deficiencies. Part studies connect melasma to deficiency in iron and also possibly vitamin B12.

See more: Can Acid Reflux Cause Back Pain ? How Does Acid Reflux Cause Upper Back Pain

Be patient

After pregnancy, you may ask your dermatologist about other treatments if your melasma no fade on its own. Treatments include topical medications like:

hydroquinonetretinoincorticosteroids

Your medical professional may also recommend details acids that lighten the skin, alone or in combination. Over there are likewise some steps — including chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, and other irradiate therapies — that might work.