Chloasma, also known as pregnancy mask, is the name given to skin darkening that occurs during pregnancy. The brown line (linea negra) that runs from the navel to the pubic hair is one of the common signs of chloasma seen in many pregnant women. In addition, scars on the body, nipples, coccyx and breech, and darkening of the skin that turns brown can be seen in the neck area. Pregnant women with fair skin and freckles may also experience pregnancy-related skin spots on the face. Chloasma, which is seen in 75% of pregnant women, is not a harmful condition and usually regresses within a year after delivery.
Pregnancy spots, which we call chloasma, can occur at any time and are referred to as ‘melasma’ when they occur outside of pregnancy. The reason for the skin spots (chloasma) that occurs during pregnancy is that the estrogen and progesterone hormones that rise during pregnancy affect the melanin substance that gives the skin its color. The rise of pregnancy hormones also triggers the production of melanin, and excessively produced melanin causes darkening in certain parts of the skin. Ultraviolet (UV) rays reaching our world from the sun also trigger melanin production. Therefore, the sun rays exposed during pregnancy can cause darkening of the skin, more than in normal time.
It is not always possible to completely prevent skin blemishes that occur during pregnancy, but some preventive measures can increase blemishes and alleviate chloasma formation:
Get enough folic acid: Folic acid, one of the most important nutritional supplements to be taken during pregnancy, can alleviate the overproduction of pigments that give color to the skin, called hyperpigmentation. Folic acid, which can be taken from food, can also be supplemented in the form of capsules.
Protect from the sun: High-factor sunscreens, sunglasses, hats, and long-sleeved comfortable clothes are essential items you should not neglect while protecting yourself from the sun during pregnancy. Do not be exposed to direct sunlight, especially at noon, and protect yourself by using protective creams, clothes and accessories, as you can be affected by the reflected sun rays even when sitting in the shade.
Choose your skin care products carefully: You should make sure that the moisturizers, shower gels, make-up materials and similar products that you will use during your pregnancy are suitable for sensitive skin. Some cosmetics are known to increase hyperpigmentation, so even when choosing make-up products suitable for your skin tone, choose products that are pure and suitable for sensitive skin as much as possible.
Avoid waxing: Waxing, especially applied to the face, upper lip and belly area, can increase the spots that occur during pregnancy. During this period, you can apply different epilation methods or you can choose not to have epilation at all during pregnancy.