Melasma, darkening of the skin during pregnancy

The article was consulted professionally by Master, Dr. Ly Thi Thanh Nha – Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Share99 Da Nang International Health Hub.

The woman's body during pregnancy undergoes many changes both physically and mentally. Part of the reason is due to hormone changes, while some pregnant women still have normal healthy skin, others occur melasma, darkening of the skin. This causes many pregnant women to worry and bewilder.

1. Is melasma during pregnancy a normal manifestation?

Melasma during pregnancy is a normal and common phenomenon, characterized by darkening the skin accompanied by translucent spots. Melasma is sometimes also called a pregnancy mask because translucent spots often appear around the lips, nose, cheekbones, forehead of the pregnant woman. It resembles the shape of a mask. Darkening can appear along the jawbone or forearm and some other parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.

Besides, some other parts such as nipples, genitals can become darker during pregnancy. Friction-common parts such as armpits and thighs will also become darker when you are pregnant.

2. What causes melasma during pregnancy?

The change in hormones of women during pregnancy stimulates the production of melanin causing melasma. Melanin is the pigment that determines the color of human skin, hair and eyes.

Women with dark skin are more susceptible to melasma than women with light-colored skin. You are also likely to have melasma if you have relatives in your family who also experience the condition.

3. Is brown stripes associated with melasma?

Increased melanin pigmentation causes facial melasma, and this is also the cause of the brown stripe, pregnant mothers can see this brown stripe running along the abdomen. Before pregnancy, the white stripe runs from the navel to your pubic bone, you may not realize because it is the same color as the rest of your skin.

During pregnancy, the melanin pigment increases, causing the white stripe to become a brown stripe. A few months after birth, the brown stripe will return to its normal state as before you became pregnant.

4. How to prevent melasma, darkening during pregnancy?

All skin changes due to melasma, darkening of the skin often disappear on their own after birth. However, to reduce darkening during pregnancy,you can apply a number of ways that still ensure the safety of the fetus as follows:

  • Use sunscreen: This is very important because when in direct contact with ultraviolet rays, your skin is prone to melasma, skin pigmentation is changed. Use sunscreen (against both UVA and UVBrays) with an SPF of 30 or more per day even in the sun and should be reapplied during the day if you are active outdoors.

Melasma, darkening of the skin during pregnancy

Use sunscreen for pregnant women

Even if you do not plan to spend a lot of time outside or do not leave the house, you should still apply sunscreen as a habit, it is best to apply sunscreen in the morning. The American Academy of Dermatology says your skin is exposed to a significant amount of UV rays every time you walk down the street, ride a car, or even sit inside near a window.

When going out, wear a wide-brimmed hat as well as wear a long-sleeved shirt to avoid pigment changes on the arms. Limit your time in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Avoid sunbathing or dyeing your skin.

  • Hair removalshould not be bleached: When you remove hair can cause dermatitis this makes your melasma worse especially in parts that are susceptible to changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Use non-irritation skincare products:Cleansers and lotions that irritate your skin will make your melasma worse.
  • Use concealer : Ifbrown spots make you feel not confident, you can use concealer to cover them. Absolutely do not use bleaching products when you are pregnant.

5. After birth, will melasma improve?

Melasma, darkening of the skin will usually fade without treatment after you give birth. Dark spots will usually fade within a year after birth and your skin will return to its normal skin tone, although sometimes the condition will not be able to disappear completely.

For some women who use contraceptives containing estrogen (contraceptive pills, vaginal rings) also contribute to melasma. If this change makes you uncomfortable, you can opt for other contraceptives.

If your skin still has translucent spots after a few months of childbirth and it makes you feel uncomfortable, you can look to the health care services of the skin or dermatologists to choose melasma treatments. Experts will probably prescribe you to use a bleaching cream containing hydroquinone, a topical drug containing tretinoin …

If you are breastfeeding or plan to get pregnant early, you should speak in advance with the skin's health care specialists before using any treatments. To improve the condition of the skin it takes a lot of time, if the treatments do not achieve an effect, the dermatologist can lighten dark skin spots with a laser but this is not the first option.

Under all circumstances, you should continue to protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen daily, wearing protective clothing and avoiding exposure to the sun during peak hours.

6. Are dark marks on the skin during pregnancy a sign of certain pathology?

A change in skin color can be a symptom of skin cancer or some other pathology. If your skin pigmentation changes accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, redness or bleeding, a change in the size, shape, color of the mole, you should go for examination at reputable premises. You should go to the dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Master. physician. Ly Thi Thanh Nha worked at Hue University Health Hub of Medicine and Pharmacy and Quang Tri General Health Hub before working at Share99 Danang International Health Hub.

Dr. Nha has strengths and experience in the diagnosis of monitoring and treatment of pregnancy and pathology. Pregnancy screening. Perform cesarean section techniques. Laparoscopic surgery for ovarian cysts, extra-uterine pregnancy.


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About: John Smith

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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