Dark spots

What is Chloasma Pregnancy Mask and How to Treat it

Chloasma is often referred to as melasma or the “mask of pregnancy.

It is most noticeable on your cheeks, forehead, upper lip and chin.

The main factors that can trigger chloasma are hormonal changes.

Whilst it is a harmless condition, you don’t need us to tell you that it can have a real emotional impact.

So, if you’re struggling with the chloasma pregnancy mask, this article is for you.

We will discuss the causes and treatments so you can leave this page brighter than you started.

Signs of Chloasma Pregnancy Mask

Chloasma is often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” and can be mistaken for melasma, but the difference is that it predominantly occurs during pregnancy.

The signs and symptoms are dark and irregular patches predominantly on your face, ranging from light brown to dark brown.

Other common areas you may notice are on your cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip, and sometimes the lateral regions of your cheeks (known as the malar area).

Chloasma pregnancy masks often exhibit irregular hyperpigmentation patterns that tend to be symmetrical. It has a characteristic appearance like a mask, hence the name.

This mask-like pattern has well-defined edges demarcating the affected areas from the surrounding skin.

We often find that these conditions can have a significant psychological impact on our clients because of their very noticeable appearance. We have also noticed a link between chloasma and dry skin, which can exacerbate the cosmetic concerns related to this condition.

Skin inflammation may sometimes accompany chloasma, leading to red areas within the darkly pigmented patches.

There is also an inflammatory component that can further contribute to the overall appearance of the condition.

These conditions do require specific treatment approaches to address both hyperpigmentation and inflammation.

Diagnosis of Chloasma Pregnancy

This is usually based on its appearance, which your skin specialist, dermatologist or obstetrician will diagnose.

A Wood lamp is a tool that uses fluorescent light to highlight the extent of the chloasma mask on the skin.

Occasionally, a biopsy may be performed, especially if your diagnosis is uncertain.

Treatment Options

A chloasma pregnancy mask will typically resolve itself after pregnancy or after discontinuation of hormonal therapy.

However, there are several treatment options available to help you manage your symptoms and help to lighten your pigmentation:

Topical Treatments

Prescription-strength topical treatments contain ingredients such as azelaic acid or kojic acid that will help lighten chloasma patches and even skin tone. These treatments work by inhibiting melanin production and promoting skin cell turnover.

Topical medications such as retinoids, topical corticosteroids, azelaic acid, and tranexamic acid can decrease melanin production and lighten hyperpigmented areas.

In the article How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation Instantly in 2024, we look at three key ingredients that can help target stubborn melanin in the skin.

Please dont be tempted to use hydroquinone, as it can do more harm than good.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels involve the application of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or other exfoliating agents that can help remove the outer layer of damaged skin, revealing fresh, evenly pigmented skin underneath.

We have written extensively about chemical peels, which you can read here.

Laser Therapy

Laser treatments, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy or fractional laser resurfacing, can help target melanin in your skin and break up excess pigmentation.

Skin specialists or dermatologists typically perform these treatments to help improve the appearance of chloasma pregnancy masks, and there is usually minimal downtime.

Cosmetic Camouflage

Makeup and concealing products will temporarily help you camouflage the chloasma mask and even skin tone.

Look for products designed for hyperpigmented skin and choose shades that match your natural skin tone for a seamless finish.

If you are suffering from this tricky condition, then adopting suitable prevention methods is essential because of chloasmas’ chronic nature and tendency to recur over time.

Maintenance therapies and stringent sun protection measures can help you get your condition under control.

Sunscreen is important to preventing other areas on your face from becoming dark; we recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) and applying it generously to exposed areas of the skin.

Other preventive measures include minimising your skin’s exposure to the sun and wearing protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, to shield your face from the sun’s harmful rays.

To conclude. The naked truth

Chloasma is a common pigmentation disorder that is characterised by darker skin patches.

Genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, medications, and sun exposure are all contributing factors.

Diagnosis is based on clinical observation and may involve additional examinations using machines like Wood’s lamp evaluation. In some more severe cases, a skin biopsy may be required.

Chloasma management, which focuses on symptom control and preventive strategies to minimise recurrence and improve overall skin health, is essential.

Treatment options include skin-lightening agents, chemical peels, and laser or light-based therapies, often complemented by strict sun protection measures.

Chloasma pregnancy masks tend to fade with appropriate treatment and sun protection; however, occasionally, we have seen it persist in some of our clients, which is when it becomes a chronic skin condition.

These clients often experience new flare-ups that are triggered by factors such as sun exposure, pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, or hormone replacement therapy, and whilst some skin patches gradually fade, complete resolution may not always occur.

If you are concerned about hyperpigmentation in your skin, we recommend booking an appointment with a skincare specialist or dermatologist. You can also reach out to us here.

They are qualified to diagnose your condition correctly. They will put together an effective treatment plan to remove stubborn chloasma from the deeper dermal layer, helping you return your skin to that youthful, healthy, even glow.

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