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Pregnant women and the sun: the risk of pregnancy mask

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During pregnancy, the female body generates more feminine hormones, which cause an increase in melanin production. If skin is in the sun during this time, hyperpigmentation may be observed on the face. It is the infamous pregnancy mask, or chloasma.

Symptoms

The influence of hormones...

Pregnancy mask affects a large majority of women, beginning in the fourth month of pregnancy. Pregnancy causes women's bodies to produce a significantly higher amount of feminine hormones (oestrogens) which also causes a rise in melanin synthesis. This hyperpigmentation appears as brown or greyish spots, most often found in the centre of the forehead, on the chin and around the mouth. It takes the form of pigmented patches that are brown and irregular in shape.

Origins

... and the sun

Sun exposure considerably raises the risk of developing a pregnancy mask. As a matter of fact, the amount of exposure received on a clear, pleasant day can cause melanin overproduction, which means it is sufficient to trigger the chloasma phenomenon. In principle, the spots disappear six months after giving birth. But the risk of relapse during a subsequent pregnancy is high. It is therefore preferable to prevent the appearance of pregnancy mask.

Treatments

To prevent pregnancy mask

To prevent the appearance of a pregnancy mask, follow one rule: protect your skin every day, even in the city. The idea is not to hide from the sun, but rather to follow a few rules when in the sun.

  • Wear a hat
  • Protect your skin with a full protection sunscreen
  • Apply the cream every two hours
  • At home in the evening, use an anti-pigmentation spot cream for prevention

All these precautions must be taken, regardless of the time of day.

Don't hesitate to ask your dermatologist for more details.