Pregnancy is a phase of life where the life of a woman takes a toll, and this could be due to hormones or physical and emotional changes. There are changes in physical appearance, taste buds, likings, disliking, mood swings, skin, etc. The skin usually starts becoming darker in pregnancy, though it can differ from one pregnant woman to the other but are more visible in the women who have dark hair or complexion. The research also states that the diet taken during pregnancy is also one of the contributing factors for skin pigmentation.
As the pregnancy advances, there are visible changes that can be noticed in the hair and the skin of the pregnant woman. Another important aspect is that of skin pigmentation that leads to visible darkness in various areas of the body, which can worsen more with exposure to sunlight.
Whereabouts Of Skin Darkening During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time when the maximum number of women undergoes darkening of the skin in some areas. The body can experience a multitude of changes, darkening of the skin, or hyper-pigmentation being one of those. Let us have a proper insight into the areas that can develop skin pigmentation while pregnancy, and they are given as under:
- The dark patches that develop on the face are also referred to as ‘Chloasma’ or “mask of pregnancy,” and these fade out after some months post-delivery.
- The color of the nipples can become a few shades darker than the original color.
- It is also noticed that areola or the area that is around the nipples can become dark as well.
- At times even the hands, feet, and soles become red and swollen as well.
- There are chances of the dark patches appearing in the underarms, upper portion of the legs as well as the vaginal area.
- In case the pregnant lady has had freckles or moles, it can become darker and more prominent as well.
- The racing stripe that develops in pregnancy at the middle of the belly, which is also referred to as ‘Linea Nigra” or the black line is common to show up as well. This line usually disappears 3-4 months post-delivery.
When Does Skin Pigmentation Happen?
Hyperpigmentation is common and starts showing in the first trimester of pregnancy and one of the initial indicators of pregnancy. Though in the case of the first pregnancy, the signs can start showing in the later stages and not in the first trimester.
What Is The Difference Between Melasma And Hyper Pigmentation
Hyperpigmentation refers to any sort of discoloration of the skin caused as a result of acne, boils, eczema, pimple, sun exposure, etc. it concentrates on the top layer of the skin. Melasma, on the other hand, is hyperpigmentation, which gets into the deeper level of the skin and is relatively hard to treat.
The factors which believed to trigger Melasma during pregnancy are,
- Birth control pills which they used earlier
- Hormone therapy
- Melasma is found very common among some race.
- Intake of Anti-seizure medications
- Melasma is found to run in the family, pointing to its genetic grounds.
What Is The Duration Of The Skin Pigmentation?
Skin pigmentation is, no doubt a common facet of pregnancy more witnessed in the women who have darker hair and skin. Let us now see how long it can last:
- The skin pigmentation that starts developing in the initial stages of pregnancy can be carried till delivery and at times even later.
- The areas that darken up start becoming lighter post the delivery of the baby, but in some cases, it can take a few months, while in others, it may not disappear totally.
- In the second or third pregnancies, it can start showing in early months much darker than before.
How To Reduce Pigmentation During Pregnancy?
Skin pigmentation is certainly not something that is liked by any pregnant lady, especially with so many unwanted changes happening. But the good thing is that certain measures can be taken to reduce its existence and they are mentioned below:
- It is crucial to keep the skin covered when you get exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays as the exposure to sunlight makes the skin much darker.
- It is essential to wear a hat as well as sunscreen to reduce the chances of skin pigmentation.
- It is advisable to wear full sleeves to avoid any damage to the skin.
- In case experiencing chloasma or dark patches on the face, sunscreen should be applied daily even if staying at home.
- Few types of researches suggest that skin pigmentation can even result due to a deficiency of folic acid, so it is important to have adequate folate consumption.
- Herbal solutions can be applied for the skin pigmentation but in consultation with a doctor.
- As per medical reports, staying away from the sun is the ideal way to reduce darkening of the skin during pregnancy as being exposed to the sun can result in discolored and uneven patches on the skin.
How To Reduce Pigmentation After Your Pregnancy?
It is not guaranteed that all symptoms that start appearing in the initial stages of pregnancy or during pregnancy will end as soon as delivery happens. It is individualistic, and most of the times, the symptoms prevail even after the delivery is over. So, let us find the ways and means by which the skin pigmentation can be reduced post-delivery as well. Some pointers are:
- The skincare regime needs to be continued even after the delivery of the baby.
- It is important that the mother takes care of herself as well as the baby.
- Keep the skin covered and apply sunscreen
- This is a temporary process, and skin will resume to normal, and as such, no treatment is needed for the same.
- If the skin looks spotted and discolored, it is advisable to apply cosmetics that are safe, and once the mother has stopped feeding the baby.
Thus, as seen from above, hyperpigmentation is one of the changes that take place in the body of a pregnant woman, and there are few ways which help in reducing them, so it isn’t a cause of worry. Moreover, it disappears on its own and needs medical intervention very rarely. It is just a symptom and not an illness or disease, so, one should not wreck the brains too hard and take the stress.