Chloasma – Dark Mask of Pregnancy!

Chloasma

If you have ever heard of the “dark mask of pregnancy” or the “mask of pregnancy” you might be a little confused as to what this cryptic name suggests. Not a literal mask per se, but a change in the skin that can almost give the appearance of a mask, a condition known as chloasma (or melasma). These patches of skin on the face develop a dark appearance and it can almost look as though you are wearing a mask.

While the most common cause of chloasma is sun exposure, hormonal changes can greatly influence how prone you are to getting it. This is why pregnant women and those who have hormone fluctuations caused by birth control bills and hormone replacement therapy are substantially more susceptible to end up with this condition, which can be similar in appearance to hyperpigmentation on face areas.

Thankfully, besides a change in appearance which can certainly cause emotional distress particularly in more severe cases, there are almost no other symptoms associated with chloasma. However, given the sometimes large surface area that it may cover, and its tendency to be symmetrical in nature, this symptom alone can be quite a nuisance.

You will find that often the best remedy for chloasma is simply to let it be. Oftentimes, fading of the appearance of the dark spots will start to occur within a few months of you no longer being pregnant or no longer being treated with or using hormones. This melasma natural treatment of course is more of a long term solution however, and for short term options you may want to consider topicals, peels or laser therapy. For instance, Tri Luma cream has been used in the treatment of this condition and its active ingredient, hydroquinone, has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of chloasma. Combination products like Tri Luma are an inexpensive alternative to the more costly laser therapy and peels (often used as a last resort for melasma treatment) and offer less side effects as well (although skin irritation has been reported in users).

You can talk to your doctor about medications that you are currently taking if you have chloasma. It may be possible to change your dosage, medicine, brand or other variable in order to see if your symptoms improve. Your health care provider will advise you if it’s acceptable to modify or change your medication or hormone therapy to accommodate melasma treatment. You also should consider sunscreen anytime that you might be exposed to the sun. It has been shown that daily use of sunscreen or sunscreen containing products can stave off a case of chloasma.

If you find that medication consultation and change, creams and lotions are providing no relief from this hard to hide ailment, schedule an appointment with your health care provider. He or she may provide alternative treatment options including prescriptions and procedures that may be a more effective tool against your condition.