Another Weird Pregnancy Side Effect
What is Chloasma
You may have noticed a weird discoloration or dark spots on your face since you became pregnant. What gives? In addition to other weird and unpleasant pregnancy side effects, this is condition, called Chloasma, is a result of the pregnancy hormones progesterone and estrogen effecting a change in the melanin cells in the skin.
The spots typically form on the cheeks or around the eyes much like a mask, which is obviously where it obtained its nickname, the mask of pregnancy. (Too bad it doesn't come with a superhero cape!)
While there is little you can do about how your pregnancy hormones will effect your body, you can try to prevent it (or not allow it to worsen) by staying out of the sun as much as possible and applying a high-SPF sunscreen daily.
You're not alone
If you are bummed about your new look, at least you are not alone! According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 75 percent of pregnant women experience some degree of melasma, which is basically what the condition is called when not referring to pregnant women. Melasma is also a result of sun damage.
What to do about it
Unfortunately, beyond avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen, you might just have to wait out the condition. There is good news: The mask of pregnancy disappears entirely for most women shortly after they give birth and their hormones return to normal.