PIG­MEN­TA­TION The mask of preg­nancy

Your Pregnancy - - Features -

UN­FOR­TU­NATELY THERE IS no way of pre­vent­ing this from form­ing (it oc­curs in as much as 75 per­cent of preg­nan­cies) and nu­mer­ous top­i­cal treat­ments con­tain in­gre­di­ents that are con­traindi­cated dur­ing preg­nancy. “Sun­screen is still the best top­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tion for re­duc­ing the ef­fects of pig­ment for­ma­tion and if pos­si­ble sun avoid­ance should be prac­tised as much as pos­si­ble,” says Dr Alek Nikolic, founder of Sk­inMiles.com. “It is pri­mar­ily caused by hor­monal changes, which have a di­rect ef­fect in in­creas­ing melanin (pig­ment) pro­duc­tion in the skin.” Pre­vi­ous sun dam­age (all those years hang­ing at the beach!) also be­comes more vis­i­ble due to the in­creased melanin pro­duc­tion. “Oc­ca­sion­ally we see ex­ces­sive new pro­duc­tion lead­ing to melasma (chloasma gravi­darum, or mask of preg­nancy). Melasma is char­ac­terised by large patches of pig­ment in the skin usu­ally in a sym­met­ri­cal pat­tern and can be seen on the cheeks, up­per lip, and fore­head and even on the neck and chest. Melasma looks like brown, tan, or blue-grey ar­eas on the face and can be di­vided into three lo­ca­tion pat­terns,” ex­plains Dr Nikolic. “This is a very dif­fi­cult form of hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion to treat, but it may lighten or dis­ap­pear once the preg­nancy is over. Other treat­ment modal­i­ties such as medium and deep chem­i­cal peels, lasers, and so on can only be per­formed once breast­feed­ing has stopped,” he says.

Palmer’s Co­coa But­ter For­mula Skin Ther­apy Oil, R69.95, is a mul­ti­pur­pose light­weight body oil that im­proves the ap­pear­ance of scars, stretch marks, dam­aged skin and un­even skin tone.

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