During pregnancy or after repeated overexposure to the sun, some women and men may develop melasma. This is the appearance of brown spots on the epidermis of the face. We use the term ‘pregnancy mask’ when a woman is pregnant and melasma appears. It is possible to treat these blemishs using aesthetic medicine.
Pregnancy mask and melasma: a definition
After exposure to the sun, brown spots may appear on the forehead, chin, bridge of the nose and cheeks. The spots take the form of a mask, hence the name ‘pregnancy mask’ or chloasma.
But sometimes this happens even if the person is not pregnant. For men and women who develop these brown spots on the epidermis of the face, specialists use the term ‘melasma’.
There are different types of melasma:
- Epidermal melasma: mainly affects the upper part of the skin. The blemishes are brown in colour.
- Dermal melasma: affects the dermis, in other words the deepest part of the skin. These spots are more bluish.
- Mixed melasma: more difficult to treat, affects both the dermis and the epidermis of the skin. The spots are brown and grey.
Melasma often appears in people with dark skin who are often exposed to the sun. These brown spots are often unsightly. The skin on the face becomes brown, is sometimes puffy and marks the pores on the face even more.
Pregnancy mask and melasma: causes
Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation. In this way, the skin produces a very large amount of skin pigment, called melanin.
The first cause of the appearance of melasma is overexposure to the sun. With UV rays, melanocytes are stimulated and produce a high dose of melanin. The genetic capital of each person’s skin also plays a major role in the development of these brown spots. Dark and olive skin tones are quite prone to melasma.
The second cause of the appearance of chloasma is hormonal. When a woman is pregnant, hormonal changes make the skin much more photosensitive, which stimulates the production of pigment on the epidermis. Changes to contraception may also be at the root of this condition.
Other than being an aesthetic inconvenience, the pregnancy mask or melasma remains a benign condition.
Pregnancy mask and melasma: treatments
Nowadays there are aesthetic medicine treatments to eliminate melasma and pregnancy masks.
It is possible for patients affected by melasma to use skin peels. This consists of removing the first layer of the epidermis. By removing the superficial part, all the skin cells, including the pigments, disappear. Afterwards, the patient has a smooth and even skin once again.
To treat melasma, it is possible to use laser or pulsed light. This method consists of burning the skin pigment. When in contact with the light beam, the pigment burns and is eliminated. A few days after treatment, the patient can already see a decrease in brown spots.
These treatments are always carried out under the supervision of a dermatologist.
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