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What is Chloasma and What to Do and Not Do if You Have it

Updated on September 18, 2015

Most people are concerned about their appearance. Well I guess that statement is debatable at times. Just go to the local fair and have a look. (Sorry, that was mean.) There are so many things that can make us all feel self-conscious and embarrassed when it comes to how we look. Some things we can change, significant others and saggy jeans, and other things we can’t change. For example, there just is no hope for ever changing my friggin’ huge feet and long toes. I should be able to run up a telephone poll with these things.

There are also some things that we can maybe change, but these things may be harder to change than other things. For example, someone with a weight problem. If a person is overweight and has the will power, they can clean up their diet and get on an exercise program and eventually lose weight. (Which I personally think is a great idea.)

Skin Conditions
One of the biggest concerns for many people about their appearance, outside of weight, is their skin. I mean, I know I’m pretty concerned about my skin. Skin conditions like acne, melasma, chloasma, stretch marks, scars (I have plenty of these.), senile lentigines, birth marks and even freckles can make many people feel uncomfortable in social situations like going out, dating, going to the company party and just every day life. – And that’s just no fun.

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Let’s Talk About Cholasma
One of the many skin conditions is called chloasma or “The mask of pregnancy.” (You just have to respect women for all they go through to bring us little people.) This is technically melasma and a condition that affects expectant mothers. – And it affects about 50 to 75% of them. So if you have this condition, you definitely are not alone. Chloasma affects pregnant women because of the steep increase in estrogen levels.

What Are The Symptoms
The symptoms of cholasma are dark, brown, splotchy patches on the forehead, the cheeks and other places on the face of women who are pregnant. Also, some women may notice that their “linea nigra” (The line that runs down their belly.) becomes darker and so do their areolas. This can be more of an issue for darker skinned African and Asian women. Women who have the condition may also notice that moles and freckles on their body become darker as well.

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What Should You Do if You Have Cholasma
If you have cholasma, one thing you want to do is to get a lot more folic acid in your diet. Eat foods like oranges, lentils, peas, green leafy vegetables and take a good prenatal vitamin. – And be consistent.

Sunlight can make this condition worse. For this reason you will also want to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or so all of the time, not just when you are outside as that beautiful sunshine we all know and love can still come through the windows.

When you do go outside, it’s a good idea to wear a wide brimmed hat to help cover your face. Heck, they are pretty trendy these days anyway. Also consider wearing some of those big ol’ Hollywood style sunglasses. – Of course, don’t act like anyone in Hollywood. That’s a condition in and of itself. I don’t think it can be fixed!

Don’t Do This If You Have Chloasma…
Okay, first and foremost, if you are an expectant mother, well then you are very aware that you are carrying mini-you in your belly. And that mini-you is the most important thing at the moment. – You want to keep it safe and protect it of course. So, do not try and treat chloasma with a skin peel, bleaches or anything that’s just too “chemically” (You probably know this already.) There are concealers on the market that you can use that are safe and work very well, but again, remember to look out for the little person in there.

Is This Stuff Forever Or What?
The good news about this condition is that it eventually goes away. Yep, all this discoloration and splotches leave town. - “The mask of pregnancy” does not last forever. It usually ends shortly after mini-you joins the family.

In the event that you still have skin discoloration after you have delivered your baby and/or after breast feeding, see your dermatologist for treatment options.

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