About 90 percent of pregnant women experience discoloration or darkening of skin in some areas of the body, which is medically referred to as hyperpigmentation. It may affect the skin on any part of the body, including face, tummy, nipples, underarms, thighs, and genitals. Hyperpigmentation that manifests on the face is more commonly known as melasma, while that on the tummy midline is called linea nigra.
Is It Possible to Prevent Hyperpigmentation?
Before looking for ways to prevent hyperpigmentation, it’s important to understand its causes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy increases the amount of melanin production in our body. Melanin is the natural component that gives color to our skin, hair, and eyes. Higher concentration of melanin causes darkening of skin in some areas of our body. Certain other factors like sun exposure, friction, and skin irritation further worsen the symptoms of hyperpigmentation. That’s the reason why you develop darker patches on armpits (due to friction) and face or forearms (due to sun exposure).
Since you have no control over hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, you cannot prevent hyperpigmentation altogether. However, you can definitely prevent its symptoms from getting worse by controlling other triggers like sun exposure and cosmetics that irritate your skin.
How to Treat Hyperpigmentation Safely and Effectively
Hyperpigmentation can continue until delivery, after which it should begin to subdue on its own. It may take up to a year for your skin to return to its normal color. In some cases, it’s also possible that some dark spots do not go away completely.
You may consider using a skin lightening cream to reduce such spots. However, make sure the cream you choose is safe for a nursing mother. It’s always advisable to consult a medical practitioner before beginning any treatment. To the extent possible, look for a cream with natural ingredients. Intilight skin lightening cream is one popular option for treating hyperpigmentation that occurs in pregnancy. It’s an all natural cream without any harmful chemicals, and it guarantees performance within 45 days of regular application.
Irrespective of the cream or any other treatment you decide to go for, it makes sense to wait until delivery rather than starting the treatment right during pregnancy. That’s because hyperpigmentation would be difficult to treat during pregnancy due to persistent hormonal changes in the body. Moreover, treatment during pregnancy can also have some impact on the developing baby. If you want to hide the dark spots, it would be safer to camouflage them using foundations and powders.