Pregnancy Mask

Brownish blotches on the skin around your eyes, nose, and cheeks are so common in pregnancy, they're nicknamed "pregnancy mask." They're also called chloasma or melasma. You're more likely to get these marks if you have a dark complexion. They appear when hormonal changes during pregnancy increase your body's production of melanin, brownish skin pigment. Being in the sun makes the blotches worse. You don't need to treat them because they're harmless. They will likely fade within a few months after your baby is born.

Call Doctor If:

  • If you notice a new black spot or mole, or one that is changing rapidly. You should be checked for skin cancer.
  • You have pain, tenderness, redness, or bleeding with skin color changes.

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Wear a sunscreen and a wide-brim hat every day. Pick a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of 30 or more. Apply it 20 minutes before you go in the sun and reapply every 2 hours, more if swimming or sweating.
  • Limit sun time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Use gentle face cleansers and creams to avoid irritating your skin, which can make chloasma worse.
  • Use makeup with yellow or white undertones to cover up the patches if they bother you.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on July 16, 2014

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "FAQ: Skin Conditions During Pregnancy."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Melasma."

Melasma Association: "Pregnancy and Melasma."

FDA

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