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Hyperpigmentation After Childbirth

Nine months of pregnancy are nine months of roller-coaster hormone changes! A.C. Handel in 2014 states that about 40-50% of females have symmetric skin patterns on their cheeks, forehead, nose, etc. Asian, Indian and African American women are usually more prone to this due to melanocytes producing more pigmentation. When you are seeing such pigmentation on your face then you might have the condition called melasma.

What’s Melasma?

Melasma is a chronic skin condition, characterized by irregular brown spots symmetrically distributed on sun-exposed area of the body, mostly the facial skin. There are some known triggering factors such as sun exposure, pregnancy, hormones and inflammatory processes of the skin. Melasma is also referred to as the Pregnancy Mask but it is not only associated with pregnancy, and can affect women in all stages of life. 

I always recommend my clients see a dermatologist for diagnosis to confirm that darkened skin patches are indeed melasma, and to determine what is causing it in order to decide correct treatment programs (which can be topical creams or medical devices). In some countries, people like to use a high percentage of lightening creams, but many of these products are unsafe and can cause potential dangers to thyroid and kidneys. 

Treating Melasma

Hydroquinone is one of the topical creams approved by the FDA in North America but banned by some countries. From my own experience, 4% hydroquinone with retinol works best because it can penetrate deeply to the dermis area to control the melanocyte to produce the right amount of pigmentations. The safest way to use hydroquinone is to use for 26 weeks, then stop for 26 weeks. This will give the body time to flush out the toxins with metabolism without any accumulations. 

The next step in treating melasma is sun protection with physical sunscreen, not the chemical type, which can cause irritation and inflammation on some skin. A Q-switch laser combined with a charcoal mask is another successful solution to treat melasma. Q-switch lasers use long wavelengths and a very quick pause to break down the pigmentation, then push broken particle size pigmentations to the skin surface. Multiple sessions of treatments are necessary. Protect skin with antioxidants followed by moisturize to restore the lipid barrier of the skin to protect it from damage following treatment. 

Melasma is hard to treat. There is no overnight fix. Being patient and being consistent is key. Please feel free to email me @lseed@revitamedispa.com if you have any questions about skin conditions.

Remember- Relax, Regenerate, Revitalize.

Lily Seed Owner/Spa Director
Revita Medical Esthetics & Spa


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