The Mask of Pregnancy
Troubled by unsightly dark patches marring your previously spotless complexion? Rampaging hormones cause skin cells called melanocytes to churn out more melanin (pigment).
Darkening appears on your face (known as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy), under your arms and on your thighs. You may develop the linea nigra (a dark vertical line running from your belly button to your pubic bone) around week 23. It is likely to be more pronounced if you have darker skin. Your freckles and moles may also look darker. Your areolae, too, would have become darker.
What you can do about it:
Load up on folic acid. Eat food containing folic acid like green vegetables, oranges and wholewheat bread. There’s some evidence skin discolourations are related to folic acid deficiency. Folic acid is also good for your baby.
Take your prenatal supplements which contain folic acid.
Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 and above when going out.
Conceal it. Use a concealer which is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic to hide the patches.
Stay away from peels, bleaches, lasers or chemical-based lighteners until after you’ve finished breastfeeding. Your skin should very likely be back to normal by then.