The 'mask of pregnancy' is another name for melasma, a condition characterized by dark pigmentation in the skin. It is usually brown or tan in color and may appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose and other areas on the face. In some cases it may appear on the forearms or on the neck. Most cases of melasma fade on their own, although some patients notice that melasma persists long after giving birth or stopping birth control pills.

Medication for Melasma

Creams with the active ingredient hydroquinone are usually used as an initial treatment for melasma that does not fade on its own. If over-the-counter products do not work, dermatologist may prescribe a stronger medication that may have other active ingredients instead of, or in addition to, hydroquinone. Consult your doctor before using any medication.

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure designed to produce a controlled damage to the skin. Various chemical solutions are used depending on the depth and degree of damage desired. Chemical peels may be very superficial and affect only the top layer of skin, or may affect other layers of skin down to the dermis. Talk to a skincare professional to learn more about chemical peels and to determine what type of peel is right for you.

Laser Resurfacing

Like chemical peels, laser resurfacing also produces a controlled damage to the skin. Only in this case, laser energy is used instead of chemicals. Laser resurfacing procedures may be ablative or non-ablative. Ablative laser therapy is more severe and may affect the epidermis, while non-ablative therapy is less severe and may affect only deeper layers of skin.

Microdermabrasion

This is a procedure that utilizes a rotary tool and abrasive brush to produce controlled damage to the skin. It is very minimally invasive and does not require any recovery time. Before any procedure, patients should discuss its benefits with a skincare professional. They should also discuss price, recovery time, down time and whether repeat treatments are necessary. Patients should also make sure that the skincare professional is certified to provide treatment and is well-trained. To learn more about these and other treatments, consult a skincare professional at a reputable clinic in the area.