If you’re preggers and suddenly noticing odd splotches of brown on your skin, you’re not alone; approximately 50 to 75 percent of all mums-to-be are afflicted by this hormone-induced hyper-pigmentation, and as annoying as it may be, it’s not a cause for concern.
Sometimes referred to as chloasma faciei, melasma manifests as irregular patches of discolouration on the forehead, cheeks, nose or lips. It’s harmless, and is simply an indicator of spiking oestrogen levels (as if being pregnant wasn’t proof enough). And that equally not-so-glamorous vertical line down your belly, also known as linea nigra? Same thing–melasma.
Thankfully, the condition doesn’t stick with you long; it almost always disappears promptly postpartum, or once you stop breastfeeding. In the interim, avoid sun exposure, increase your folic acid intake (studies show melasma might occur as a result of folate deficiency), and invest in a good concealer–or grow some bangs.
Alternatively, learn to embrace it. If you’re lucky enough, the pigmentation may be concentrated in an ostensibly deliberate way, and you’ll simply look like you’ve splashed out on permanent lip liner. However, if you’re not so lucky (like me), the liner will look like your three year old kid drew it.
Just hand over the concealer, already.