Discoloration During Pregnancy

Using sunscreen every day when you're pregnant can help prevent melasma, a skin condition that is believed to be caused by either hormonal changes or sun exposure. Resulting in dark patches on the upper cheeks, nose, lips and forehead, melasma commonly occurs in women with light- to dark-brown skin and dark eyes.

A physical sunblock with SPF 30 or higher should be used every day to shield your skin from cancer-causing UV rays and help protect against melasma. You may also want to avoid products that contain soy, since it may exacerbate the problem.

Although melasma can persist for many years, it can be successfully treated post-pregnancy with topical bleaching agents, laser or plasma skin regeneration.

Hydroquinone, the most common bleaching agent prescribed by doctors and found in some over-the-counter products, should not be used during pregnancy since studies have not been conducted on the effects of its use on pregnant women. As an alternative, try vitamin C creams, as well as glycolic and kojic acids, which are safe treatment options during pregnancy, especially for melasma.