Of pre-natal dark patches and melasma

My second son is 17 years old now. So, he is as tall as I am. The other day, both of us where standing in front of the mirror and suddenly, he shrieked, “MA! You got dark patches.

I retorted back, “It is YOUR fault, ok? And all of your brothers. Everytime I get pregnant, I sure get all those splotches and dark patches on neck. But thank goodness my face doesn’t get the butterfly mask.”

Sigh….it has been years and the darker tone on my neck, where the neck join to the shoulder still has some dark lines. It used to be very unsightly when I was pregnant. During the first two pregnancies, I was so annoyed with them, I rubbed till the skin became raw. Subsequently, I sort of give up and live with a dirty, brownish neck.

Some women are not as lucky and get these darks patches on their faces. I have seen some whose face has the butterfly mask and the whole area of the face turned into a dirty, brownish tone. (What I mean by butterfly mask is that there are symmetrical patches on the face) According to wikipedia, these dark patches on the face are called melasma and it is caused by hormones changes during pregnancies. The increased melanin production makes the skin exposed to the sun darker.


The other scary thing about melasma is they can appear during menopause too. Now, that got me worried because I do not want to end up with dark patches when I hit the 50s! So, to prevent that, I did a little bit of research and found that melasma is associated with hormonal changes during pregnancies, when taking oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy or HRT. Although the dark patches on my neck are not melasma, I am not taking any chances. Better to find out more than to end up with ugly dark patches on my face!

Note that I am not talking about the random dark spots which can be easily managed. Melasma is not something you can use a bit of cream to hide or whiten it. From what I gathered, it needs expert clinical consultation. There is also no complete cure for it except long term maintenance treatment and also staying out of the sun.

I am going to have to deal with driving my little boy to kindie and back for many more months. I guess I better get more acquainted with all these dark spots. I have invested a lot in protecting my skin for many decades so I think I mustn’t stop or else I may wake up one day and not recognize myself.

It is very important to wake up, see the mirror and make sure I like the self that looks back at me, you know? Otherwise, I will have to ban the use of mirror all over the kingdom.

So, mommies to be, make sure you know what to do during your pre-natal period to prevent getting darkened patches on your skin. You don’t want your 17 years old daughter or son to scream, “Ma….your face looks ugly.”

To find out more about how to treat melasma… look out for my next post! I better get to my reading and research now…

8 thoughts on “Of pre-natal dark patches and melasma

  1. Thank God i have no no dark patches whatsoever..but i might not be sooo lucky in the future…who knows, in third pregnancy, whole body also have melasma..
    So you better do research and tell us, how to prevent it from happening!!! Heheee Save all the women from having ugly splotches on their face!!
    Wonering..men cannot have the patches meh???

    kaDusMama´s last blog post..The Dentist, The Crab and a Dating Site story..

  2. lol ur so much luckier than me. I hve dem on my arms and body but funny thing was none on my legs which r hairy as amazon jungle…sigh…watado? I wear my “marks” proudly now heehee

  3. Lilian, genetics and lifestyle have a role too.Have a look at your mom. I believe how she ages will indicate your future too. But of course we can take the necessary precautions like limiting exposure to sun,applying sunscreen, drink a good amount of water and healthy soup, a positive and healthy attitude, etc..

    I have a friend in her forties (she looks like 30)who have 3 grown-up children and she never had any stretch marks or dark spots/patches. Her tummy is as smooth as a baby’s.Mine is like a road map! Hahaha but I wear my battle scars proudly.No need for all the creams for these marks. I don’t think they work.The damaged’s done.You cannot fight the hormones.

    Anyway what I do(and it worked for me)is to shy away from the sun… I am the putri lilin type.. no sun and surf holidays for me. I want to preserve what I have now and hope I would look the same (more or less) in the next 20 years.I cannot turn back the clock and hope to look 30 but I think it’s more possible to work on preserving what I have.So far I believe I have succeeded.People guess that I am at least 10 years younger than my biological age.Of course, proper dressing and a good haircut can do wonders!And ladies, just a gentle reminder… posture, posture, posture!

    I believe I am lucky. I had a mother who looked younger than her age till she passed away at 70+. Still I will do my part and hope to age gracefully like my mom.

  4. I hope Momo is right, genetics and lifestyle have a role too. My mom is 70+ but she looks at least 15-20 years younger than her age. My maternal grandma is 90+ already but her complexion is clear and glowing. So far I have been very lucky too. After two childbirths, my tummy is still as flat and as flawless as before giving birth. There is no whatsoever stretch marks or dark spots at all. I did not apply any cream or oil during pregnancy. Guess my skin is very elastic kuah…….

  5. Thanks for this, so educational. I never have thought this black patches were caused by hormone – always assumed it is like the “que-ban” or my mom always call it – “old man marks”. Didn’t know it can be prevented. Man also can get, right?

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