While it might not make you feel any better, you are in good company, as up to 75% of pregnant women will have some complaints of melasma. What will make you feel better is that, for most women who have been pregnant, the condition will resolve by itself within a year of cessation of the pregnancy. If you're looking for an immediate effect, there are over the counter creams and lotions that can be purchased and attempted without even having to see a doctor
. A key to any and all therapy for melasma is the use of broad spectrum sun screen at the same time as the other medications. Among the more common and successful remedies is over the counter hydroquinone or azelaic acid, both of which work by slowing the production of pigment in the melanocytes, or pigmented cells of the skin. Stronger preparations of hydroquinone can be obtained from your doctor if the over the counter type is not working appropriately. If these are not giving you the results you would like, there are other options that can be obtained by visiting a dermatologist
or other doctor who can offer skin peels or similar products that can improve the appearance of these hyperpigmented areas.
Take home message: melasma will probably get better by itself within a year, but there are over the counter remedies available. Visiting your doctor might speed up the process, and is always a good idea. And, finally, use a strong, broad spectrum sunscreen with any treatment option you choose.