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What causes a pregnancy mask?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
A pregnancy mask or melasm is a darkening of the skin of the cheeks and forehead during the second half of pregnancy. It is a response to elevated levels of pregnancy hormones with promote increased pigmentation of the skin.  It usually fades after delivery.
Ben Kaminsky
Dermatologist (Skin Specialist)
While the exact cause of melasma is unknown, it is thought that pregnancy, oral contraceptives, cosmetics, genetics, sun exposure, and certain illnesses and medications all contribute to the pigmentary change in the skin. Blotchy hyperpigmentation can also be caused by acne, eczema, contact dermatitis and skin injuries, among other conditions.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.