Chloasma, also known as melasma or “mask of pregnancy,” is a common skin condition characterized by brown or gray-brown patches on the face. It’s often hormonally triggered, which is why it frequently occurs during pregnancy. However, it can affect anyone and is more common in people with darker skin types.

Key Takeaways

  1. Chloasma, also known as melasma or the ‘mask of pregnancy’, is a skin condition that results in brown or gray-brown patches on the face, usually in pregnant women.
  2. The condition is often caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy, which stimulate an increase in melanin, resulting in dark splotchy spots on the forehead, upper cheeks, nose and chin.
  3. While the condition often fades after pregnancy, it is important to protect the skin from the sun, as UV rays can darken the patches. Certain treatments and remedies can also help to minimize chloasma.


Chloasma, often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” is a significant term in motherhood as it refers to the brownish or dark pigmentation that appears on the face or body of pregnant women.

It is caused mainly due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, which stimulates the body’s melanin cells to produce more pigment, hence resulting in Chloasma.

While it may cause some cosmetic discomfort, it’s vital to note that Chloasma isn’t harmful to the mother or the baby.

However, it’s recommended to avoid sun exposure as it can darken the pigmentation further.

This term is essential in the context of motherhood as it is one of the various changes a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy and being aware of it can help them in better preparing and managing their expectations during this period.


Chloasma, often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” is a condition predominantly affecting women, especially during motherhood. Due to the hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy, a woman’s body increases the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin, hair, and eye color.

Consequently, this increase in melanin may result in the formation of Chloasma – dark, blotchy, brownish patches on the skin, primarily on the face. The patches may be prominent on the forehead, upper lip, nose, and cheeks, areas that are generally exposed to sunlight.

The inconsistency in coloration can make the pigmented areas stand out, giving the appearance of a ‘mask.’The purpose behind the occurrence of Chloasma during pregnancy isn’t entirely known. While it poses no threat to the mother or the unborn child, it’s hypothesized that its primary function could be nature’s way of protecting the skin against ultraviolet (UV) light, which leads to skin cancer.

Essentially, the increase in pigmentation could potentially function as nature’s sunscreen, providing an additional layer of defense against the potentially detrimental effects of excessive UV exposure. Additionally, Chloasma is also seen as an indicator of healthy hormone levels during pregnancy, signifying normal physiological responses to the hormonal changes experienced during this period.

Examples of Chloasma

Chloasma, also known as melasma or “the mask of pregnancy,” is a common skin condition characterized by gray-brown patches, usually on the face. Here are three real-world examples related to motherhood:

Example One: A pregnant woman in her second trimester notices dark, irregular patches appearing on her forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. She visits her dermatologist who confirms that it’s chloasma, likely triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Example Two: After giving birth, a woman still has visible brown patches of chloasma on her face, which actually seemed to darken after delivery. Her doctor explains it may take several months for the hyperpigmentation to fade and may not entirely disappear. In the meantime, she is advised to wear sunscreen daily, as sunlight can trigger or worsen chloasma.

Example Three: A woman on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during her menopause suddenly observes patches of hyperpigmentation appearing on her chin and cheeks. She consults her doctor, who tells her that this phenomenon called chloasma can be triggered not just by pregnancy, but by hormonal changes in general, including those that may be associated with menopause or HRT. In this case, the woman modulates her HRT dose under doctor’s supervision and is advised on good skincare routine to manage chloasma.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chloasma

What is Chloasma?

Chloasma, also referred to as Melasma, is a common skin condition that results in brown or gray-brown patches on the face. It often occurs during pregnancy hence it’s sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy.”

What causes Chloasma?

Chloasma is caused by an increase in the melanin production in the skin, which is often induced by hormonal changes, sun exposure, and genetic predisposition.

Is Chloasma harmful?

No, Chloasma is not harmful. It does not cause any physical discomfort. However, it might affect one’s cosmetic appearance and potentially lead to emotional discomfort.

Can Chloasma be prevented?

While hormonal changes can’t be prevented, considering sun protection methods like wearing hats, sunglasses, using sunblock, etc., can help reduce the chances of developing Chloasma.

What are the available treatments for Chloasma?

Treatments for Chloasma include topical agents containing hydroquinone, corticosteroids, tretinoin, kojic acid, and azelaic acid. In some cases, laser therapy might also be an option.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Melanin production
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Pregnancy hormones
  • Sun exposure
  • Facial discoloration

Sources for More Information

  • WebMD: WebMD provides credible information, tools for managing health, and support to those who seek information about chloasma.
  • Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from their website go towards patient care, research, and medical education related to chloasma.
  • Healthline: Healthline provides clear, simple, medically accurate information to help understand chloasma better.
  • Medical News Today: Medical News Today provides the latest news from the global medical and health sector, along with comprehensive articles about chloasma.