A professor of Fetomaternal medicine, Babagana Bako, has urged women whose skin darkened after pregnancy to embrace exercise to regain their skin colour after birth, noting that the darkening of the skin was due to hormones.
Bako, who is also an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, stated that engaging in exercise would help new mothers to quicken the process of regaining their once glowing skin.
He also urged new mothers to avoid using bleaching products in a quest to lighten their skin after birth.
According to Bako, these products may contain bleaching agents which are not good for the body.
Darkening of the skin during pregnancy is known as melasma. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ because it often appears on the face, especially the forehead, nose, and cheekbones, experts say.
According to a recent article titled: ‘Skin Darkening and Discoloration During Pregnancy’, published by Mom Loves Best – an online maternal care site, hormones are responsible for the darkening of the skin.
The article, however, noted that the particular hormone is still unknown.
“Some experts believe that melasma is caused by increased progesterone during pregnancy because it is fairly common in menopausal women who take progesterone supplements, others think it is the increased oestrogen levels that increase the production of melanin,” the article noted.
The writer noted further that melasma cannot be prevented because “you need the increased hormones that likely cause melasma to help your baby develop and grow.
“Because these hormones are essential for your baby’s development, there is nothing we can do to entirely prevent skin darkening during pregnancy.”
To avoid the melasma from getting worse, the article suggested that women should take their vitamins, use sunscreen protection, cover-up, avoid waxing, and use chemical-free and fragrance-free soaps and skincare products.”
Speaking further, Bako said, “What happens is that when a woman is pregnant, the skin gets stretched out so the stretching out of the skin along with some hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy encourages the skin to be a bit darker than normal.
“Now immediately after delivery, it cannot retract back to its previous size immediately. So, what the woman needs to get back to her normal pre-pregnancy colour is to exercise those parts so that gradually she’d regain the skin tone, once the skin tone is regained, the skin will revert to its normal pre-pregnancy state.”
The gynaecologist stated that due to variations in different human bodies, it may take varying lengths of time for a woman’s skin tone to return.