Pregnancy & Birth

Celebs share their battles with pregnancy pigmentation, melasma

It gets the best of us!

By Rebel Wylie
Sunrise host, Edwina Bartholomew has taken to Instagram to laugh over a problem that many pregnant women face, pigmentation aka melasma.
The 36-year-old, who is expecting her first child with husband, Neil Varcoe in December shared a selfie, captioned: "When you have so much pregnancy pigmentation it classifies as a tan."
Sunrise star, Edwina Bartholomew asks her followers for advice to treat the common pregnancy condition. (Image: Instagram/EdwinaBartholomew)

What is melasma?

Melasma is very common in women. According to the Australasian College of Dermatologist, melasma is a skin condition characterised by patchy areas of light brown, tan or even dark brown pigmentation.
Melasma can be caused by multiple factors such as sun exposure, hormonal changes like pregnancy in Edwina's case, or taking the oral contraceptive pill, and genetics can play a part too.
Melasma is challenging to treat, however, melasma associated with pregnancy has the best chance of improvement with pigment gradually fading over months. For those with severe melasma, medical-grade light and laser treatments have proven to be particularly successful in treating the discoloured skin.
Like Edwina, new mum Laura Byrne found that regnancy increased the pigmentation on her skin.
Taking to Instagram on Wednesday alongside an image of her face showing the melasma she still has since the birth of baby Marlie-Mae in June, Laura penned: "When I was pregnant I posted a fair bit about my melasma. I've always had pigmentation, but pregnancy really set that baby a light (the pigmentation I mean, not the baby … the baby was cooked just right) since having Marlie-Mae I've had so many mums message me to ask me how I got rid of it."Well, I didn't! I hadn't gotten around to giving an update on it - not because it had miraculously vanished, it just feels a lot less important now that Marlie-Mae is here in the world. I've made peace with the fact that these are the markings of making an incredible tiny human."
The Bachelor winner went on to give her fellow melasma suffers a little confidence boost.
"This is just a little reminder that most of the people you follow on Instagram don't actually have perfect skin, or perfect butts or perfect boobs that defy gravity. If you or someone you love has melasma - I just want you to know you look amazing girlfriend."
Gorgeous Laura Byrne shares an image of the melasma that she developed when pregnant with Marlie-Mae to let people know that it's normal and it's totally fine. (Image: Instagram/LauraByrne)
Edwina and Laura are not the first celebs to admit to battling melasma. New mum, Snezana Markoski revealed her battle just after becoming a mum to little Eve.
The then 37-year-old posted a makeup-free selfie which showed patches of brown, discoloured skin on her cheeks.
"Damn melasma!" she captioned the image.
Proving not too fussed by the condition, the mum-of-two joked, "Oooh well, at least I use less bronzer now."
Snez suffered from melasma too! (Image: Instagram/SnezanaWood)
Jenna Dewan, who is pregnant with her second child, her first with partner Steve Kazee, has also spoken out on Instagram about her experiences with the skin condition.
The Step Up actress found the confidence to post a selfie while wearing very little makeup after having her melasma treated.
"Sooo no reason selfie. But I do want to say I am shocked that I am able to go mostly makeup free now with no filters or retouching etc. Those who have had melasma know it's hard to manage," the mum-of-one captioned the pretty shot.

Treating pigmentation

Pigmentaion forms when melanin (what gives you a tan and freckles) is over-active and darkens in abstract patches.
During pregnancy, hormones can cause the production of melanin to go into overdrive.
Vitamin C is an effective way to treat hyperpigmentation, and works as an antioxidant to break down dark spots, increase cell turnover and help stop the creation of new dark melanin areas.
Once bub arrives, if you're still worried, you could consider laser treatment with a dermatologist. This is not suitable for all skin types and in some cases can make it worse, so your local shopping centre laser clinic is not the place for treating melasma.
WATCH NEXT: What is laser pigmentation removal?