Maternal Resources

New Research Helps Diagnose Skin Problems in Pregnancy

There are many physical changes that occur during pregnancy that medical professionals and researchers are always trying to learn more about. Most recently, researchers at Boston Medical Center(BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have discovered that black light can be an essential tool in diagnosing Melasma.

What is Melasma?

Known as the “mask of pregnancy,” Melasma is a common skin condition that women experience during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, which causes patches of discoloration typically on areas of the face. While cheeks and forehead are the most common locations, patches may also appear on other places subject to sun exposure like the arms or neck. Melasma is typically treated with topical creams, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and sun protection. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, the brown or gray spots will continue to darken over time.

Why black light?

Using black light allows doctors to detect changes in skin color much sooner and easier than with just the naked eye. Unlike natural light, the problem areas appear to shine under black light, making it possible to better diagnose and assess the condition. While black light was already considered a potential aid in identifying Melasma, the BMC/BUSM study, which was published in August’s edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, is the first to find a significant quantitative difference between the use of natural light and black light in Melasma diagnosis.

At Mindful Midwifery, we are always up-to-date on the most recent research in order to best serve our patients. If you are looking for the perfect place to guide you and your family through your pregnancy, contact us today!