by Erica Tempesta
view feature on DailyMail.co.uk
Ginger Zee always look impeccable when she is on Good Morning America, but the meteorologist has revealed her post-pregnancy struggle with melasma, a condition that causes blotchy, dark patches on the face.
The 36-year-old happily removed her make-up on air Tuesday morning to show off her progress after working with dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe for three months to treat the nearly impossible to cure condition.
During the segment, Ginger shared before and after pictures of her cheeks and forehead, which had brown patches that were darker than the rest of her skin.
The ABC News chief meteorologist explained that when viewers saw her on GMA her face was ‘fully spackled with make-up’, but underneath she was hiding her discolored skin.
Ginger went on to say that melasma is a condition that can effect up to 70 per cent of pregnant women, noting that the blotchy dark patches are ‘triggered by hormones’.
The mother-of-one, who gave birth to her son Adrian on December 19, 2015, realized her complexion was no longer even after she welcomed her little boy into the world. After one of Dr. Bowe’s appearances on GMA, Ginger got her contact information in the hopes of getting her pre-baby complexion back.
WHAT IS MELASMA?
Melasma is a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face.
Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip. It also can appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.
One of the most common treatments for melasma is sun protection. This means wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying the sunscreen every two hours. Dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside. Sunscreen alone may not give you the protection you need.
Women are far more likely than men to get melasma. It is so common during pregnancy that some people call it the mask of pregnancy. Hormones seem to trigger melasma.
‘I thought I was going to have to come in here and get laser, but that is not true,’ Ginger said during one of her filmed sessions with the dermatologist.
However, Dr. Bowe noted that the ‘heat and light from lasers can make melasma worse’.
‘It’s almost impossible to cure it,’ she admitted. ‘We can make it dramatically better, but it’s going to take time.’
The doctor scanned Ginger’s face using a Visia complexion analysis machine to see what was going on deep below the surface, and she pointed out that one of the patches was ‘going to be pretty stubborn to treat’.
Dr. Bowe started Ginger off with a gentle chemical peel, and the TV star was told to amp up her sun protection.
‘My daily routine included my new best friend — sunscreen,’ Ginger said. ‘Even though it is cloudy, I gotta use 60-plus.’
Ginger had to mix her sunscreen with an antioxidant serum in the morning, and she made it a point to cover up with a hat and sunglasses whenever she went out in the sun.
Dr. Bowe also created a ‘melasma emulsion’ containing hydroquinone, kojic acid, tretinoin, and hydrocortisone, which Ginger was to apply on only her dark spots at night.
Ginger said that after three months and a few more office visits, she was on her way to ‘healthier looking skin’.
‘I truly feel comfortable, and it is a really nice feeling because I think a lot of folks feel this way,’ she said, admitting to Robin Roberts that she never would have taken her make-up off on television six months ago.
Ginger also blogged about her journey with melasma, writing: ‘The day I looked in the mirror and saw a mask over my face, that was the day I said, enough is enough.
‘My skin was brown in patches and bright white in others. It looked much different than it had before I had the baby.’
She went on to say that the best part of the story is that you don’t have to spend a fortune treating the condition.
‘There are natural ingredients to look for like licorice, vitamin C, kojic acid and soy that can help reduce melasma,’ Ginger explained.