Ask the Experts

By Kristin Coverly and Mark Lees, PhD
[Ask the Experts]

Q. Do pregnant women benefit from massage and bodywork? If so, what type of work is appropriate?
A. Pregnancy massage can be incredibly beneficial for moms-to-be! This unique massage modality can help reduce general physical discomfort, as well as pain in targeted areas, such as the low back and hips. It also helps decrease anxiety and promote better sleep. During the session, your massage therapist will use specific techniques and body positions on the table—like lying on your side—to ensure your and your baby’s safety. When you’re ready to try this incredible form of bodywork, be sure to choose a qualified therapist with training in prenatal massage.

-Massage Therapist/Educator, Kristin Coverly, LMT

Q: What is hyperpigmentation, and how can I treat it?
A. In simplest terms, hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of melanin, and it’s often visible as blotchy dark spots and splotchy, uneven skin tone. Ultraviolet rays from sun exposure are the most common melanocyte stimulant and also the biggest contributor to hyperpigmentation issues. Hormones, inflammation, and skin injuries can also cause hyperpigmentation.
Signs of hyperpigmentation include liver spots, melasma (splotches that occur around the mouth and cheeks), mottling (speckling of darker color), and freckles.
Properly addressing hyperpigmentation depends on the cause and involves a carefully planned program of topical skin treatment and lifestyle adjustments, all of which can be crafted by a skin care professional. In addition to doing so, the following are staples of home-care treatment for hyperpigmentation: avoiding sun and heat sources; reducing sources of inflammation, including picking pimples; using broad-spectrum sunscreen every day; and using a daily chemoexfoliant such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).

-Skin Care Educator/Product Developer/Therapist/Author, Mark Lees, PhD, MS, CIDESCO