Linea nigra (Latin for “black line”), often referred to as a pregnancy line, is a linear hyperpigmentation that commonly appears on the abdomen. The brownish streak is usually about a centimeter (0.4 in) in width.
The linea nigra is a dark, vertical line running down your belly. Also called the pregnancy line, it shows up in most pregnancies, but is more noticeable in women with dark skin or hair. The linea nigra appears because of high levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, which can make some areas of the skin look darker. After pregnancy, the line on the stomach will usually fade within a few weeks.
Linea nigra is a dark vertical line that appears on the belly during pregnancy. It can extend from the top of the belly to the pubic area, running through the center of the belly button, or the line can be shorter. Increased hormones present during pregnancy stimulate increased pigment production, causing this area to darken. After the baby is born, the line of linea nigra typically fades. Depending on your skin color, this may take up to a year after pregnancy.
Signs and Symptoms
The line of linea nigra is darker than the surrounding skin and approximately a centimeter in width. It can be quite dark or fairly light in color.
What is the linea nigra?
The linea nigra is a dark, vertical line on your belly that appears during pregnancy. Latin for “black line,” the linea nigra usually extends from your belly button down to your pubic area. In some women it also extends upwards from the belly button. Most pregnant women will develop one, but it’s a little less common or noticeable in women with fair skin. The linea nigra can also appear on newborn babies.
Why does the linea nigra appear?
The linea nigra’s appearance is related to higher-than-usual levels of hormones during pregnancy. Estrogen and melanocyte-stimulating hormone act on the cells that contain melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. It’s not well understood why these cells (called melanocytes) appear darker in some parts of the body and not others.
The linea nigra is just one of the ways that skin can change during pregnancy. Some women develop darker patches on their face called melasmaor “mask of pregnancy.” Often, other pigmented areas of skin get darker. You may notice this on your areolas (the area around the nipples); your labia majora (the folds of skin around the vagina); and where your skin creases, such as by your armpits and where your legs meet your torso.
When does the linea nigra appear?
As hormone levels rise, a noticeable linea nigra develops, usually by the middle of pregnancy. In fact, this line on your belly was always there but wasn’t visible. That line is called the linea alba (white line). When it darkens, the linea alba becomes the linea nigra.
Will I have a linea nigra in every pregnancy?
If you had a linea nigra in your first pregnancy, you’ll likely have it again in later pregnancies – but not always. It can appear sooner or later, look fainter or darker, or not appear at all. Experts don’t understand the reasons why it varies from one pregnancy to the next. Like pregnancy, the linea nigra can be unpredictable!
When will the linea nigra go away?
After your pregnancy, the linea nigra should fade over a few weeks to months, though in some women it may not disappear entirely.
If you still have a pregnancy line months later and want to treat it, skin whitening products might be an option (they’re not recommended during pregnancy). As always, check with your health care provider before using any over-the-counter products if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Most likely, the linea nigra will disappear after birth without you having to do anything, or even think about it.
Can I avoid getting a pregnancy line on my stomach?
No, since it’s connected to hormone levels, the pregnancy line isn’t something you can avoid. But you can take steps to minimize melasma, and these may help minimize the linea nigra as well:-
Don’t wax. Using wax to remove hair can cause skin inflammation that worsens melasma, especially in areas of your body that are affected by pigmentation changes.
Use hypoallergenic skin care products. Cleansers and face creams that irritate your skin may make melasma worse.
Use sun protection. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays intensifies pigment changes. Use a broad-spectrum sunblock (a formula that protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with SPF 30 or higher every day, even when it’s not sunny, and reapply often during the day if you’re outside. This is true even if you have dark skin. Although dark skin has more melanin (pigment) than lighter skin and doesn’t sunburn as quickly, it’s not enough to protect you from harmful UV radiation.
Why do I have a vertical line on my stomach –
A dark, vertical line on your stomach is called a linea nigra. A linea nigra is very common for pregnant people. It’s less common but does develop in men, nonpregnant women, and even children. A linea nigra isn’t harmful.
why do i have a line on my stomach if i’m not pregnant –
It’s likely caused by shifts in hormones. The increase in hormones causes melanin-producing cells in the skin to produce more pigment. Because the linea alba is always present (it’s just too light to be seen), the increased pigment makes the line very obvious. For most people, the line will disappear on its own.
When does pregnancy line disappear?
When does the linea nigra go away? The linea nigra should gradually fade all on its own a few months after your baby is born. In the meantime, try to embrace it as just one more thing that makes your growing bump beautiful.
Does everyone get the pregnancy line?
Who Can Get Linea Nigra?
Anyone can develop a dark line down their belly, although women with fair skin are less likely to have it than women with darker complexions. Women with fair skin who develop linea nigra may experience development a comparatively lighter color than women with darker skin.
Line under belly button not pregnant
A linea nigra isn’t harmful. It’s likely caused by shifts in hormones. The increase in hormones causes melanin-producing cells in the skin to produce more pigment. Because the linea alba is always present (it’s just too light to be seen), the increased pigment makes the line very obvious.
No treatment is needed. The line should slowly fade after the baby is born. However, sun exposure can cause it to become darker or take longer to go away, so use a sunblock (at least SPF 15) or keep your belly covered.
Why does the linea nigra appear as a line instead of a patch?
Even before pregnancy, there is a white vertical line on the middle of our abdomen, albeit visible in various degrees. This is known as the linea alba. It is the linea alba that becomes pigmented during pregnancy and forms the linea nigra.
I hope that you liked this article.