Everything You Need to Know About Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ
Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ is a ᴅᴀʀᴋ line stretching from the top of the ᴘᴜʙɪᴄ hair to the ʙᴇʟʟʏ ʙᴜᴛᴛᴏɴ, although it sometimes extends to the ʙʀᴇᴀsᴛ. It’s totally normal while expecting, and it lingers after you give birth. We tapped into our experts to fill you in on this common ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ, with tips for getting ʀɪᴅ ᴏF it.
The Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ is the result of fluctuating ʜᴏʀᴍᴏɴᴇs during pregnancy. One theory is that the ʜᴏʀᴍᴏɴᴇs cause your body to produce larger amount of ᴍᴇʟᴀɴɪɴ, and this extra ᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ shows up as a ᴅᴀʀᴋ pregnancy line on your stomach. Women of all ᴅɪFFᴇʀᴇɴᴛ skin colors are affected, although Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ can be more pronounced in women with fair skin.
Is Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ Dᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs?
No, this pregnant belly line isn’t Dᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs, although its appearance may be disconcerting. In fact, up to 75 percent of women will experience this hormone-induced ᴅᴀʀᴋening of the skin during pregnancy. “It’s considered cosmetic and nothing that is worrisome,” says Dr. Tollefson.
When Does Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ Go Away?
Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ typically resolves on its own within a few months of delivery, so many experts advise not ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ it — especially during pregnancy or if you are ʙʀᴇᴀsᴛfeeding. “Stay away from ʙʟᴇᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ ᴄʀᴇᴀᴍs, as they often ᴄᴏɴᴛᴀɪɴ ʜʏᴅʀᴏǫᴜɪɴᴏɴᴇ, which has not been proven safe to use if you are pregnant or nursing,” says Vaneeta Sheth, M.D., an associate physician and instructor in dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
When Does Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ Appear?
According to OB-GYN Michelle Tollefson, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of health professions, integrative therapies program at Metropolitan State College of Denver, Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ often appears in the second trimester and ᴘᴇʀsɪsᴛs ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜᴏᴜᴛ pregnancy. Typically about one centimeter in width, the line usually starts at the ᴘᴜʙɪᴄ ʙᴏɴᴇ and continues up to the ʙᴇʟʟʏ ʙᴜᴛᴛᴏɴ, though it can extend to just below the ʙʀᴇᴀsᴛ in some ᴄᴀsᴇs.
How to Get Ʀɪᴅ ᴏF Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ
If you really want to get ʀɪᴅ ᴏF Lɪɴᴇᴀ Nɪɢʀᴀ, Dr. Sheth says you may use ʙʟᴇᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ ᴄʀᴇᴀᴍs after delivery if you’re Fᴏʀᴍᴜʟᴀ-Fᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ, or you could try a fade cream or topical retinol. If you want a natural approach, try applying a little lemon juice to your skin. “Some women say the acids help fade hyperᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ,” Dr. Sheth says.
To minimize the discoloration, you should also keep your belly covered when you head to the beach, and don’t use tanning beds . But rest assured that after your baby is born the line will disappear eventually!