The dark line on the belly is not a wide vertical stripe of brown. It goes from the pubis to the navel, sometimes continuing to the upper edge of the abdomen. The width of this line is not more than 1 cm. It is present on the body of a woman for about ¾ of the entire gestation period.
The appearance of this external skin change is associated with strong hormonal changes. This symptom is most pronounced in women with swarthy skin. It is associated with the active production of melanin.
When Does Linea Nigra Start in Pregnancy?
The appearance of a dark band is typical for the last weeks of the second trimester. It begins to appear gradually along with a jump in estrogen levels. They contribute to the increased production of melanin, which increases the pigmentation of the skin. The symptom appears less frequently in the first trimester. It occurs more often in women of Asian and African appearance.
The line will be lighter at first but gradually accumulates pigment.
EXACT WEEKS IT MAY HAPPEN
The vertical line along the abdomen becomes visible at the 24th week of pregnancy. It persists until birth. The intensity of the color will depend on the initial skin tone of the woman and her care. The line is very brightly visible in the third trimester – after the 27th week. The symptom persists until the 39th-40th weeks.
When will it end?
If linea nigra has appeared along the abdomen, then it will remain for the rest of the gestation period. This cosmetic defect disappears after the birth of the child. Sometimes this happens a few weeks after giving birth. Linea nigra in some cases persists for the first three months of breastfeeding.
How Does Linea Nigra Feel?
There are no unpleasant bodily sensations with the appearance of linea nigra along the abdomen. The woman simply notices that the skin is changing. Sometimes a little more vellus hair appears along the strip. The degree of manifestation of the symptom will depend on the characteristics and type of skin of the pregnant woman. The darker the pigmentation of the skin, the brighter the line along the abdomen.
The line in this form becomes dark brown. It is clear and wide enough. The strip will run from the pubis and stretch above the navel to the upper edge of the abdomen. The symptom persists up to several months after childbirth.
Linea nigra remains thin to a slight extent. It stretches from the pubis to the navel. The shade is light brown and subtle. This manifestation is typical for women with lighter pigmented skin.
The appearance of a dark line along the abdomen does not harm the mother and child in any way. This is a completely harmless cosmetic symptom.
It is impossible to completely avoid the appearance of linea nigra on the stomach, especially if it is inherent in genetics. Most likely the line will appear in the second trimester if ethnically your type of pigmentation is more swarthy. You can minimize the manifestation of this defect by simple methods of skin care. Ways to prevent increased pigmentation and the formation of linea nigra on the abdomen:
Take a folic acid course
It is best if you include foods rich in this acid in your diet long before pregnancy. Eat spinach, beans, asparagus, and greens at least 2-3 months before conception. Mandatory intake of folic acid is prescribed at the very beginning of pregnancy. Don’t ignore this appointment. Folic acid helps in the treatment of skin diseases and reduces the level of pigmentation.
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation on the skin has an extremely negative effect on its health. This causes aging, destruction of collagen, and increased pigmentation.
It is necessary to go through a long period of skin rehabilitation after each tanning course. Requires increased hydration and nutrition. Dryness of the skin increases with regular visits to the solarium. Such skin is more exposed to the external environment and hormonal changes during the gestation period.
Do not abuse scrubs
Exfoliation of the skin is the removal of the upper stratum corneum. The surface of the epidermis becomes as sensitive and thin as possible as a result. Frequent use of peels and scrubs thins the skin. It loses its protective properties and is more amenable to change. The tendency to pigmentation, dryness, flabbiness, and irritability are constant companions of the abuse of peels and scrubs.
Why Linea Nigra Occurs in Pregnancy?
The synthesis of most sex and female hormones increases during pregnancy. Increasing the production of estrogen affects the work of melanocytes. These are cells that produce melanin, a high molecular weight pigment. It can form focal spots on the skin in its most vulnerable areas during pregnancy.
A dark stripe along the abdomen is formed in the area of the so-called “white line”. This line separates the right and left rectus muscles. This area of the skin is filled with pigment and becomes darker and more saturated during the gestation period. The degree of brightness of linea nigra will depend on the woman’s color type and skin tone.
The appearance of linea nigra is also influenced by external factors: exposure to sunlight and improper care. Women with a deficiency in the body of vitamin B6, folic acid, and zinc are more susceptible to the symptom.
A dark line along the abdomen does not cause physical discomfort but may disturb a woman as a cosmetic defect. It is completely impossible to correct the appearance of this line of pregnancy because its causes are internal. There are some remedies. They will help reduce symptoms. The band will be lighter and less clear.
Prefer closed clothing during pregnancy. It should be wide shirts or T-shirts that cover the stomach completely. It is better to choose light shades, especially if you live in a sunny area. This will help reduce the effect of ultraviolet radiation on the skin and reduce the production of melanin.
Cream with high SPF protection
Apply this cream to vulnerable areas of the skin every time you go outside. The skin should be under a protective layer even if you do not plan to sunbathe. This will reduce pigmentation and help get rid of extra spots on the skin.
You can use bleaching agents if the appearance of a strip along the abdomen bothers you a lot. It can be creams, masks, solutions, or lotions. It is better to consult a doctor who is pregnant before using any cosmetics.
WHEN TO CONTACT A DOCTOR?
The appearance of linea nigra along the abdomen does not require medical intervention. This cosmetic symptom is painless and completely harmless to both the mother and the fetus.
You can consult a beautician if the band is very dark, wide, and uneven. Consult with a specialist when its presence gives you serious psychological discomfort or a decrease in self-esteem. He will select special skin care and help reduce the manifestation of the symptom.
What Not to Do
Do not introspect and predict the outcome of pregnancy when linea nigra appears on the stomach. Do not believe signs and superstitious people. A strip along the abdomen is just a symptom of pregnancy. Do not worry if it is not on your body at all, but all the pregnant women you know have it. Its appearance is determined by ethnic characteristics, skin type, and shade.
Do not use aggressive means
Forget about lasers, chemical peels, cryotherapy, mesotherapy, and other aggressive methods of dealing with pigmentation for the period of gestation.
Do not sunbathe
Direct sunlight is bad for the skin. They enhance pigmentation making it even more pronounced and not passing for a long time.
Do not consider this a disadvantage
linea nigra is a temporary symptom. It does not disfigure, does not disfigure, and does not change you from the inside. It’s a skin defect, not yours.