Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in a woman's body so don't worry if some of these changes are not familiar to you. Women go through the pregnancy experience differently so don't be scared to do your research and ask around. In this article, we talk about linea nigra.
Causes of linea nigra
The dark line that runs across your pregnant belly is called linea nigra, which is Latin for "black line." It has always been there before, but it was very light. As you go through your pregnancy, this line becomes more pronounced and noticeable.
You may attribute the darkening of the skin to the elevated production of estrogen and progesterone, which are hormones that help your baby grow. These same hormones trigger the melanocytes to make more melanin, which you know is responsible for making your skin darker. The result? Linea nigra.
Is linea nigra permanent?
We understand why you may worry about this line being permanent. Fortunately, for most women, it won't dash your dreams of donning a crop top or two-piece bathing suit again.
One thing you need to know is that you can't stop it from being darker while you are still pregnant. But it should naturally lighten over time for most ladies.
For some, this may mean three months after delivery. For others, it can be a year or even longer. Still, there may be others whose linea nigra will fade but not fully vanish.
How to manage it
For the most part, as long you stay away from the sun or put on sunscreen if you must be out under the sun for long periods of time, you'll be fine. But here are other ways you can manage your linea nigra.
- Check with your doctor to know your options.
- Slather some cocoa butter into the area to moisturize it.
- Make a homemade scrub with lemon, honey, and sugar, and leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse. Do this daily.
- Apply some olive oil or vitamin E-rich lotion.
Sunscreen is your friend
Pregnancy-safe sunscreen, that is. As you know, the sun can darken your linea nigra. So if you must stay out and be exposed to sunlight for some time, it's best to apply sunscreen. Remember to double-check that it's pregnancy-safe.
What makes it so? For one, it doesn't contain harmful chemicals like parabens and phthalates. Spray-on sunscreens are a no-no as well because you might accidentally inhale titanium oxide, a common sunscreen agent which was identified as a possible carcinogen.
Folic acid helps
Aside from protecting your baby from birth defects, folic acid helps your baby grow and develop in your womb. But did you know that it can also help address your linea nigra? It really is a pregnancy powerhouse.
Typically, folic acid is prescribed to those who are trying to conceive. But you can also take it while you're already pregnant.
There are several prenatal and pregnancy supplements that contain this vitamin. Find the best ones here.
Creams to use
Along with linea nigra, you'll probably see the appearance of stretch marks on your skin. In this case, it's best to use doctor-approved and pregnancy-safe stretch mark creams to give your skin some love.
It's important to stay moisturized while you're little one is growing inside you. Your skin literally stretches to accommodate your baby. Lotions and creams can help.
Along with other parts of your body, your skin also changes when you're pregnant. The linea nigra, the black line that runs across your tummy, is one of those noticeable pregnancy attributes.
With the use of sunscreen and pregnancy-safe moisturizers, you can manage linea nigra. And for most women, it should eventually fade months after delivery.
If you have further concerns, it's always best to check with your doctor. If you don't have one yet, check this list of the best gynaecologists in Singapore.