Linea nigra (black line) is commonly known as the pregnancy line which appears on the female belly during pregnancy. It is also shown that this line fades after a few months when the baby is born. Linea nigra without pregnancy is possible but may have gone unnoticed as it was light in color. During pregnancy, the color of the line may darken according to the skin tone from light to dark. 

Why does the Linea Nigra Appear Without Pregnancy?

Mostly the black line appears to those women who are pregnant but research shows that Linea Nigra also may appear to anybody like men, children and even unpregnant women too. This line is visible near the belly button. There are some of the factors through which this line appears without pregnancy. Linea nigra without pregnancy:

  1. Increase in estrogen level
  2. Linea nigra develops due to the increase in the melanin content of the skin from an increase in hormone level. This is most typical in pregnancy due to high levels of estrogen in the body. But, being on birth control that contains estrogen level can also increase the melanin content in the skin.
  3. Melanin may increase due to adrenal deficiency or failure, known as Addison’s Illness. This causes Linea Nigra and the darkening of the skin in other areas. If this happens, it needs to be checked and diagnosed to prevent complications.
  4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): If you are suffering from PCOS, it causes an increase in both the male hormones and estrogen level dominance in the body. However, if you develop a Linea nigra without any special causes, some hormonal tests might be required.
  5. Medications and environment: Those who consume birth control pills without being pregnant, certain medications and some health conditions may cause a change in hormone levels.

The dark line on the stomach- Is it a concern?

Linea nigra is not much of a concern. If it is due to Addison’s Illness or PCOS, regular treatment for these conditions will address the Linea nigra as well. If you are on birth control pills, then it shouldn’t be a concern at all. Discontinuing the medicine would automatically solve the problem. For most women, the dark line on the stomach is only a concern from the “cosmetic’ point of view. Melanin’s increase has no internal downfalls. It is only an external “blemish” that occurs on the surface of the skin. If you have linea nigra and can’t find any ways to reduce it, given below are some effective ways to reduce the dark line on the stomach and to reduce your worries as well!

Home Remedies for Treating Linea Nigra

It is also possible that the line may fade on its own. The color may become lighter or is not visible but it also has chances that it may appear from time to time depending on the changes in hormones. This line is not harmful but there are some amazing home treatments available to lighten the line. 

1. Cocoa Powder

It is essential to use the fully pressed unprocessed cocoa butter for better results. If you don’t find it, any good quality cocoa butter lotion can be an alternative. However, the former is more effective as it is unprocessed. The latter is a tad bit cheap and loaded with preservatives.

  • Procedure: Simply apply some cocoa butter (whichever you choose) on the affected area and massage it well for 5 minutes. Do this 3-4 times a day. You will see visible results in 15-20 days.

2. Vitamin E Oil

It is best to break open a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil directly in your affected area. You can also use the packaged vitamin E oil for this purpose.

  • Procedure: Apply the oil and massage it well for 5 minutes. Do this twice daily, for best results. In rare cases, if vitamin E oil isn’t available in the market, you can use any lotion which contains vitamin E oil. But, it isn’t an effective alternative. Always stick to the oil, if possible.

3. Sunscreen 

Due to sun exposure, there are chances that your skin will darken. Applying sunscreen helps you to protect the skin from sun exposure. 

  • Procedure: Take a few drops of sunscreen and apply it to the abdomen. This will also help to prevent other skin issues like skin cancer and skin burns.

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural skin lightener. But, it can sometimes cause irritation to the skin. Remember to do a patch test before. If your skin doesn’t develop any reaction- like skin rashes or intense itching, it is the best natural product for you. But, if you feel the reactions showing, it’s advised not to use it.

  • Procedure: Simply dab some lemon juice with a cotton ball onto your dark line. Do this once every day.

5. Alcohol

As pleasing as it sounds, alcohol is a natural skin lightener too. Hydrogen peroxide is usually used for such concerns. However, a patch test is mandatory. If reactions like skin irritation or itching occur, wash the area immediately with cold water. Avoid using it. But, if your skin is free from reactions after the patch test, apply a very little amount of it onto the affected area.

6. Eat right

  • Dark areas in the skin may be due to deficiency in folic acid. Eat right, avoid the junk!
  • Always include healthy food in your diet which is rich in folic acid, like-  whole grains, cereals, certain fish, green leafy vegetables.
Eat right
Eat right

7. Use makeup instead of bleach

Using bleach for the temporary treatment of the line is not a good option. Instead of using bleach use makeup to hide the visibility of the line. Sometimes bleach may cause skin problems like skin irritation and chemical burns. 

8. Reduce sun exposure

A regular day at the beach, but also worried about the linea nigra? We have a quick fix for you! Apply some sunscreen of SPF 15 at least on your whole belly area. Well, only the linea nigra needs to be protected, why cover up the whole belly? That is because, applying sunscreen only to that thin line will give you a sunburn on the rest of the belly, which will look worse.

9. Extrapone Nutgrass

It is an Ayurveda solution to get rid of age-related dark spots. It is used mostly in India and China for other treatments like treating wounds, preventing tooth decay, and resolving digestion problems. 

  • Procedure: Take a few leaves off it, and crush it using mortar. Mix a pinch of turmeric powder with it. Apply the paste to the affected area. Wash it after 10 minutes.

However, do not use it if you are pregnant! Following these remedies will effectively help you to reduce the appearance of the Linea nigra.