When Does the Linea Alba Disappear?

The linea alba is a benign and self-limited manifestation of a pregnant women's skin. We'll tell you everything you need to know about it!
When Does the Linea Alba Disappear?

Last update: 20 February, 2022

During pregnancy, different changes occur in a woman’s body, among which is the abdominal linea alba. Although it’s not a manifestation that produces major concern, many moms have doubts about the time of its disappearance. That’s why today, we’re going to tell you a little more about it. Will you join us?

Why does the linea alba appear?

The skin, like the rest of the pregnant woman’s body, undergoes changes during pregnancy. In fact, this tissue must stretch quite a lot in order to conform to the growing abdomen and breasts. It can even change color in certain areas.

The most common skin change that occurs during pregnancy is hyperpigmentation, which occurs in 85% of pregnant women, according to a study published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology.

Pregnancy hormones, such as progesterone and estrogens, are responsible for these changes. Both act on the skin’s pigment cells (melanocytes) and stimulate them to produce more melanin.

In general, women notice dark spots that develop on the face (called melasma) more than those located on other parts of the body, such as the abdomen and areolas. Even scars, freckles, and birthmarks also tend to darken.

A woman with a linea alba on her pregnant belly.

When does the linea alba appear?

The second trimester of pregnancy is characterized by a considerable increase in the size of the belly, which also develops a hyperpigmented line that runs from the navel to the pubis: The famous linea alba.

In some women, hairs may appear on this spot, which is why the American Pregnancy Association calls it the “linea nigra”. In general, darker skins develop it more intensely.

But pregnancy isn’t the only cause linked to the appearance of the linea alba. The following conditions can also promote its appearance:

  • The taking of contraceptive drugs
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Adrenal insufficiency or failure

What precautions should be taken with the linea alba?

No measures or treatments are required to be put into practice with this skin blemish, as it’s not harmful to either the baby or the mother. Moreover, it can’t be eliminated with any method because it has to do with hormonal changes.

After the baby’s born, the hyperpigmented regions begin to disappear. However, in some women, it may take a long time. When the linea alba persists after pregnancy, it may produce discomfort and insecurity in women, which justifies the use of whitening creams to accelerate the process.

Here, we’ll tell you how to take care of this part of your body.

Adequate sun protection

In case of sun exposure, it’s best to use a sunscreen with a UV filter greater than 30 that is broad-spectrum and water-resistant.

You should know that the sun’s rays can further stimulate skin pigmentation or slow the disappearance of the linea alba after pregnancy.

So, sunscreen is essential to avoid further sun damage. In fact, a study by the Indian Journal of Dermatology concluded that daily use of this product could be a good treatment for hyperpigmentation.

Daily moisturizing

Moisturizing your skin is essential in order to keep it healthy and able to cope with all the changes that occur during pregnancy.

Therefore, you should take care of your diet, hydration, and adopt the habit of using moisturizing creams every day. The most recommended products for this stage are those with a high content of vitamin A, vitamin E, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, and urea.

Other ways to moisturize the skin include essential oils, such as rosehip oil. These preparations are also excellent antioxidants and provide better care for the dermis.

A pregnant woman applying lotion on her belly.

Linea alba is only a temporary condition

Linea alba is nothing to worry about, as it’s a response to the natural changes of pregnancy. In general, it usually fades spontaneously once the breastfeeding period is over when hormones begin to normalize.

The most important thing is to maintain proper hydration, a varied and complete diet, and daily moisturizing of the skin. This way, you’ll achieve a glowing and healthy abdomen.

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  • Motosko, Catherine C et al. “Physiologic changes of pregnancy: A review of the literature.” International journal of women’s dermatology vol. 3,4 219-224. 21 Oct. 2017, doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2017.09.003
  • Bieber AK, Martires KJ, Stein JA, Grant-Kels JM, Driscoll MS, Pomeranz MK. Pigmentation and Pregnancy: Knowing What Is Normal. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Jan;129(1):168-173. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001806. PMID: 27926637.