An ill-fitting bra with straps that are too tight is not only uncomfortable, it can also leave unattractive dark strap lines. The straps dig into your skin, traumatizing the tissue and causing hyperpigmentation on the shoulders. Eek! But there are ways to prevent and fade these dark lines.

Things You'll Need

Go for a bra fitting to immediately eliminate the cause of the dark lines. A professional can properly fit you for a bra that provides adequate support with straps that don’t cut into your skin.

Exfoliate your shoulders daily. Exfoliating removes the old cells from the skin’s surface, revealing new cells. Use an exfoliating body brush, body scrub, or exfoliating skin treatments that contain glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids. Exfoliating will fade your dark marks by sloughing off dead skins cells and revealing new ones.

Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. The sun causes further darkening of skin with hyperpigmentation, so make sure to protect with SPF.

Apply a fade cream to the dark lines on your shoulders. Purchase them over the counter at your local pharmacy or superstore. Some formulas contain natural ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid, and licorice extract. Hydroquinone is also found in some creams, but it has some potential dangers. Use products with hydroquinone as recommended on the packaging or by your physician.


  • Be refitted for a bra as your body changes with weight gain or loss.