model in lingerie with hands at the bra image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com

An ill-fitting bra with straps that are too tight is not only uncomfortable, it can leave unattractive dark strap lines. The straps dig into your skin, traumatizing the tissue and causing hyperpigmentation on the shoulder area. If you have dark lines on your shoulder and have never had a professional bra fitting, it is time that you do. There are ways to prevent and fade these dark lines.

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 do not cut into your skin.

Exfoliate your shoulder area daily. Exfoliating removes the old cells from the top of the skin's surface, revealing new cells. Exfoliate with an exfoliating body brush, body scrub or exfoliating skin treatments that contain glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids. Exfoliating will cause your dark marks to fade and become less noticeable 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 the skin that is already hyperpigmented. The sunscreen protects the skin and keeps the dark area of the skin from becoming darker.

Apply a fade cream to the dark lines on your shoulders. Fade creams are applied topically to fade dark spots on the skin. Purchase fade creams over the counter at your local pharmacy or superstore. Some fade creams contain natural ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid and licorice extract. Hydroquinone is found in some fade 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.