Stretch marks on dark skin can appear brown or even black sometimes and can constitute an unsightly and embarrassing skin issue. The good news is, however, that although unpleasant, brown stretch marks are easier to treat than white stretch marks, so one could say you’ve caught them in time.
While similar to red stretch mark removal, darker stretch marks can also signify a less acute, older scar that might be harder to treat.
In this article, we take a closer look at how dark stretch marks appear and what your best bet is for getting rid of them.
So, what are Dark Stretch Marks?
Stretch mark appears due to an insufficiency of collagen in your skin as it progressively stretches (due to pregnancy, bodybuilding, or teenage growth spurts).
Stretch marks most commonly appear on your stomach, as well as on your thighs, inner things, and hips. But stretch marks aren’t exclusive to these areas and can also be seen on breasts as they develop (either through puberty or pregnancy), buttocks, sides, arms, and legs.
It’s important to understand that stretch marks have their own developmental progress.
At first, they tend to appear in a light pink color when they are first forming.
Then, as your skin continues to stretch, they will turn to a dark red color. They can also skip the red and go straight to a brown or even dark brown shade, and can also appear black, depending on your skin type.
Usually, brown or black stretch marks are ‘fresh’ marks, but on darker skin colors.
These dark stretch marks can appear upsetting, but there is nothing to worry about.
Usually, the bright brown color comes from the blood vessels visible underneath your skin.
Black stretch marks are typically associated with the pigment of your skin, so don’t worry, these darker stretch marks aren’t more serious or more dangerous than any other type.
What does It Mean When Your Stretch Marks Get Darker?
Typically, your stretch marks will darken as time passes. From red, they can go to brown, purple and so on. This is normal because stretch marks are basically a wound.
The red signifies the ‘rawest stage’, whereas brown, purple, or black signify that the wound is becoming less raw or less acute.
As stretch marks change colors, they will, in time, fade to a silvery-white shade, which may appear better, because it’s often less noticeable and seems less like an actual irritation or wound.
In truth, white stretch marks have adapted to the lack of collagen in the skin, and once they’ve settled, they are tough to get rid of.
So, think of it like this – stretch marks getting darker signify that you have less time to treat and get rid of them.
The sooner you catch them, the better it will be for your skin. Again, these may look worse, but it’s those pale, white-y marks that you want to look out for and hopefully avoid.
So, How do We Get Rid of Dark Stretch Marks?
Thankfully, there are loads of treatments available for stretch marks. They work quite well on stretch marks ranging from a bright red to a dark brown, and also on black marks.
- Stretch Mark Creams – These are the most basic step for hydrating your skin, and you should be using moisturizers regardless if you have stretch marks or not. You can opt for one of the many specifically-designed stretch mark creams or body butters out there. These are loaded with hydrating, collagen-boosting ingredients that will help restore the aspect of your skin.
- Stretch Mark Oils – These are the more potent cousins of stretch mark creams. Oil usually better penetrates the skin and is often more hydrating and lasts longer.
- Retinol-based Topical Creams – Retinol is a compound of vitamin A, which is efficient in restoring moisture to the skin, fading away wrinkles and stretch marks alike, again by boosting the production of elastin and collagen. While more potent, vitamin A products can also cause some (minor to more serious) side effects, so make sure you do your research before using one.
- Exfoliation or Chemical Peeling – Whether you use a store-bought scrub to get rid of dead, damaged skin cells or you employ professional help of different acids (used in chemical peels), it is important that you periodically shed away old cells, so that you can make room for new, healthy ones.
- Micro-needling – This is also a very potent treatment that is usually done at a clinic. By using a derma-pen, they puncture the skin with micro-needles (hence the name) to induce your skin’s natural healing, collagen-producing process over the affected area. In essence, it can be an efficient, though costly stretch mark treatment.
- Derma-Roller – This is basically your at-home alternative to the clinician’s derma-pen.
To conclude, there are a multitude of ways to get rid of dark stretch marks, and if you truly apply yourself to treating them intensively, there should be no reason for you not to get rid of them completely.