Why is my Scar Darker Than my Normal Skin?

Why is my Scar Darker Than my Normal Skin?

Scarring can lead to rough texture in the skin, an increase of collagen bundles, and a lack of hair follicles or sweat glands. However, it may also create discoloration within the skin, with damaged tissue taking on a darker shade. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and it ranks among the most common effects of hypertrophic, keloid, and atrophic scarring.

What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when a body’s cellular process is changed. Damaged tissue is detected and several chemical responses occur, with a sudden increase of collagen, protein, and melanin (the property that determines the color of a person’s skin, eyes, and hair). These elements are meant to heal the scar. However, they often trigger a sudden darkening of the skin.

Read More: Hyperpigmentation

How Does Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Affect Scars?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation directly targets scars, sending an excess of melanin to the damaged tissue. This causes instant discoloration, especially around the edges, and can create a variety of shades: brown, black, gray, or even red. Spotting, freckling, or patching can also occur.

It should be noted that no pain is associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Its effect on scars is purely cosmetic. However, those suffering from the condition may still wish to treat it.

What Solutions are Available for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation has no cure, but it does have several treatments – all of which can lessen its severity and restore most of the skin’s original texture. These include:

Topical Scar Creams

Topical scar creams prove ideal for treating most post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation cases. They offer much-needed nutrients (such as Vitamin C) that penetrate the skin and restore balance to the melanin production cycle.

Chemical Peels

Those experiencing extreme post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may find topical creams lacking. Chemical peels may instead be needed to address the issue. These options remove layers of damaged skin, softening both the appearance of scars and the starkness of discoloration.


Ultra-violet rays can exacerbate the effects of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Those wishing to correct the issue must therefore protect their skin. Use lotions with high SPF counts and avoid extended exposure to the sun.

These methods have been proven as successful in the treatment post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. However, it is important to note that the healing process can never be guaranteed. Results will vary.

Hydroquinone: A Warning

A common treatment for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is Hydroquinone. This skin-bleaching agent is meant to counter discoloration and lighten skin’s overall appearance, but these results come with a cost.

Hydroquinone has a high toxicity level. This means it can cause severe damage to the skin, including blistering, burn marks, new discoloration, and extreme tightness. While the product is legal and available without a prescription, it should be avoided. There are better, safer alternatives.

Read More: The Dangers of Using Hydroquinone to Fade Scars and Hyperpigmentation

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.


  1. The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
  2. How long does hypertrophic scar be completely healed and flattened out without treatment?

  3. how much time post hyperpigmentation take to fade if it has been there on face from 8 years??????
    ofcourrse by applying sunscreen and scar creams

  4. Everytime I get a cut, scrape, scratch, anything I heal with these dark marks and they never go away. I’m ashamed to show my skin. What’s the best most natural treatment?

  5. Hi, I have a scar that I’ve had for about 7 years and sometimes it gets small sometimes it goes bigger.It doesn’t hurt at all, and it’s black. It’s little and forms a circle shape, I want to get rid of it what do I do ?

  6. I have these scares on my arm that are pretty bad and they are dark I have been putting cocoa butter on them but it doesn’t seem to be working. Please give me another solution.

  7. Hello,

    I have a very old scar from a burn that occurred about 10 years ago. It had faded to almost nothing and only recently suddenly turned dark brown. Should I be concerned?

  8. I did a hi fu treatment and burnt lesions on my face .this happened a month ago.was wondering whether I can use invisible and will the marks away .am desperate .

  9. Rohan Bhattacharjee says

    I had a overexfoliated skin on my cheeks that was really bad and the upper layer of skin got damaged. But, the scar healed a lot and now new unharmed skin is formed on my cheeks on the affected part. But, the parr looks darker than usual skin. In 3-4 weeks time I’ve noticed the dark colour has faded a bit. Is it Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation or something else and is it permanent ?

    • Hi Rohan, it sounds like during the healing process your body produced more melanin than it needed. You can fade this type of hyperpigmentation, but it takes time. We recommend InviCible Scars, 2x daily for 12 weeks, and you should also be wearing sunscreen as well, as UV rays will continue to darken it without protection.

  10. I have a light greyish scar on my face, 5 months old, will Invincible help fade it back to white or my normal skin color?

  11. I have scars on my thigh for more than a month ago and it have been brown for about couple weeks now and it doesn’t seems like fading away, i want the brown color to fade away for at least 2 months, I can’t show them off in the summer (because it’s self harming). And plus there’s other old scars (they’re whiter than my skin tone) will it work if I burned that skin spot so the cuts will go away? Or it will look like a burn scar over those old scars? Please please i need your help!

    • Hi Jenna, please don’t burn your skin or impose any other form of self harm. Burning your skin will only create more scarring and darkening of your skin (or if your body heals differently, scars that are white and not the same color as your skin.) Brown scars can be faded with a topical Vitamin C scar treatment. When in the sun, you should apply sunscreen as well to protect them from further darkening.

  12. I used no heat wax strips on my upper lip, which resulted in two large scabs about the length of my nail the next day.
    I was quite worried, and didn’t know what to do so I just peeled them off. Now there’s two small but dark and noticeable scars that are sliiiiiiightly more raised above my normal surrounding skin. It’s been almost three weeks, and they don’t seem to be going away at all. I’m 15 years old, so I don’t want to do any chemical peels or use creams that could damage my skin because it’s still young. Are there any home remedies I can use? What should I do?

  13. About a month ago every tiny scratch is brown, if I have small itch everywhere that I scratch that normally would go away in minutes turns brown? I am outside often and read here that the sun can cause this discoloration if I have PIH!?! Also I often throughout the summer will get a single or a couple spots of poisin ivy mostly on my hands, forearm or feet and they have never left a scar, and now I have brown dots that look like dirt. If I get a actual scratch the scar is a reddish brown scar. Any where I may get this, even my skin that has never been exposed to the sun. Not one scar is raised at all and when I touch it, I don’t feel any difference from the surrounding skin?! Does this explanation sound like PIH? I do have a auto immune disease and several other health problems and also a fracture in my lumbar and cervical spine along with several other entire back issues, I am on a small amount of meds that have not changed in dosage or quantity. The only change I can think of that may damage myself internally is a increase in Motrin because of a severe increase of pain. I rather not seak medical attention if this is just a vitamin deficiency, espeacilly since this is painless.

  14. Hello what if a small atrophic scar is still red-purple after 2-3 weeks and is caused not by acne but by extreme preasure to a black head?is this going to fade?

  15. Hello i have a scar on the dimple of my cupid’s bow. It is slightly greyish and sometimes looks black. i fell on rough ground that had soot on it about less than 1 and a half years ago. when i first fell the doctors could not completely remove the dirt from my skin, so i am unsure if the wound covered up with the soot still within my skin. There is also a bump and it is a very different shade from my skin tone. I am wondering how i can get rid of it. it somehow looks like it is under the skin, scar creams have not really helped too. Is there any hope?

  16. i have an old scar on my face its dark i chose silicone sheets for many months but it doesn’t works i want just to fade the discoloration of this scar plz tell me how can i do !!

  17. I have a scar quite close to me left eye and have had it since I was a toddler from chickenpox. It’s not exactly big but it’s noticeable. This morning I checked and it has gone slightly brown and there is no dent (it was like a dent in my skin). It is also sore sometimes, what can I do?

  18. Hi, I accidentally wax my upper lip in the wrong way which results in scabs. After a few days where I found that the scab is probably can be peeled off so I tried. But after that a dark coloured skin is formed but it’s just the colour and my skin is just flat like normal. So, how to heal this kind of dark skin scars?

  19. Hello, i had a neuroectomy on my foot going on 2 years ago. I have brown skin around my scar and toe. It looks like that area of my foot is dirty. I still have issues with the nerve/feeling in 3 toes. Im wondering if the brown skin is from dead skin due to the nerves or something else? Appreciate feedback i cant seem to find any info online.

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