- Common Causes of Dark Underarms
- Treatments and Home Remedies for Dark Underarms
- In Conclusion:
Dark armpits are a common beauty complaint expressed by many women. This condition can make it particularly embarrassing to wear tank tops or short-sleeved shirts.
Though some cases of dark underarms are genetic, many more are caused by other internal and external factors. Read on to learn more about the causes and remedies for pigmented armpits.
Common Causes of Dark Underarms
Before trying out skin whitening products and home remedies for your underarms, it is important to determine what is causing your darkened armpits. By determining the cause, you can better determine which treatments will work for you.
Underarm Stubble or Hair
If you regularly find yourself struggling with thick hair, ingrown hairs, or pili multigemini (multiple hairs growing out of one pore) in your armpits, your dark underarm skin may be caused by the hair growing under your skin. Treatment for this type of skin discoloration will involve removing armpit hair down to the root, preventing hair follicles from causing discoloration.
Acanthosis nigricans is a black or brown hyperpigmentation condition. In addition to affecting the underarms, it can often be found on the neck and groin. This skin darkening generally occurs in individuals under the age of 40.
If you believe that your dark underarms are caused by acanthosis nigricans, it is best to contact your doctor for a range of medical tests. Various health conditions, including obesity, polycystic ovary disease, insulin-resistant diabetes, and hypothyroidism have been known to trigger the condition.
Dead Skin Cell Build-Up
The accumulation of dead skin cells in the underarm area is another common cause of dark armpits. Dead cells often become trapped in the folds of the skin, leading to discoloration. The use of deodorants and antiperspirants may also contribute to residue build-up on the skin.
Harsh Antiperspirant Usage
Some individuals notice that their underarms became darker after using certain antiperspirant or deodorant products. If this is the case, the chemicals in your underarm care products may have contributed to the discoloration of your skin.
Many people have darkly-pigmented armpits due to natural pigmentation. If you have had dark underarms for most of your life and know that other members of your family struggle with the same issue, your underarm coloration may be caused by pigmentation. This genetic condition is most common amongst those with darker skin tones.
Treatments and Home Remedies for Dark Underarms
If you browse the internet, you will see many treatments, creams, and home remedies for dark armpits. Though each one of these remedies will benefit some individuals, these treatments will generally only work if you choose a treatment for your specific underarm condition.
For Ingrown Hair & Stubble:
The best remedy for dark underarms caused by underarm hair is a change in your hair removal method. Shaving generally contributes to darker underarms, as the follicles of each hair remain embedded in the skin. Instead, you should try removing each hair entirely, including the root. There are a number of methods for removing hair in this way. Waxing, epilation, and hair removal creams are the most popular methods for fully removing underarm hair. Removing your underarm hair with these techniques will most likely reduce the underarm “shadows” caused by hair under the skin.
For Acanthosis Nigricans:
If you believe that you are suffering from acanthosis nigricans, it is generally best to talk to your doctor regarding treatment for your condition. In many cases obesity is the cause of acanthosis nigricans. In other cases the condition may be triggered by endocrine conditions or the use of certain medications. By discovering the medical condition causing your acanthosis nigricans, you can generally develop a treatment plan. After a few months or years of treatment, the acanthosis will often go away on its own.
Though the dark skin will often lighten after a patient’s condition is treated, sometimes the brown or black skin tone remains. If this is the case, try using home remedies to lighten the underarm area. Potato wedges and cucumber slices are both known to be effective for natural skin lightening. Though these remedies will not produce particularly fast results, over the course of weeks or months they can make a noticeable difference.
It is unclear as to whether underarm whitening cream is effective in combatting the darkness caused by acanthosis nigricans. If your armpits remain dark after treating your health condition and trying a few home remedies, ask your dermatologist for a treatment recommendation.
For Dead Skin Cell Build-Up:
If your dark underarms are caused by skin cell build-up, you should be able to manage your condition without using any skin lightening products. Instead, spend time exfoliating your armpits. Use a pumice stone to help remove dead skin cells.
There are many great home remedies for underarm exfoliation. Try applying brown sugar and olive oil to the armpits. Massage the mixture into the skin, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash it off. You can use this mixture or a baking soda and water paste to exfoliate your underarms. If you’d prefer to use a store-bought exfoliation scrub, simply purchase one at a store near you.
For Harsh Antiperspirant Usage:
Sometimes a harsh antiperspirant or deodorant can cause the skin under the arms to become dark. To prevent the discoloration from getting worse, you will need to stop using the product that caused the darkening to occur. Instead, use a gentle deodorant-only product. Though this may not be as effective as using an antiperspirant, you will be giving your skin the opportunity to lighten again naturally by using a gentler product.
If you want to use an active skin whitening product, consider applying coconut oil to your armpits. The vitamin E in the oil may help whiten the skin. Coconut oil can also be used as a natural deodorant, making it twice as effective for individuals struggling with underarm odor and darkness.
For Natural Pigmentation/Hereditarily Dark Underarms:
A large percentage of individuals suffer from dark armpits simply due to their genetic background. In this case, it is often best to use skin whitening products to treat the skin. Though underarm bleaching kits and creams are often available online and in drug stores, it is generally best to consult a cosmetic dermatologist to determine which treatment option is best for you. You may be prescribed an underarm whitening cream or other products that will work for you.
If you are looking for an alternative treatment method, try using natural skin whitening remedies. Lemon, cucumber, potatoes, and baking soda scrubs can all be used to gradually whiten the skin under the arms.
If you have tried one or two underarm treatments without success, don’t give up! Your dark armpits may be caused by another condition. Try a few remedies to see what works for you.
Though dark underarms can be unsightly, there are many solutions to this cosmetic problem. Fortunately, there are many remedies available for this condition. If, however,you have tried numerous remedies and still haven’t found something that improves your armpit coloration, book an appointment with your dermatologist. Only your doctor can properly diagnose the cause of your dark underarms and offer a medical-grade solution for your condition.