If you are in the professional industry or the filming industry or any kind of job chances are they require you to be well kept all the time. This includes anything from proper makeup, etiquette or getting rid of anybody hair. You might have that one sleeveless dress which you want to wear but shaving or waxing your underarm might have cast a dark undertone to your armpits so raising your hands might be a bit embarrassing in that situation. This article will focus on ways to lighten the dark patches under your arms and give your skin its natural color back.
Why armpits turn dark?
Melanocytes are pigment skin cells related to your skin color. These pigment cells overlap on each other and form dark colored skin. The skin condition responsible for dark skin on your underarms is called Acanthosis Nigricans (AN for short). Acanthosis Nigricans is a disease which results in dark velvety patches on your underarms, groin and regions on your neck. Acanthosis Nigricans can be seen in people due to obesity, diabetes and sometimes can be an early sign of tumor and cancer. Proper consultation with a doctor and early detection of signs of AN can reduce the chances of getting cancer or tumor.
Some other causes for underarm darkening can be:-
- Using chemicals like in deodorants and antiperspirants.
- Shaving your underarm cause irritation and this could inflict dark underarms.
- Lack of exfoliation can accumulated dead skin cells under your arms.
- Wearing tight clothes may cause friction which in turn could be abrasive to the skin and cause darkened underarms.
- Due to excessive smoking, a condition called smoker’s melanosis is developed among people causing brown or black pigmentation to the skin and causing dark patches.
- Increased melanin content in some people can cause hyperpigmentation to the skin and dark skin can appear under your arms.
- Erythrasma is a bacterial infection that can cause dark and scaly rashes near the folds of your skin and can be treated by antibacterial soap. This infection can also increase skin darkening under your arms.
- Melasma is a condition which inflicts dark brown patches on your skin. It can be due to hormonal changes or due to excessive sun exposure without proper protection.
- Damage in adrenal glands, which is referred to as Addison’s disease can also cause darkening in skin color.
Your underarms can get dark if you do not take proper care of your skin. Here are some of the things to avoid which can cause underarm darkening:-
- Shaving can cause inflammation to skin and skin irritation with constant friction. So instead of shaving try to opt for waxing and laser treatments.
- Your deodorant can be a big cause for underarm darkening too. Toxic chemicals can cause harm to your skin and create dark discolored underarms. You can try some natural deodorants like baking soda and apple cider vinegar and avoid toxic chemical deodorants and Perspirants. Instead of chemical deodorants, you can also try Talcum powder which can be useful against sweaty armpits.
- Although it is better to avoid friction and too much scrubbing under your arms but sometimes you have to get rid of the accumulated dead skin cells that may be causing skin discoloration. Exfoliation is a way to get rid of these dead skin cells in an efficient way.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing or anything that may cause friction and irritation to your skin and may result in discolored and dark underarms.
- Smoking can also cause darkening of skin so avoiding smoking might be the best option out there.
Treatment of Dark underarms can be of three types:-
- Natural Treatments with home remedies
- Chemical Treatments
- Laser Treatments
1. Natural Treatments
The best way to fight off dark underarms without any complication of damaging your skin or causing it any harm is the natural treatment. Just make sure you are doing these natural treatments two or three days after waxing or shaving as the irritated and inflamed skin from waxing or shaving might take time to heal all the way.
Keep these points in mind after you wax your underarms:-
- The area might get tender so you can apply a cold compress or some hydrocortisone cream to make it less sensitive.
- You should avoid applying deodorant for the next twenty-four hours as the area can be sensitive after a wax or shave session.
- Try not to engage in strenuous activities or wear tight clothing after a wax as tight clothing can cause ingrown hair to grow and ingrown hair can cause bumps and pain to your skin.
- Avoid sun exposure in that area and avoid going to a swim in the sun as sun exposes to a newly inflamed area can be harmful.
Potatoes, Carrots and Beetroots have natural bleach in them which can be useful to lighten dark underarms. Just take the juice of potato or carrot or beet and apply under your arms using a cotton ball and let it sit for about ten minutes before washing it off. Use this method daily to see visible changes in your dark underarms. You can also take a slice of Potato and hold it under your arms for 10 minutes.
Cucumber is also a useful tool against dark patches on your skin. Just cut up a few slices and let them sit for about fifteen minutes before washing the skin off with water. Repeat this daily for quicker results.
Lemon contains antioxidants and citric acid which is helpful against reduction of dark spots on the skin. Rubbing a slice of lemon on your underarm can not only prevent bacterial growth but also reduce dark spots to some extent. Do this each day for a visible result of lighter underarm.
Orange peel can be considered and used as a natural exfoliant. It is really useful against dry patchy skin and can be used to reduce darkness in underarms. You can collect orange peel and dry them in the sun, then grind them in a mixer to get powdered orange peel. This powdered orange peel mixed with milk and rose water in proportional amount i.e, Two parts of orange peel powder and one part of milk and rose water will give you a proper mix of orange peel mask. Apply this mask in your underarms and let them dry for about fifteen minutes. Wash it off with cold water. If you use this exfoliant two to three times a week, you can be guaranteed to get lighter underarms in a month or two.
Turmeric can also be used to lighten dark patches under your arms. Just mix two tablespoons of turmeric with a tablespoon of lime and rub that onto your armpit for about half an hour. Wash it off with cold water and repeat this process two times a week for better results.
Coconut Oil and Tea Tree oil are useful against bacterial growth in your armpits and prevention of bacterial growth might lessen the darker patches under your arms. Apply the coconut oil directly to your skin and massage for a few minutes. Wash the oil off with water and mild soap. Repeat this process twice each day. The tea tree oil being concentrated, it must be diluted with water before applying onto your underarms. Let the mix dry and wash it off with water. You’ll be able to see visible changes in a few months of use.
These home remedies are the most cost-effective and hassle-free treatment for lightening dark skin out there. These ingredients are not harmful or harsh on your skin. But make sure to consult your skin doctor if you develop any allergies or have any underlying allergies before trying any of these recipes.
2. Chemical Treatments
Chemical treatment like chemicals peels containing alpha and beta hydroxy acids can help reduce dark patches in the skin. Bleaching your underarms can also lighten dark underarms. Some topical creams containing kojic acid, hydroquinone, azelaic acid and tretinoin can also be used to treat dark underarms. But since chemicals can cause harm to your skin if you use an excessive amount, it is better to consult your Skin Doctor before trying any of these creams or lotions and let the doctor prescribe you the cream or lotion themselves.
Also, chemical peel treatment should be taken under a certified doctor with proper maintenance and you must heed the pros and cons of chemical peels before taking a treatment.
3. Laser Treatments
A lot of people get laser treatment for underarm hair removal. If your underarms are dark and no natural treatment is helping then you can opt for a laser treatment to cure the dark areas. The laser treatment is done using laser lights which go to your epidermal layers and eradicate the dark patches. But the laser treatment can get really costly and lasers can be harmful towards your skin. So consulting with your doctor is absolutely recommended.
The bottom line is whether you have dark underarms or not, you must take care of your own health and vanity so that you lead a healthy lifestyle. Maintain a proper diet containing every healthy fruit and vegetables and exercise daily and also try to stay relaxed stress free and positive to have a prosperous life. There is nothing to feel ashamed about if your underarms are dark by natural means.
Trying a natural treatment to cure such state is recommended but if the dark patch is affecting your daily lifestyle you should definitely get a consultation and try to get it removed in a more scientific way. But remember you are beautiful no matter what people might perceive you as. Be confident and let that confidence, reflect in your skin and body as well.