5 Ways To Treat Underarm Hyperpigmentation

Discoloration or darkening of the underarms could be a major problem for a lot of women. Dark-colored underarms restrict people from dressing up the way they want. As a result, women avoid wearing their favorite sleeveless tops, shirts, bathing suits, and other garments that expose their arms.

 

The dark color of the underarms is often related to a symptom of acanthosis nigricans. This skin condition is usually faced by people who already have an underlying medical condition, like obesity or diabetes. The dark skin color is not the only concern, but this skin condition may also result in thickening the skin surrounding the dark area.

 

What are the causes of dark underarms?

 

Underarm darkening gets worse when the pigment cells multiply. There are a lot of reasons responsible for this skin condition, let us take a look at the popular causes of skin darkening under your arm.

 

  • AN or acanthosis nigricans is one of the leading causes of dark underarms. People face this skin condition because of several medical reasons that include type 2 diabetes, obesity, hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid, and side effects of some medicines. Besides, in some individuals, darkening comes hereditary.
  • Another popular cause of dark underarms is the regular use of chemical irritants found in deodorants and antiperspirants. These chemical irritants cause skin irritation that results in darkness.
  • Shaving is yet another cause of darkness. Shaving the hair from under your arm could lead to excessive production of pigmented cells that worsen the condition.
  • Lack of timely exfoliation also leads to skin darkening. Infrequent exfoliation leads to the accumulation of dead skin cells that makes the concerned area thick and dark.
  • The hyperpigmentation resulting from increased melanin production also leads to dark underarms. And, if you are someone who smokes a lot, you need to know that smoking accelerates hyperpigmentation.
  • Erythrasma is a skin condition where the skin gets infected by bacteria. This condition also leads to darker underarms.
  • Wearing tight clothes causes friction to your skin, leading to skin darkening.

 

How to lighten dark underarms?

A few basic changes in your daily routine could help solve this skin problem to a certain extent. Let us take a look at the simple ways to lighten dark underarms.

 

Switch to natural deodorizers

Instead of using chemical deodorants and antiperspirants, try switching to natural alternatives like apple cider vinegar or baking soda. Chemical deodorants cause skin irritation that leads to hyperpigmentation.

 

Quit shaving

Regular shaving could make your underarm area darker. Thus, it would be best to switch to waxing or opt for the laser hair removal technique for the best results.

 

Regular Exfoliation

Both physical and chemical exfoliants could do wonders to the skin. For physical exfoliation, you can use gentle body scrubs on the problematic area atleast 2-3 times a week. Besides, you can also use chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs daily. Your underarm skin is super-sensitive, and you should choose gentle products.

 

Loose Clothing

Wear loose clothes as much as possible, as this prevents friction.

 

Effective ways to treat underarms hyperpigmentation

Treating underarms hyperpigmentation could be a daunting task, especially if you are unaware of the right ways to do so. Let’s dive into some effective solutions.

 

Regular moisturization

Proper moisturization can help combat the irritation caused to the underarm skin. This irritation results from shaving or plucking hairs from the area. So, it is advised that you avoid shaving altogether, but if you are doing so, do not forget to use a natural unscented moisturizer.

 

Topical creams

Topical creams, ointments, or body lotions available over the counter can also help solve the darkening issue. For this, you need to choose a product that contains the following skincare ingredients

Retinoid creams as they help lighten hyperpigmentation

Hydroquinone creams for lightening

Azelaic acid, kojic acid, and vitamin C for skin lightening

Chemical peels that include AHAs or BHAs remove dead cells.

Antibacterial or antibiotic soaps to minimize irritation or discomfort

 

Laser therapy

Laser treatment can also help remove the thickened skin, which makes your underarms look filthier. Furthermore, laser treatment would reduce hair growth that would subsequently reduce the need to shave.

 

Natural remedies

Using natural remedies regularly can be of great help. There’s no scientific proof to back up these claims, but many people believe using natural remedies helps lighten dark underarms. As part of this routine, you can use ingredients like;

 

Lemon juice

Potato juice

Cucumber juice

Tea tree oil

Coconut oil

 

And rub these ingredients on the affected area regularly. Consider consulting your dermatologist if you experience any issues like irritation, redness, itchiness, etc.

 

References:

Contact dermatitis. (2019).

nhs.uk/conditions/contact-dermatitis/symptoms

Desai SR. (2014). Hyperpigmentation therapy: A review.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142815

Everyday care. (n.d.).

aad.org/public/everyday-care

Hyperpigmentation. (n.d.).

aocd.org/page/Hyperpigmentation

Phiske MM. (2014). An approach to acanthosis nigricans.

idoj.in/article.asp?issn=2229-5178;year=2014;volume=5;issue=3;spage=239;epage=249;aulast=Phiske

Skin lightening. (2019).