Not only do the dark circles around their eyes bother girls, but also the dark underarms can be a great nuisance when they want to attire themselves with sleeveless dresses or wear their bathing suits or when they participate in sports. Most women feel embarrassed because of their dark underarms. It can result in a lack of confidence and self-esteem.
The discoloration of underarms is a more common condition prevalent among the female population. It is often harmless and doesn’t require any attention. But if you want to lighten your dark armpits, then you have to identify the underlying cause for this condition and adopt the right remedies accordingly.
Understanding the cause and the habits that lead to the underarm darkening can prevent this condition from occurring in the future.
Causes of Dark underarms
Melanin is a pigment that is responsible for one’s skin color. It is produced by skin cells called melanocytes. Hyperpigmentation occurs when this melanin pigment is produced in excess amount causing dark patches in many areas of the body including underarms.
2. Rise in serum cortisol level
When your serum cortisol levels increase along with deranged insulin levels, it can lead to the darkening of the underarms and the neck area.
3. Acanthosis Nigricans
If you notice dark patches not only in the underarms but also in the neck, elbows, knees, knuckles, palms, soles of the feet, lips, and the groin area, then this might be a symptom of a skin pigmentation disorder called Acanthosis Nigricans (AN). AN is a more common disease in people who are obese and diabetic. So, immediately consult your doctor when you see these dark patches of skin with a velvety texture.
4. Deodorants and Antiperspirants
Deodorants and antiperspirants contain alcohol which can cause irritation, burning of the skin, and making it appear discoloured and dark. You can avoid applying these products directly to the skin and also choose alcohol-free chemicals.
Shaving is the most common practice for removing the hair in your armpit, but have you ever thought that it might be the culprit in darkening the same area? It exposes the vulnerability of your skin by removing the protective top layer and also the plucking might stimulate excess melanin production causing irritation and discoloration.
Lubricate the skin with shaving cream before shaving and apply an unscented moisturizer afterward to reduce the irritation.
6. Tight fitted clothes
The tight body-hugging clothes frequently rub against your skin causing friction which can lead to dark underarms.
7. Lack of Exfoliation
Sweat, dead cells, and chemicals from skin products accumulate not only on your face but also in other parts of your body. If these deposits are not cleaned properly, it can cause darkening of the skin. Make sure you exfoliate once a week and don’t be too harsh on your skin.
8. Hormonal Syndromes
Hormone-related conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), hypothyroidism, Cushing Syndrome can disturb insulin levels and lead to dark underarms. Some birth control pills and growth hormones can also cause the armpits to appear discoloured.
9. Obesity and Diabetes
Obesity and diabetes are interrelated to each other. Carrying extra pounds along with high sugar levels can stimulate your body to release more skin pigment cells. People who are obese or diabetic can easily develop dark patches in their armpits.
Can you prevent the darkening of your underarms?
In our busy lives, we do not pay proper attention to take good care of our skin. If you follow the below steps and keep your skin in correct condition, then darkening of your underarms may be prevented:
- Lose your extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight
- Switch to natural deodorant or avoid it altogether
- Instead of shaving choose waxing or laser hair removal
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Use a body scrub to exfoliate your skin at least once a week
How to lighten dark underarms using natural remedies?
Sometimes the cure may be right before your eyes and you wouldn’t care to notice it. Below are some of the natural home remedies that can lighten your dark underarms
1. Aloe Vera
Gently apply a little bit of aloe vera gel onto your underarms and leave it to dry for twenty minutes. Then, wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat this process daily to get the desired result.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has anti-microbial properties which can cure dark underarms and also keep them odor-free. Every day you can dilute this oil with some water and spray it on your underarms.
3. Lemon juice
Cut a lemon into two slices and gently rub your underarms with a slice for about two minutes. After ten minutes rinse it off with cold water. You can do this process thrice a week.
In a bowl mix a teaspoon of turmeric with little honey and milk and apply the paste to your dark underarm areas. Let it sit for fifteen minutes before you wash them off. Repeat this natural remedy thrice a week until it lightens your dark armpit.
Potato is one of the most effective ways to get rid of the dark underarms. Grate a potato and extract its juice. Apply this juice with a cotton ball and leave it to dry for ten minutes. Then, rinse it off with cool water. This method can be done twice a day to reach light underarms.
Cucumber is a natural bleaching agent. Gently scrub a slice of cucumber onto your skin and wash it off after ten minutes. Repeat this process twice a day to whiten the dark underarms.
7. Apple Vinegar Cider
This kitchen ingredient contains amino and lactic acids, which aids in removing the dead cells of the skin. After diluting apple cider vinegar with water, soak a cotton ball in this solution and softly pat it over your armpit. You can do this daily to achieve effective results.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an easily available and affordable remedy. Massage your underarms with coconut oil two times per day until you notice the results.
Rosewater acts as a moisturizer. Mix rosewater along with baking soda and apply the mixture to your underarms. After ten minutes wash with lukewarm water. You might want to know that baking soda is a good exfoliator for dark skin. Do this twice a week to lighten the dark underarms.
Medicinal treatments for whitening the dark underarms
If you have an underlying health condition, then the home remedies might not be a helpful treatment in lightening the dark underarms. Some of the following treatments can be followed after consulting with the dermatologist:
- The unbalanced thyroid, insulin, or cortisol levels can be treated with specific medicines prescribed by an endocrinologist.
- Oral medications like retinoid pills, vitamin C, and vitamin A tablets can get rid of dark pigmentation. Pregnant women should avoid taking retinoid pills.
- Dermatologists may prescribe depigmenting creams containing retinoids, hydroquinone, steroids, calcipotriene, azelaic acid, or kojic acid.
- To exfoliate the skin and to achieve brighter skin, chemical peels that have trichloroacetic acid can be used.
- Laser therapy is used to reduce the thickness of the skin that often comes along with dark skin and thus making the skin appear lighter in color.
Message from Bliss Naturals
If you find any sudden abnormal dark patches do not hesitate to consult your doctor, because it may indicate a serious health issue like cancer. And if you have already diagnosed conditions like thyroid and diabetes, inform your dermatologist so that she can prescribe the treatments accordingly.
Most of the time, the dark underarms are not a serious health issue and you would be good with the natural home remedies as your treatment. You can deal with it on your own and in no time, you would be ready to strike a pose with your arms wide open!