Dark Underarms - Causes & Solutions
The recent spate of deodorant ads emphasizing on the even toned, fair underarms has got a lot of girls concerned about their own. A lot of girls avoid wearing sleeveless clothes because they are embarrassed about this condition.
Below are some causes and solutions for this condition:
Cause #1: Shaving or Hair Removal Creams.
When you shave you cut the hairs off at the surface of the skin. Hair removal creams just dissolve the visible hair till the surface. If your hair is slightly darker than your skin color or thick and coarse, they can give the appearance that your skin has a dark color when it`s really just hair peeping through.
Solution: Stop shaving and try waxing instead so you get rid of the hair below the skin surface, from the root. Since the hairs aren’t present so close to the top of your skin, they won’t be as visible.
Cause #2: Buildup of dead skin cells.
Sometimes dark spots under your arms are the result of dry, dead skin cells that are trapped in the folds of your skin. This is also known as one of the reasons for dark elbows, knees & feet.
Solution: Exfoliation – but not mechanical. The underarm skin is very delicate and using scrubs may cause inflammation. Exfoliate using mild chemicals such as lactic acid. You could use plain milk or curd which is rich in lactic acid. Or diluted papaya juice.
Cause #3: Antiperspirant usage.
Ingredients in some antiperspirants could be reacting with the skin to cause discoloration. Many people claim that when they stop using antiperspirants, the darkness goes away.
Solution: Try switching brands to milder ones like Dove or using a body mist or gel cologne instead of an antiperspirant.
Cause #4: Medical condition called Acanthosis Nigricans.
This condition causes light-brown-to-black discoloration on the neck nape, under the arms, or in the groin. It can be related to excess insulin production, PCOD (poly cystic ovarian disease – known to also result in missed periods) or to glandular disorder and it typically occurs in people who are overweight.
Solution: Watch your diet to control insulin production, visit a gynec if you suspect you have PCOD. If you suspect you might have Acanthosis Nigricans, please refer to a dermatologist who can guide you on the correct mode of treatment as per your condition.
Personally I would not advise usage of fairness creams on this area. This is a very delicate part of the skin and plays a crucial role in maintaining body temperature. Some creams contain strong chemicals that may adversely affect the sweat glands resulting in health problems.
Also please don’t go by images you see in media, most of the them are photo-shopped or body foundation has been used to camouflage the arm pit area. The arm pit area skin does have a texture different from skin on the rest of the arm due to it’s functional adaption of temperature maintainance. This may cause it to appear a degree darker or a little different.