DARK UNDERARMS – Causes, Remedies & Prevention
Dark underarms is one of most common beauty problems faced by many women – it is a real turn down especially since it poses constraints on wearing sleeveless tops which ultimately results in being self-conscious when it comes to dressing. Dressing of course has a major influence on our confidence levels so we must not let anything restrict ourselves to pick and wear the attire of our choice. Recently during my parlor visit for a regular waxing session this topic came for discussion since my friend badly wanted to get some solution to this problem. Thought of sharing with you all about the topic and further investigation of the problem. So here am trying to cite the major causes of dark underarms and remedies, preventive measures etc.
- Frequently wearing tight dresses, especially made of synthetic material, which are skin tight around the arm pit area (this will be worse if you’re overweight) which causes friction between skin and cloth and thus leads to dark underarms.
- Hair removal by Shaving or Hair Removing creams: Shaving removes only those hairs which are above the skin surface and underarm area will appear dark since the hair follicles beneath skin are still visible in the form of black spots. Same is the case with hair removing creams and additionally certain chemicals in the cream might react and worsen the darkening effect. Neither shaving nor hair removing creams removes hair from its roots.
- Negative reactions to Anti-Perspirants or deodorants: Alcohol and few chemical ingredients in these react badly on skin to cause darkening, especially anti-perspirants are supposed to be harsher than deodorants.
- Dead Skin Bulid-up: As is the case with face and body, dead skin cells accumulate in under arm area and many times dirt and sweat accumulation makes things even worse and make it stubborn & thus difficult to remove.
- Medical Conditions: Discoloration of underarm area can also be due to a medical condition called Acanthosis Nigricans, which is related to insulin production or some glandular disorder. If you have dark underarms and hyper-pigmentation around the base of your neck, please go get your blood sugar checked. These can be symptoms of type II diabetes and most people don’t know they have this. Intake of androgen-based contraceptives also contributes to darkening.
Apart from these, Genetics is also one factor and dark underarms may be passed on as heredity from past generations.
- You can try a home made pack similar to what we use for face, with ingredients that have skin whitening properties- like a combination of lime+cucumber juice with a pinch of turmeric or besan+yogurt or sandalwood paste+rose water etc. Regular use will have positive effects but don’t expect an immediate solution.
- Many commercial products are also available in market to lighten dark underarms but it is always advisable to go for something which is prescribed by your dermatologist which will generally have ingredients like salicylic acid, AHA, lactic acid, Retinol etc which are proven for their skin lightening properties.
- If you suspect any medical condition contact your doctor and get it treated medically.
Once you find out what works well for you, and have shown positive results it is equally important to take some preventive measures to ensure your underarms stay clean n clear for ever.
- Avoid tight fitting dresses, at least don’t wear them every day and choose cotton rather than synthetic material for daily use especially during summer when we sweat profusely…
- Switch to waxing and stop shaving/using hair removing creams. You can really feel the difference in skin in terms of color, texture and growth of hair. Since waxing gets rid of hair from the roots the area stays clean and soft and hair grows back slowly without much thickness too.
- Be conscious of the ingredients in deodorants, better to avoid anti-perspirants which have harsh chemicals and pick deos especially which are free of alcohol and strong fragrance. I personally feel it is always better to stick on to body spray/splashes rather than roll-ons since the application is more hygienic when it comes to spray. Avoid using all these while at home instead dust on some anti-fungal powder to absorb sweat if it is really required.
- Regularly exfoliate your underarm area with a good body scrub, at least twice a week while you take shower-this will remove all dead cells, traces of deos, sweat and impurities. Make sure you moisturize the sensitive skin after exfoliation.
- You may need to keep track of your weight too. Excess flabby arms lead to dark armpits due to rubbing skin against skin.
Now following are few things which have really helped me to prevent darkening of underarms.
- I do regularly exfoliate with my favorite St.Ives apricot body scrub and am sure it works!!This is followed by applying a body moisturizer which will ensure the skin is not dried out.
- I prefer waxing – really hate the way skin feels after shaving be it arms, legs or underarms which makes my skin dry so I never opt for shaving.
- I always stick on to a mild deodorant – Dove is my personal favorite since it is quite moisturizing and has a mild fragrance-been using it for many years. Absolutely loving the new Dove deo with cucumber and green tea extract which has a refreshingly pleasant & mild fragrance and smell is quite long lasting too…I love to experiment with perfumes but not deodorants since it is being used in underarms where skin is quite sensitive.
In short just a little care is required to prevent darkening of underarms which would surely yield beautiful and long lasting results!!