Anyone who has ever wondered why their armpits are so dark will be familiar the discomfort of living with underarm darkness and discoloration. You want to wear a certain top but stop yourself because you don’t want to expose your underarms. You’re scared to raise your arms in case people see your dark underarms. You avoid wearing tank tops altogether.
Darkened armpits may not seem like a big deal since it happens to a fairly inconspicuous part of your body, but dark pits can actually have a massive impact on your life, dictating everything from your clothing choices to how you move your arms in public. Not to mention the envy you get when you see women in billboards and magazines with underarms that are as flawless as a baby bottom’s.
The reasons for having dark armpits
There are many reasons why you may have dark underarms and there are just as many ways to lighten then. Here are some of the most common reasons why your armpits are dark.
Shaving is one of the most common culprits of dark underarms. In many cases it is simply the stubble that remains after shaving that causes the illusion that you have dark armpits. However there are also a whole host of other issues that derive from shaving. Problems like razor burn and ingrown hairs, both of which can result in irritation, infection and discoloration. Damaged hair follicles, of course, are more prone to hyper-pigmentation, resulting in dark spots under the armpits. To get rid if these dark spots the best way is to stop shaving or using whatever hair removal method is causing you to repeatedly suffer irritation like razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Antiperspirants and Deodorants
Underarm skin is particularly vulnerable to chemicals and certain ingredients may disagree with your skin, causing damage that leads to infection. Any agent that causes irritation and infection to the skin can cause increased production of melanin and discoloration. Try swapping your normal deodorant for an all-natural option that’s free of junk like parabens, aluminum, artificial fragrance and other irritants.
Excessive friction in the underarm area can also cause darkening. Keep in mind that, as a rule, anything that irritates the skin has the potential to darken it. Skin irritation triggers your melanocytes – the cells that carry melanin – and once stimulated, these melanocytes grow bigger, causing your skin to become darker.
Hormonal changes in the body mean that pregnant women can fall prey to hyper pigmentation and discoloration that can darken the armpits – as well as other parts of the body.
A recent study found that there are at least 15 different types of bacteria that live in around 20 different skin habitats. Wetter and moister parts of the body like the armpits tend to attract a larger number of these bacteria. Bacteria under the arms mostly goes unnoticed. The skin of the underarms can then turn into reddish shades that eventually turn into dark or brown patches.
Smoker’s melanosis is exactly what it sounds like. It is a condition that results from tobacco smoking leading to hyper pigmentation in areas such as the armpits. Dark patches linger so long as smoking continues and normally disappears gradually once you kick the habit.
How can you lighten your armpits
We recommend using one of either two products. If you like using soaps then we recommend the leading Kojic Acid Soap on the market today. It’s called Honeycomb Kojic Acid Soap and by using this soap twice a day for at least 4 weeks, you will start seeing the skin lightening effects under your arms. You can read more about this soap in our post titled The 3 Best Skin Whitening Soaps.
If you prefer creams or lotions, then we recommend using a Freckle Removal Cream from Sheng Wu He Suan. Although it’s called a freckle removal cream it is excellent from lightening dark spots under the arms.