5 causes of dark underarms and how to lighten them

Nwafo avatar
Editor April 28, 2022
Updated 2022/04/28 at 1:01 PM

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Dark underarms are usually not a serious medical condition but a cosmetic issue. Although, they might be a symptom of an underlying issue in extreme cases.

Most women feel uncomfortable and self-conscious of their dark underarms, especially because of times they want to wear tank tops, sleeveless shirts and bikinis.

What causes darkened underarms?

Melanocytes are cells responsible for your skin colour. When there is an overproduction of melanocytes, your underarm is darker.

1. Shaving

The razor blade you use to shave your underarm hair is a common irritant. Shaving your hair repeatedly and plucking it out can cause the overproduction of melanocytes.

2. Genetics

Acanthosis nigricans is a genetically-transmitted condition that causes darkened underarms. It is also accompanied by thickening and folds.

3. Diabetes

A darkened underarm is also a symptom of Type 2 diabetes which means that your body finds it difficult to process insulin.

4. Deodorant

Your underarms might also get dark if you are reacting adversely to your deodorant.

5. Dead skin cells

Dead skin cells can also cause dark underarms and hyperpigmentation generally.

How to lighten dark underarms

  1. Because dead cells can also cause darkened underarms, exfoliation is a good way to have a fairer underarm.
  2. Using lightening creams like kojic acids, licorice root extract can help to remove dead cells and lighten the skin under your arms.
  3. Change your deodorant if it is causing your skin to be darker. Try to use more organic or natural deodorant.
  4. Replace shaking stick with laser hair removal or waxing.
  5. Use natural products like apple cider vinegar or baking soda to lighten your underarms. Other natural products that can lighten dark underarms are potato, lime, cucumber, turmeric, and orange peel. They all work by applying them to your underarms for 10 minutes.

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