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The top 5 causes of darkened armpits

Germaine Pie Is Puzzled By Her Pits: What causes darkened armpits and what can we do to get rid of them? They’re so embarrassing!

The Right Brain Raises Her From the Pit of Despair:

armpit chimp stain It’s not surprising that so many people have this problem – there are at least FIVE different reasons your pits could be darker than they should be.

Cause #1: Shaving.

When you shave you cut the hairs off at, or just below, the surface of the skin. If your hairs are slightly darker than your skin color, they can give the appearance that your skin has a dark stain when it`s really just sub-surface hair.

What To Do About It: Stop shaving and try waxing or plucking instead so you get rid of the hair below the skin surface. Since the hairs aren’t lurking so close to the top of your skin, they won’t be as visible.

Cause #2: Buildup of dead skin cells.

According to at least one dermatolgist, dark spots under your arms are the result of dead skin cells that are trapped in microscopic “hills and valleys” on your skin.

What To Do About It: Exfoliate, preferably with a product containing lactic acid.

Cause #3: Antiperspirant and deodorant usage.

In theory, some ingredients in these products (perhaps the fragrance) could be reacting with the skin to cause discoloration. Practically speaking this seems unlikely but many people do claim that when they stop using APDs, the darkness goes away.

What To Do About It: Try switching brands or using a deodorant instead of an antiperspirant. You may stink a bit more, but hey, the Left Brain lives for experiments like that!

Cause #4: A medical condition called acanthosis nigricans.

This condition causes light-brown-to-black markings on the neck, under the arms, or in the groin. It can be related to insulin production or to a glandular disorder and it typically occurs in people who are overweight.

What To Do About It: Watch your diet to control insulin production and use Retin-A, 20% urea, alpha hydroxyacids, and salicylic acid prescriptions to lighten your armpits.

Cause #5: Hyper-pigmentation.

This condition causes your skin to produce excess melanin pigment. It doesn`t usually affect armpits, so it’s a less likely cause.

What To Do About It: Use a skin bleaching cream to destroy the excess melanin. The Beauty Brains don’t recommend this unless you consult a dermatologist first. You can also try laser treatment to destroy the pigment.

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Candi December 4, 2013, 3:43 pm

    Informitive thank you.

  • holly December 26, 2013, 11:20 pm

    I have black stuff under my arms. i try to scrub it of but i can only remove some of it. I’m very light skin so this is embarassing for me. i was wondering what i coukd do to remove it from my skin

  • VNikol February 7, 2014, 9:16 pm

    I use lemons for deodorant which work surprisingly well (the cleaner your diet the more effective they work), but on days that I shave I swipe a layer of tea tree oil followed by a layer of lavender oil (pure essential oils) as deodorant & I noticed how great they are at evening out my skin under my arms as well. I don’t use lotion, only oils (EVOO, Jojoba, Grapeseed) so I have a carrier oil on my skin although tea tree & lavender oils are the only two essentials safe for skin use sans a carrier oil.

  • Janice@www.unexplainedbruising.net March 18, 2014, 10:34 am

    I used to pluck my underarms to remove the hair but after a while of doing so it looked swollen and rough so I switched to shaving with a razor but then I noticed that my armpits were shades darker than before. Now I apply cream and shave using a soft scraper. I am thinking of trying waxing since I didn’t achieve the smoothness I hoped to attain with my current routine.

  • Kaycee December 12, 2014, 1:39 am

    Hey well I’m young and under my arms are brown and get a bit sore it’s really embarrassing i dont like to put my arms up at all and i dont want to tell my mum what are some ways that mite help me get rid of the darkness please help me

    • Randy Schueller December 12, 2014, 6:26 am

      Hi Kaycee. If if bothers you that much you should really tell your mom about it. You didn’t do anything wrong so there’s nothing to be bothered about. Maybe you could show her this article and ask her if she’s ever heard of this. They you can tell about your problem and has her to help decide if any of the treatments we mentioned in the article might be good for you to try. Good luck and let us know what she says!

  • Kaycee December 12, 2014, 1:44 am

    Okay well under my arm has gone brown and it gets sore every now and then I’m still only young and love to play sport but lately I’ve been to imbarresed to even put my arms up to play i dont want to tell Any one about it what are something’s i can try please help me .

  • zuhra December 16, 2014, 1:43 am

    hey keycee you are like me my armpirt have dark colour and idont know what kid of diseases that i have please help me if some one know he treatment

  • Shonna February 13, 2015, 10:36 am

    I just started using a all natural deodorant and have alwayed waxed my arm pits. Now one of them is turning color, it seems to be getting darker. What should I do?

    • Randy Schueller February 13, 2015, 12:19 pm

      If you just started using a new deodorant and you noticed a change in your armpit color you could try going back to your old deodorant.

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