A little darkness in the underarms is normal — think about it. This is a sweat-prone part of your body that experiences friction and rubbing every day. Add to that the humidity of the weather, hair-removal procedures, under-exfoliation, and other factors. While treating pigmentation is not impossible by altering your lifestyle here and there, it can point to some serious underlying issues. And that’s why we’re putting together a guide to darkness in the underarms — why it happens, and how to clean underarms blackness.
There are multiple factors that lead to darkness in the underarms. Here are a few:
You’re probably shaving too forcefully — friction and abrasion caused by shaving can lead to pigmentation in the underarms.
You might be using a deodorant or antiperspirant containing irritants.
Even tight-fitting clothing can cause friction — and lead to darkness in the area.
If you’re not exfoliating your underarms enough, a build-up of dead skin-cells can contribute to this pigmentation.
You might have melasma — a condition that causes grey-brown discoloured spots to develop on the surface of the skin. This can be triggered by a hormonal imbalance — especially if you’re pregnant or on birth-control.
Smoking can exacerbate the darkness.
It might be the side-effect of one of your medications. This includes nicotinic acid, insulin, pituitary extract, systemic corticosteroids, and diethylstilbestrol.
You might have Acanthosis nigricans (AN) — this is a skin-pigmentation condition associated with obesity and diabetes. Obesity can alone lead to darkening of the underarms.
It can be genetic. Acanthosis nigricans can run in the family too.
Hormonal disorders like underactive thyroid and polycystic ovary syndrome can lead to AN too.
You might have Cancer — AN can develop because a tumor is growing in your stomach, liver, or another internal organ. This condition is called malignant acanthosis nigricans.
It might be the result of Addison’s disease.
You might be insulin-resistant.
You might have Erythrasma — this is a bacterial infection that affects the skin. It’s a long-term or chronic skin-condition, and appears in the folds of your skin.
Other skin-related disorders like Fox-Fordyce disease could be responsible. This disease is commonly seen in women, and is characterized by intense itching and darkening in some parts of the body including the underarms.
It’s advisable to consult a professional in case of a sudden change in the colour of your skin.
How to clean black underarms at home? We’re putting together natural skincare remedies you can DIY within minutes — safe, clean, and effective. Read on.
If you’ve ever wondered — ‘how to clean your black underarms’, just walk to your kitchen. Tea Tree Oil doesn’t just excel at lightening your underarms. Since it is antimicrobial, it protects your skin from microbes, and keeps your underarms odor-free. All you have to do is dilute the solution with five or six drops of water, and store it in a spray-bottle. Just spritz the oil onto your underarms following a shower, and let it dry naturally. You can repeat this every day or every alternate day.
MyGlamm WIPEOUT Germ Killing Body Wash
The MyGlamm’s WIPEOUT germ-killing body wash is enriched with natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, glycerin, lavender oil, etc. This body wash kills germs, calms & purifies the skin, and reduces pigmentation too.
Lemon is a natural bleaching agent — it will lighten pigmentation in the underarms over time. And since it is anti-bacterial and cleansing, it will keep your underarms healthy and clean too. Just cut a lemon into two slices, and rub them against your underarms for about 2 or 3 minutes. Let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Repeat this process thrice a week.
Haldi is just as antibacterial and healing as it is lightening — not only does it combat pigmentation, it relieves your skin from bacteria and itching. Mix one teaspoon of honey, milk, and haldi in a bowl before applying the solution to your underarms for about 15 minutes. Wash it off with water. Repeat this twice or thrice a week.
Aloe Vera is sought after for how soothing and cooling it is; but it’s also anti-bacterial, and it can act on dark spots effectively. All you need to do is extract some gel from a fresh leaf, and massage it all over the underarms. You can also use a ready-made gel instead — remember to refrigerate it for a while. Remove the aloe from the underarms within 15 minutes, and repeat every day for quicker results.
MyGlamm SUPERFOODS Watermelon & Aloe Body Wash
If you’re looking to add natural goodness to your bathing routine, this body wash is perfect for you. Enriched with watermelon & aloe vera, this body wash soothes & calms the skin, hydrates the skin, and heals inflamed skin too.
Apple Cider Vinegar is loaded with acids that help eliminate dead skin-cell build-up from your underarms. And because it’s an astringent, it can unclog the pores as well. This can lessen pigmentation, and smooth the area too. You can dilute ACV with a little bit of water, and soak a few cotton-balls in the solution before spreading it evenly over your underarms. Keep it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. You can repeat the process every second day.
Apart from moisturising the skin, and soothing inflammation, coconut oil is popular for its ability to lighten darker areas of the body thanks to Vitamin E. Just rub a few drops onto your underarms for 15 minutes before washing it off. Repeat this two to three times a week.
If your skin is sensitive, potatoes are your safest bet. They can reduce patchiness on the skin, and brighten the underarms in the process. Just grate a potato, and extract enough juice to cover your underarms. Spread it evenly, and let it sit on the skin for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. You can repeat this twice a day.
You know how much you sweat every day — especially during summers. This sweat allows bacteria to thrive, and the more the bacteria, the more the infections, and the more the darkening. That’s where cucumbers come in. Packed with bleaching agents, the vegetable can be used to soothe, lighten, and calm the area. Cut a few slices of cucumber, and rub them against your underarms before rinsing the area 15 minutes after application. Repeat this twice a day.
Baking Soda is an effective skin-lightening agent and exfoliator. You can combine it with rose water to further bolster its potency. Rose water has brightening properties, and it keeps your underarms odor-free. Just add a tablespoon of baking soda to rose water, mix the two together, and apply evenly over the skin before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
While Multani Mitti is regarded as a glow-inducing treatment for the face, it can be used on the underarms as well. Apart from reviving your glow and radiance, ubtan exfoliates the skin, and sloughs off impurities, dirt, oils, and grime from the surface. This can help make your underarms smooth and clear. All you need to do is mix a tablespoon of Multani Mitti with half a teaspoon of lemon juice and a few drops of rose water. Mix it well, and apply evenly on the underarms until the paste dries on its own. You can wash it off after, and repeat twice a week.
And now you know how to clean underarms blackness at home. Remember that a little pigmentation is normal — and isn’t something you should feel insecure about. Our bodies aren’t supposed to look like the air-brushed versions you see sprawled out over the covers of magazines — and that’s fine.
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