Dark underarms can be caused by medical conditions that include obesity, cancer, acanthosis nigricans which can be because of insulin resistance and cancer. Acanthosis Nigricans causes light brown and black markings on the skin which are velvety all over the skin.
Dark armpits can be as a result of inflammation from topical treatments or genetics, but also with age the armpits darken.
When making natural remedies use honey in a mixture to avoid more problems. The use of lemon juice is good but the acid found in fruits can hyper pigment the skin which is slightly painful. When exfoliating avoid rubbing as too much rubbing and pressure will exacerbate the situation.
Some causes included
Endocrine disorder, glandular disorder and obesity. Also, people with diabetes or a tendency towards diabetes suffer from it especially dark skinned people.
Another cause is the Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, pituitary gland disorders, oral contraceptive and growth hormone therapy.
- If the condition is related to diabetes change the diet and restrict sugars and starches.
- Oral contraceptives sometimes cause skin conditions. Consult your health care provider and switch to another birth control method to check whether the skin condition will change.
- Salicylic acid, retin A, urea 20% and alpha hydroxyacids are all prescriptions which can help though they are minimally effective. In the U.S, the hydroquinone is the most used ingredient in skin lighteners. These products are regulated by FDA and a prescription of 4 % hydroquinone can be given. Products bought over the counter are required to have 2% hydroquinone.
When buying skin lightening products it is advisable to buy from trusted brands. The FDA regulates the skin lightening products and in 1990 all products containing mercury were banned from the US, this is because it was found to be a harmful toxic metal. However, products containing mercury find their way to the US stores because they are manufactured in a different country and brought into the country. Take time to carefully read the label.
- Electrolysis is not advisable for women with dark skin because they can suffer from skin darkening or hyperpigmentation. Electrolysis is a method of hair removal and when discontinued discoloration stops occurring.
Use of natural remedies to get the black off the armpits can also work. For example
- Using coconut oil which is rich in vitamin E. For best results use the coconut oil daily or on alternating days. Apply the oil on the skin before bathing, let it rest for 15 minutes and use lukewarm water and a mild soap to rinse it off. Coconut oil is a good option as it also acts as a natural deodorant.
- You can make a whitening pack. A natural whitening paste is made by mixing gram flour (chickpea flour) with lemon, yoghurt and turmeric. Form a thick paste then apply and leave to rest for 30 minutes then rinse with warm water. Start by using this paste for two weeks daily then switch to thrice a week for the whitening effect.
- Thick hair under the skin causes dark underarms. This thick hair comes about due to shaving, and if this is the case change from shaving to waxing. Waxing removes the hair from the root leaving the skin softer and lighter.
- Some antiperspirants are strong and darken underarms because of the inflammatory response of the skin. Body odors are not a major problem as it looks on advertisements of deodorants. So consider skipping the use of a deodorant or antiperspirant to stop the darkening of the armpits. Moisturizing deodorants and hydrating oils come in handy to maintain healthy and smooth armpits.
- Detoxify the armpits. Why? This is because antiperspirants and deodorants have variety of chemical additives which block the body’s ability to sweat. These chemicals put endocrine disruptions and they suppress the immunity of the body at the same time messing up the hormones. The skin is the largest organ of the body and it absorbs things through it to the blood steam. An armpit detox will remove some of these chemicals from the skin and help the natural deodorant adjustment period. To detoxify successfully mix apple cider vinegar, with bentonite clay and water. Apply over the armpit and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Wash with warm water. You might notice some redness which will soon go away, but it comes as a result of increased blood flow to the armpits.