Have you felt embarrassed about raising your arms while wearing a sleeveless top, because your armpit looks like a dark shadow has been cast over it? While not uncommon, hyperpigmentation of the underarms can leave some feeling rather uneasy about themselves. Let’s explore the causes, prevention and remedies to our armpit hyperpigmentation questions.
Why Do We Get Dark Armpits?
The root cause of most hyperpigmentation of the skin is inflammation. Inflammation in the deep layers of our skin causes melanin production to be excessive and untamed. Bear in mind that melanin is one of our skin’s most important, natural defence mechanism in preventing skin cell damage. Chronic inflammation can both lead to your underarms to darken over time. So, what is causing this inflammation?
Overuse of deodorants and antiperspirants
Most deodorants have aluminium as an active ingredient, which clogs sweat ducts and irritates the skin. Other ingredients such as alcohol, can be harsh on the delicate underarm skin. These ingredients can irritate the skin subtly and lead to chronic inflammation of the skin. Any inflammation can lead to a thickening and darkening of the skin over time. Furthermore, deodorants have a long list of chemical ingredients that can disrupt your endocrine system, can lead to a change in your armpit’s microbiome environment – more odour. We smell trouble here and do not encourage the use of traditional deodorants. Switch to natural alternatives if you must.
Shaving with a razor blade
Shaving with can irritate the thin skin of the underarm. Your skin reacts to irritation by thickening to protect itself from additional damage. Irritation also causes an inflammatory reaction of your skin, and in the long term, discolouration occurs. Waxing and any abrasive action on the armpit can cause the same reaction as shaving.
Opt for laser or IPL (intense pulse light) hair removal to avoid excessive irritation of the skin. For those with a darker ethnic skin tone, light-based methods may lead to darkening of the underarms too. To prevent hyperpigmentation of the skin, we recommend some post-hair removal self care for your lovely armpits. Photo-sinergy serum by bSoul contains CM-Glucan Granulate, which will boost your skin’s recovery after an aesthetic procedure such as laser hair removal. It absorbs quickly and does not leave a sticky feeling on the skin.
Underlying health conditions
Darkened armpits can sometimes be a warning signal that you may have a higher chance of suffering from diabetes. Insulin imbalance can interfere with the pigmentation in the skin, and cause armpits to darken. If you have a family history of diabetes, take steps to lower your sugar intake. If you do not, we recommend you to seek professional medical advice on how to keep yourself healthy and diabetes-free.
Constant rubbing of the armpits and the body
This is common among people who are overweight. Constant friction leads to irritation and chronic inflammation of the skin. The skin thickens and darkens over time. It is not possible to avoid constant contact, except to change your lifestyle and get your body in a healthier state and shape.
How to Get Rid of Dark Armpits?
First of all, it is best to avoid the causes of hyperpigmentation, that is irritation and inflammation. For armpits that are already darkened, here are some remedies to try.
Treat the discolouration the way you would treat the face. Use serums that evens out skin tone and control melanin production such as bSoul Uniform Sinergy, bSoul Ultra-bright Serum, IOMA Bright Pearl Essence. We do not encourage the use of peels of any sort as the skin of the underarms is very delicate and these products, however mild they claim to be, are still aggressive to the armpits. Aggressive products and ingredients will only lead to further darkening in the long term.
Some dermatologists recommend homemade mask of cucumber and aloe vera to nourish the thickened skin. Their anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin and calm down irritation. Alternatively, you can use bSoul Hydra Night Mask, formulated with aloe vera and peppermint for their skin calming effects, hydration prowess and pH balancing benefits to the skin. IOMA Beneficial Mask is another option. The chamomile extract heals the skin with its anti-inflammatory and calming effects.
Many women suffer from dark armpits. While brightening the area is a personal choice, treating your armpits with care, can reduce and even prevent, hyperpigmentation.