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Why Are My Armpits so Dark?


Why are my armpits so dark?

This is one doubt that must have definitely come to your mind more than once. Remember that your underarm skin is delicate and sensitive. There could be several factors causing your underarm skin darkening. Find out which of these reasons apply to you and treat your armpits accordingly.


Continuous usage of deodorants and antiperspirants can darken your underarm. The fragrance causing chemicals in some deodorants can irritate the sensitive skin. Well, there are a few who never get skin discoloration even after use of deodorants while some swear by how their armpits lighten once they stop using deodorants.


As shaving is just about trimming off the hair above your skin, the hair beneath your skin might make the area appear darker. Some even say that if you shave too often, in addition to the hair beneath, the friction between the skin and the razor can also be another reason for darkening.

Dead skin cells:

Like any other skin, underarm skin is also prone to buildup of dead skin cells. When these get accumulated in the pores in your armpits, they would cause dark spots.


If you have a hyperpigmentation condition, there would be excess melanin produced by your skin. This is a general case. Armpit darkening isn’t mostly because of this. In rare cases, hyperpigmentation could affect the armpits as well.

Bacterial infection:

Skin folds are generally problematic and prone to infections. Underarms are no exceptions. There are several types of bacteria that are present in the underarm. They are harmless in most situations. But when there is excess sweating the bacteria might cause an infection called erythrasma. This might begin with the darkening of underarms. It might even be accompanied by pink scaly, itchy patches on the skin.

Medical reasons:

Acanthosis nigricans, is a hyperpigmentation condition that usually causes darkening of areas with skin folds like the neck, armpits etc. In the rare cases of those who have this medical condition, underarm darkening might occur too.

Dark underarms are pretty normal. It is a harmless condition that might possibly occur due to any of the above reasons. But in case you find excess pigmentation or darkening of the skin in other areas than just the armpits is when you have to be concerned.

Preventing or treating the darkening of armpits:

  • Use skin friendly deodorants that have been dermatologically tested and free of skin irritants.
  • Choose other hair removal methods than shaving. Waxing would be a better choice as the hair is removed from the root, leaving no dark hair beneath the skin.
  • Exfoliate the underarm skin periodically to remove the dead skin cells. Remember to moisturize it after you exfoliate it.
  • If the darkening is due to any infection or a medical condition, treat the underlying problem first.

There are several home remedies you could try for lightening of the armpits. Start out with first avoiding all those underarm darkening factors. Then choose the right remedy according to your skin type.

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