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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.

How to lighten Dark armpits at home


How to lighten Dark armpits at home

A dark coloration of your underarm skin isn’t usually a medical condition, or a disease. Instead it can be considered a response to certain elements of exposure. Some of the most common causes of dark underarms are using hair removal creams regularly, excessive sweating, shaving, using alcohol based antiperspirants or deodorants, an accumulation of dead skin cells, as well as poor airing of the underarms.

There are a number of home remedies that are effective, natural, safe, and affordable.

Potato/Cucumber. Potatoes are mildly acidic, and because it’s a mild natural bleaching agent it will not irritate the skin. You can slice the potato and rub thin slices on your underarms. The potato can also be grated, and the juice applied. Either way, allow 15 to 20 minutes for it to dry and then rinse with lukewarm water. Do this twice a day. Cucumbers can be used in the same manner, or the juice can be mixed with lemon juice and a small amount of turmeric powder. This creates a paste that can be applied to the underarm area and left for 30 minutes. Wash off with water.

Lemon. Lemon is a natural bleach, as well as an excellent antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Lemons are used frequently in skin related issues, but it can dry your sky out, so ensure you apply a natural moisturizer after the lemon treatment. Rubbing a lemon wedge on the affected area for a few minutes can help to remove the dead skin cells. For a more effective exfoliator, sprinkle sugar on top of the lemon wedge. Repeat this process a few times a week. Alternatively, add a small amount of turmeric powder and plain yogurt to lemon juice and apply to the area. Wash it off after 10 minutes, and repeat this process at least 3 times a week.

Baking Soda. This makes an excellent base for an exfoliating scrub, it not only unclogs skin pores but also helps remove those pesky dead skin cells.

Mix water with the baking soda to create a paste and then use the paste to scrub the area. Wash, dry thoroughly and repeat at least 3 times a week.

Orange Peel. Leave orange peels in the sun for 3 days and allow them to dry out completely, then grind them into a powder. Mix 2 teaspoons with milk (or rose water) to make a thick paste. Scrub your underarms with it and then leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash the paste off with cold water and repeat the process 3 times a week.

Vinegar. Not only will this lighten the skin, it’s also great at killing the bacteria and germs that feed on the dead skin that cause underarm odor. Mix rice flour in with the vinegar to form a thick paste, apply this paste in a hot shower and leave it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash it off with warm water, and this can be repeated three times a week.

Coconut Oil. There is Vitamin E in coconut oil, which can help lighten dark underarms. It’s also an excellent deodorant. Rub coconut oil on your underarms and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Use mild soap and lukewarm water to wash it off, do this three times a week.