What causes the darkening of underarms?
Some of the causes of the darkening of underarms are as follows:
- Acanthosis nigricans – a type of skin condition which causes darkening and thickening of the skin. This may be linked to obesity, diabetes, or cancer (very rare);
- Irritation of skin from the usage of chemical products such as deodorants, excessive shaving or abrasions; and
- Hormonal changes from contraceptive pills, menstruation or pregnancy.
What can we do to improve our underarms?
Preventative measures can be taken to prevent the darkening of the underarms. For example, wearing light cotton tops and reducing recurrent shaving may help to prevent friction. Also, avoid harsh chemicals on the skin which may contribute to skin darkening. Treatments include topical cream that contains hydroquinone, and/or energy-based devices. Intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser treatments will help to break down pigments on the underarms. In addition to lightening the underarm, certain wavelengths can help to reduce hair growth for smoother underarms.
If excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) is present, botulinum toxin injections on the underarm can also be considered to improve the underarms. Kindly contact us for more information.