Help! My Underarms Are Too Dark

A woman seeks advice on how to light up her dark underarms.

Beauty Queen

Lightening Up Dark Underarms

Dear Beauty Queen: I have always wondered how some people manage to maintain their armpits so that they have the same complexion as the whole body. Is it hereditary in some people to have an even complexion the whole body including armpits, & others to have a darker shade at the armpit?

Or is there something that those people with darker skin shade at the armpits are not doing?

I thought it was about hygiene but if that was so, then why am I still having a dark shade under my armpit? Because I have always made sure that it’s shaved & I always clean my armpits. I have even tried to use a soap stone to scrub but all it did was hurt me.

All I need to know is whether or not having a dark shade at the armpit is hereditary/normal so that I can stop worrying myself. If it’s not hereditary or normal, what can I do to remove the dark shade?

Beauty Queen: For some women, discoloration in the underarm area is a pesky problem. It’s hereditary in that it’s more common in those with darker skin, but there also seems to be a connection between dark skin under the arms and some hygienic habits.

Since you mention that you shave often, your problem isn’t an underarm 5 o’clock shadow, it’s your actual skin that’s darker than the surrounding areas. Believe it or not, the darkening can be your skin’s way of reacting to the frequent shaving (but don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you go au naturel). The culprit may also be your deodorant.

In terms of solutions, you may want to try a deodorant designed specifically for this problem. It’s called DermaDoctor Total Nonscents ($28,, and it contains gentle skin brighteners that won’t irritate the skin, but it takes time (from 6 to 12 months) to see results.

You may also want to consult a dermatologist who may recommend another course of treatment, which could include lightening creams or chemical peels.

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