Having dark underarms is a problem that Filipinas don’t want to deal with. Although it’s not a serious condition, having dark underarms can greatly affect your confidence. It can discourage you from wearing sleeveless tops and bathing suits in public, ultimately affecting your choice of clothes and the kinds of sports you play.
If you have been dealing with this skin problem for a long time, you might have searched for different ways on how to lighten the skin in your underarms. You might have even tried listening to your friends and family members’ advice and tested the tips you’ve read on the internet to no avail.
But don’t lose hope! There are still many things that you can try to address your dark underarms, and the first step you should take is to determine what caused your problem.
Possible Causes of Dark Underarms
Knowing the cause of your underarm discoloration can help you determine the right treatment for it. Let’s start by discussing the main reasons for dark underarms:
The climate here in the Philippines often causes you to sweat, especially when working or doing errands outside of your house. Excessive perspiration can then make your armpits a site for bacteria growth and cause you to have body odor. To prevent this from happening, you might have started using deodorant when you hit puberty or maybe even before that.
However, did you know that some deodorants may be too strong for the delicate skin of your underarms? There are products that contain harsh chemicals, which can be damaging to your skin. Using this kind of deodorant regularly can cause your armpits to darken over time.
Given the conservative culture here in the Philippines, you might have been discouraged by your parents to wear sleeveless clothes as you were growing up. This means sticking to wearing T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts as much as you can.
Although there is nothing wrong with wearing sleeved shirts, the friction they cause can contribute to the discoloration of your armpits. This is especially true if you like wearing tight clothes.
Shaving is the most common method of underarm hair removal, especially here in the Philippines. This is because shaving is easier, more accessible, and much cheaper than other options, such as waxing and laser hair removal.
Your mother or older sister may have taught you how to shave your armpits properly as you were growing up. They might have even given you tips and special techniques to keep your underarms safe.
However, no matter how careful you are when shaving your underarms, you can still nick your skin. These small cuts can then irritate your skin and cause scarring, which can contribute to the discoloration of your underarms.
Additionally, shaving causes friction on your skin. Frequently shaving your armpits can then darken your skin.
Lack of Exfoliation
Exfoliation is a crucial step in your facial skin care routine. But did you know that your underarms also need frequent exfoliation?
Just like any other part of your body, your underarms shed skin cells regularly. Although it can naturally get rid of dead skin cells, your armpits may need some support in shedding it all.
Failing to exfoliate your underarms can lead to the accumulation of dead skin cells in the area. This can cause your underarms to look darker and feel rougher than usual.
Dark underarms can also be caused by underlying medical conditions. One skin problem that may cause your armpit discoloration is melasma.
Melasma is a skin condition that causes an individual’s skin to develop dark patches and freckle-like spots. This happens when there is an overproduction of melanin in your skin.
This skin condition usually occurs in pregnant women. The change in their hormones triggers the condition, leaving them with discolored skin and darker armpits.
Other Underlying Medical Conditions
Your dark underarms can also be an indication of other medical conditions, such as Addison’s disease or acanthosis nigricans. Dark armpits caused by these illnesses can only be addressed by treating the underlying medical condition.
Addressing Dark Underarms
There are many ways to undo the discoloration of your underarms. You can choose a more natural route, use underarm whitening products, or seek help from skin professionals to restore your armpit skin. Continue reading to learn about the different treatments you can get for your dark underarms
Prevention is Key
The best way to treat your underarms is by preventing any of the causes listed above. Here are some things that you can do:
Choose the Right Deodorant
When shopping for deodorants, make sure to choose a product that does not contain any harsh chemicals. As much as possible, buy a deodorant made with natural products, which will be gentle enough for your skin.
Let Your Underarms Breathe
If possible, wear sleeveless shirts as often as you can to let your armpits breathe and avoid friction. However, if you are not yet confident wearing sleeveless clothes, make sure to wear T-shirts with a looser fit.
Change Your Hair Removal Method
Aside from shaving, there are other methods you can use to get rid of your armpit hair. One of the best alternatives you can choose is waxing. You can opt to wax your armpits at home by yourself or visit a waxing salon and have professionals do it for you.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a more permanent way to remove your armpit hair, you can choose to have laser treatments. Laser hair removal works by emitting pulses of light energy into your skin, which destroys your hair follicles. After a few sessions, you will notice slower hair growth and less hair on your armpit.
Avoid the accumulation of dead skin cells on your armpits by exfoliating them regularly. For gentle exfoliation, use a mild lightening body scrub that will not damage your sensitive skin in any way.
Aside from taking preventive measures, you can actively try to lighten your discolored underarms. One thing you can do is use natural ways to brighten your armpits.
Growing up, your elders may have provided you with tips on how to brighten your skin without using any medication or buying any skin care products. They claim that there are several plants, vegetables, and fruits that have the power to lighten your skin with regular use.
Calamansi, just like other citrus fruits, has natural bleaching and anti-bacterial properties. To use calamansi to lighten your underarms, slice one and squeeze its juice out.
Apply calamansi juice on your armpits after taking a bath and let it sit for a few hours. Then, pat your underarms dry using a clean cloth or wash the area with cold water. Doing this regularly will help improve the texture and color of your underarms.
Aloe vera is found in almost all Filipino households because of its amazing healing properties. It is often used to treat skin problems, such as rashes, cuts, sunburn, and dryness.
You can also use the gel from an aloe vera plant to treat your dark underarms. This plant can help restore the texture of your skin and soothe any irritation that you might be dealing with due to shaving and harsh products.
If you are looking for a gentler way to lighten your underarms, you should give Papaya a try. This fruit contains the enzyme papain, which is effective in healing your skin and encouraging collagen production.
To use this on your underarms, crush some papaya fruit and apply it as a mask on your armpits. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off and rinsing your skin. Do this for a few times every week to see results immediately.
Aside from natural treatments, you can opt to buy skin care products that are specially formulated to lighten underarms. Most of the time, these products come as lotions, creams, or gels that you can apply directly to your armpits.
One promising product that you can use is the Gluta-C Intense Whitening Underarm and Bikini Skin Whitening Gel. This item contains Glutathione and Vitamin C, which are powerful antioxidants that can effectively lighten your armpits and stimulate skin cell generation.
You can also try going to an esthetician who can apply chemical peels on your armpits. You can choose from a light salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) peel. These three options work by exfoliating the topmost layers of your underarm skin.
After your treatment, you can experience some redness, tightness, and irritation on your armpits. During this time, make sure to follow your esthetician’s advice on how to take care of your skin. It may take up to a few months before your skin color returns to normal and you see the result of your chemical peel.
For other ways on how to lighten the skin in your underarms, you can seek professional help from a dermatologist. They can assess your condition and provide you with a proper treatment plan that will help you achieve the results that you want.
One treatment that your dermatologist may suggest is microdermabrasion. This procedure involves using a minimally abrasive instrument to gently exfoliate your skin. It can help you get rid of any unevenness and thickness on your underarm skin while addressing its discoloration.
Regain Your Confidence
Having lighter underarms can surely boost your self-confidence. Follow the tips we have listed above and use the products recommended to achieve the beautiful armpits you have always wanted. In just a few weeks, you can flaunt your lighter underarms and wear whatever you want without worry!