Dark underarms can be thought of as the skin’s response to exposure to certain elements, similar to a suntan that results from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This is usually not a disease or medical condition.
You can easily get rid of dark underarms using simple home remedies that are safe, effective, natural and affordable. In this article, you’ll learn both home-based and medical ways to whiten your underarms.
Causes of Dark Underarms
Having dark underarms is not a disease or medical condition to worry about. This is caused due to the following reasons.
Shaving of underarms: Shaving is the major cause of dark underarms as it only cuts off the hair at the surface of the skin. This leads to thickening of the hair which increases skin pigmentation and darkens the area.
Excessive sweating: Excessive sweating leads to skin darkening as the bacteria present in the skin of the underarms are trapped resulting in darkening of the skin.
Hereditary factors: Hereditary factors can also cause dark underarms as it may be due to excessive overweight or hormonal factors that lead to pigmentation and darkening of the skin.
Using of deodorants and perfumes: Excessive usage of deodorants or perfumes directly on your skin tends to darken your underarms due to some chemicals present in them.
Excessive use of hair removal creams: Hair removal creams cause discoloration of skin that leads to darkened armpits.
Home Remedies for Dark Underarms
There are so many home remedies for whitening dark underarms. They may need your efforts and time as well as patience but you can sure get whitened underarms.
Lemon is the first thing that comes to mind whenever you want to remove anything dark from your skin. Nothing is as good a bleach as lemon is. Lemon is not only a natural cleanser but also has anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties. This is why lemon is used in the treatment of various skin-related problems including dark underarms.
- Rub a thick slice of lemon on the dark area; the fruit will remove dead skin cells and lighten the skin.
- Follow-up by washing and, if necessary, applying moisturizer (with continued use, lemons can dry out the skin).
- Add a small amount of tumeric, plain yogurt or honey to lemon juice to make a paste that can be left on for 10 minutes and then rinsed clean.
The mild acidic property present in potatoes is a great natural bleaching agent. Unlike strong bleaching agents, it will not cause skin irritation.
- Thinly slice a potato and rub a slice on the dark area.
- You can also grate the potato and apply the juice to the affected area, allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Use either of these remedies twice daily for better and faster results.
3. Egg Oil
Gently massage egg oil on the dark area and leave on overnight; the omega-3 in egg oil promote re-epithelisation (new skin cells) which make the skin smooth and light. Wash in the morning with a pH balanced soap or body wash.
Just like potatoes, cucumbers also have natural bleaching properties to help lighten discolored skin.
- Simply rub a thin cucumber slice on your underarms or grate a cucumber and apply the juice under your arms. Do this once or twice daily until you are satisfied with the results.
- You can go a step further and add a few drops of lemon juice and some turmeric (enough to make a paste) to the cucumber juice. Apply the paste, wait a half hour and wash off.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used to make an exfoliating scrub to get rid of dark underarms. This will help remove dead skin cells, which is one of the main causes of dark underarms. It will also help unclog skin pores.
- Make a thick baking soda-and-water paste to use as a scrub.
- After scrubbing, rinsing and drying the area, you can apply a dusting of baking powder to the skin to give it a lighter appearance.
6. Orange Peels
Orange peels can be used to lighten the skin under your arms, thanks to their skin lightening and exfoliating properties.
- Peel an orange and put the peels out in the sun to dry.
- Grind the peels to form a powder and make a paste by adding rose water and milk.
- Scrub your underarms with the paste for 10-15 minutes to remove dead skin cells and rinse with cold water.
Mix a cup of brown sugar with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Apply to wet skin for a minute or two during a shower or bath and rinse. Try using the mixture twice a week when you bathe.
8. Pumice Stone
Gently remove dead skin cells from under your arms with the use of a pumice stone. This light-weight, abrasive volcanic rock is sold in drug stores and beauty supply stores. Wet the stone thoroughly and gently scrub the underarm area.
Vinegar can also come to your rescue when you wish to get rid of your dark underarms. This remedy will not only lighten the skin color, but will also kill germs and bacteria that feed on dead skin cells causing underarm odor.
- Make a mixture of rice flour with vinegar to form a paste.
- Take a shower and then apply the paste to the underarms.
- Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and rinse it off with warm water.
- Repeat a few times a week.
The vitamins and fatty acids present in milk can help minimize underarm darkening. It will soften the skin and make the skin tone much lighter.
- Create a paste of 2 tablespoons of milk, one teaspoon of curd and one tablespoon of flour.
- Apply to the skin, let sit for 15 minutes and rinse with cold water.
- Skin should be softer and free of dead skin cells, which will make the area look much lighter.
- You can get even better results with full fat milk cream.
11. Coconut Oil
The Vitamin E in coconut oil can help lighten dark skin over time, so for best results it should be used daily or every other day.
- Before bathing, massage the oil into the skin for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with a mild soap and lukewarm water.
Sandalwood is another useful ingredient for getting rid of dark underarms due to its skin-lightening properties. Using rose water to make a paste will add a cooling and softening effect on the skin. The fragrance of sandalwood will also help get rid of body odor due to excessive sweating.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder and sufficient rose water to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste on your underarms.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes or until it dries, and then rinse it off with cold water.
- When repeated daily, this remedy will lighten the skin tone of your underarms within a few days.
13. Gram Flour
If you’re willing to commit to a frequent treatment regimen, you can try a natural whitening pack made from gram flour (also known a chickpea flour).
- Mix the flour with yogurt, lemon and a little turmeric to form a thick paste.
- Apply and leave the paste in place for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
- Apply this whitening paste daily for two weeks and then three times a week to speed up the whitening effect.
Medical Remedies for Dark Underarms
Check with your doctor. Home remedies may not help with dark underarms if you’re suffering from a condition known as acanthosis nigricans, a skin disorder that results in velvety, light-brown-to-black markings in areas that include the armpits.
- This condition can occur as a result of obesity or an endocrine (glandular) disorder. It is frequently found in people with diabetes or a tendency towards diabetes.
- Other possible causes of acanthosis nigricans include Addison’s disease, pituitary gland disorders, growth hormone therapy, hypothyroidism or the use of oral contraceptives.
Stop taking the pill. If oral contraceptives are at the source of your skin condition, you can try switching to a different form of birth control to see if the condition improves once the medication is stopped.
Change your diet. If your condition is diabetes related, modifying your diet to restrict starches and sugars may help.
Stop electrolysis. All women, but especially those with dark skin run the risk of hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) when they use electrolysis for hair removal. If you’ve been having electrolysis treatments to remove the underarm hair, stopping the treatment should stop more discoloration from occurring.