The color of your underarm skin is often similar to the color of the rest of your skin; however, it is possible for some patients’ underarms to become darker.
In most instances, it does not do any harm. It is in your best interest to address it with your dermatologist, who will be able to provide you with a number of treatment choices that will alleviate any associated feelings of embarrassment or shame.
Why do the underarms tan?
The pigmentation of our skin is caused by the creation of melanin in the skin by cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes are most commonly located in the epidermis, which is the very outermost layer of the skin. Our skin gets darker as a result of an increase in the production of the pigment melanin.
Why do underarms get dark?
It is essential to determine the cause of your dark underarms in order to provide yourself with appropriate treatment and to ensure that the darkness is not the result of any underlying medical issue. In most cases, making quite a few adjustments is sufficient to lighten dark underarm skin.
However, if the underlying medical problem that causes dark underarms isn’t treated as soon as possible and in an appropriate manner, it can have serious repercussions. If you detect a darkening of your underarm skin, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.
The inheritance of dark pigmentation in the armpits is mostly determined by genetics. If dark underarms run in your family, there is a greater chance that you will develop them yourself. Also, darker skin types are at increased risk of acquiring dark underarms.
Chronic irritation or friction is one of the most typical factors that contribute to dark underarm skin. Using the incorrect products, waxing, shaving with a dull blade, shaving frequently, or shaving without shaving cream can all lead to irritation. Shaving can also be uncomfortable if done without shaving cream. Skin friction, caused by factors such as tight clothing and obesity, can lead to irritation and, as a result, darkening of the skin.
Certain products have the potential to provoke allergic reactions in addition to those that irritate the skin of the underarms. A condition known as post-inflammatory pigment alteration can develop on the skin as a result of the inflammation caused by the rash (PIPA). Patients who have skin that is easily irritated are at a greater risk.
The darkening of the skin in that region can also be caused by bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections in the underarms. The underarms provide an environment that is ideal for the growth of bacteria because it is dark and damp there. The hyperpigmentation shown on the skin is a direct result of the inflammation brought on by the illness.
A disorder known as acanthosis nigricans is responsible for the darkening of the underarm skin. In most cases, it is connected to an increase in the amount of insulin that is present in the body. In addition to being linked to obesity and diabetes, elevated insulin levels have also been linked to the polycystic ovarian syndrome, the use of steroids, and even certain malignancies that affect the gastrointestinal tract.
What is the remedy for dark underarms?
The treatment that is most likely to be successful for dark underarms is one that gets to the root of the problem and corrects it. In order to accomplish this, you will initially need to consult with your primary care physician to find out the reason why the skin is becoming darker.
After reviewing your medical history and carrying out a physical examination, the physician may decide to conduct laboratory tests to assist in determining the root of the problem.
In the event that irritation is the root cause, you will need to identify the offending agent and eliminate it from your daily routine. If you are overweight, you should make an effort to reduce your weight by improving your diet and getting more exercise.
If you suspect that your method of hair removal is to blame, be sure to shave with shaving cream and a razor that has recently been sharpened each time. Additionally, try shaving less frequently. Some people prefer to remove unwanted hair with laser treatments rather than by shaving or waxing.
In addition to this, it is essential to apply moisturizer after shaving in order to calm and soothe the affected area. Only clothes with a relaxed fit should be worn by you.
In the event that one of your items is responsible for an allergic response, you need to identify which one it is and immediately discontinue its use. Your physician may decide to order patch testing in order to assist in determining the offender.
If you have skin that is easily irritated, you should only use deodorant and other items under your arms that do not include any colors or scents. Before utilizing the product, it is also recommended to perform what is known as a spot test on it. Your doctor may recommend a steroid cream or pill to apply directly to the rash or take orally.
The use of antibacterial soaps in the underarm area and maintaining a dry environment there can help avoid infections in people who are prone to getting them. Your physician might take a culture to identify the specific bacteria that is responsible for the infection. When the bacterium that is causing the infection has been identified, your doctor will give you a prescription for a drug that can either be applied topically or taken orally to kill it.
If you have acanthosis nigricans, your physician will need to establish the cause in order to treat it properly. Possible causes include obesity, diabetes, cancer, and certain drugs. It’s possible that this calls for additional testing. Obesity and diabetes are two conditions that can be helped by a healthy diet and regular exercise.
In order to maintain control of your diabetes and prevent further complications, you will need to take medication. If you have this condition. If your doctor determines that the reason is a drug, he or she may be able to recommend an alternative that will not result in the darkening of the underarm skin. Last but not least, if the condition is caused by cancer, the tumor itself will need to be treated.
There are other treatment options available to lighten the skin in the event that the underlying reason has been addressed and your underarms are still dark. Help is available in the form of topicals and treatments that are just minimally invasive.
Both prescription and over-the-counter lotions, when applied on a regular basis and used as directed, have the potential to lighten the discoloration. Even with operations, the lightening of the skin will take some time. The following are some of the available treatment options for lightening the skin:
- Creams available only by medical prescription (retinoids, calcipotriene, and hydroquinone)
- Chemical peels
- Bleaching creams that are available without a prescription and contain licorice, kojic acid, and niacinamide
Even though dark underarms are the result of a benign ailment in the vast majority of cases, this skin discoloration can sometimes be a sign of a more serious disease, including cancer.
If you have noticed that your underarms are becoming darker than usual, you should consult with your primary care physician to decide whether or not further testing is required.
Your dermatologist will be able to guide you in the direction of the treatment that would best lighten your skin tone and help you feel more confident.
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