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Dark Armpits

Sonia Nair
Do you shy away from wearing sleeveless shirts or T-shirts, due to your dark armpits? This story can help you with some solutions.
Dark armpits can be a cause of worry, especially for fair-skinned people. It can be really embarrassing to wear sleeveless apparel that reveal the dark underarms. If you have this condition, then, don't lose heart. There are various remedies for this condition, which can help you in lightening this dark skin.


Dark armpits can be caused by various factors, that may vary from one person to another. While in some people, excessive use of hair removing creams is found to be among the most common causes, in some others, this condition occurs due to regular shaving. Other causes include excessive armpit sweating.
Some people, especially the obese ones develop dark underarms due to friction of the skin with clothes or skin itself. In some cases, use of deodorants and antiperspirants are found to cause this skin problem, as these products contain metallic salts that are not good for the skin.
According to some health experts, accumulation of dead skin could also be a cause for the condition. So proper hygiene and skin care is recommended, to prevent darkening of the underarm skin. It has also been observed that some people develop dark skin on areas, like the armpit, groin and neck.
The condition called 'acanthosis nigricans', is mostly found in obese people. Type II diabetes has also been linked to the condition.
Some people have darker skin on joints like elbows, knees and armpits. It has also been noticed that use of androgen-based contraceptives can result in dark coloration of the armpits. Hyperpigmentation and underarm infection are also among the possible dark underarm causes. It has also been observed that the condition could be hereditary.
Whatever may be the cause, dark armpits can be a cause of concern, for those who have this condition. Improper hygiene and lack of proper skin care may also be contributory factors for darkening of the underarm skin.


Identify the cause for dark underarms in your case and control it. For example, if it is found that your regular deodorant is causing change in skin color, you may choose another brand or avoid using it. In case of skin friction, you can use loose-fitting clothes. If regular shaving or use of hair removal creams is the reason for dark armpits, you may opt for permanent hair removal.
Shaving is said to cause minute skin abrasions that can darken the complexion, as they heal. Another problem with shaving is that it removes hair from just below the surface of the skin. The remaining part of the hair beneath the skin makes the skin look slightly darker, in people with dark hair.
So, waxing or plucking is said to be beneficial. Laser hair treatment is said to be a very good option for those who are not interested in waxing or plucking.
In case of dead skin accumulation in the underarms, try exfoliation, twice a week. You may also use underarm lightening creams for acquiring a uniform skin tone. While buying such products, make sure that they are clinically proven to be safe. It is advisable to avoid products with hydroquinone, which is said to have carcinogenic properties.
If you have excessive sweating and armpit stains, avoid polyester and other synthetic clothing and use cotton apparel. It is also better to lose some body weight, if you are obese. Try to tighten the flabby arms with exercise. Apart from the above said ones, there are numerous home remedies, that can be of much help in getting rid of this condition.
  • Make a paste of gram flour (1 tablespoon), lemon peel powder (1 teaspoon), milk (1 teaspoon), yogurt (1 teaspoon) and a pinch of turmeric powder. Apply on the armpits and let it dry, before rinsing. While rinsing, gently rub the area with the paste. Try this once a week.
  • Lemon juice and honey are also found to be among the most effective remedies for dark armpits. All you have to do is to make a paste of honey, lemon juice and sugar. Heat the mixture lightly and apply it on the armpits. Rinse it off, after twenty minutes. Repeat this every three to four days, for best results.
  • Some people use baking soda instead of deodorants, as the latter can be a cause for dark armpits. Apart from providing you with relief from body odor, baking soda is also a remedy for dark underarms. Wash the armpits and dab some baking soda. Rinse after ten minutes.
  • It is also said that application of coconut oil on the armpits can lighten the skin. Make sure to wash it off, after some time. Vitamin E oil is also said to be beneficial for this purpose.
  • A paste of sandalwood powder and rose water can also be applied on the armpits, so as to the lighten the skin in that area. Let it dry, before rinsing. Another home remedy is licorice paste.
  • Turmeric powder mixed with milk and a few strands of saffron is also a remedy. Apply it on the armpits and rinse off after 20 minutes.
  • You may also use turmeric powder with equal amounts of lime juice and cucumber juice. Apply this paste on the armpits and rinse after twenty minutes.
  • Go for lemon wedges with a small amount of sugar to gently scrub the armpits. Another dark underarms remedy is potato juice, which is said to have bleaching properties.
  • If you have dry orange peel powder, then, mix a tablespoon of it with some yogurt and apply it on the armpits. Once the paste gets dry, dab some water and gently scrub the underarms, before rinsing of the paste.
These preventive measures and dark armpit solutions can be very effective in tackling the condition. Make sure to MOISTURIZE the skin, once you are done with rinsing.
With a little bit of care, you can overcome this problem, but, if the skin discoloration is accompanied with itching, redness and other symptoms, it will be better to consult a doctor, rather than trying home remedies.
Otherwise too, it will be better to seek the opinion of your doctor beforehand, to rule out the possibility of underlying medical conditions like diabetes. In most cases, dark armpits is found to be a cosmetic problem, rather than a health concern.