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Hyperpigmentation des aiselles.

How to Lighten Underarms With Hyperpigmentation?

Among the various parts of the body likely to be altered by dark spots are the armpits. While his is totally assumed by some people, others may have a complex about it, asking themselves how to lighten underarms with hyperpigmentation.  Find here the different causes, as well as the different methods to adopt to avoid it.

Why Are My Underarms Darker Than Other Parts of My Body?

Hyperpigmentation is the dermatological term for persistent spots that appear on the skin's surface. This phenomenon occurs as a result of a disturbance in the pigmentation process: melanin, the pigment responsible for the natural coloring of the skin, is overproduced in certain areas. In the armpits, the coloring is then quite diffuse and less like pigment spots. People with dark skin are more likely to have dark underarms because they produce more melanin.

Underarm hyperpigmentation is usually related to several factors:

  • Hair removal or shaving.

Both of these methods can cause micro-injuries that result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, turning the skin red, pink, or brown.

  • Rubbing.

Whether it is with tight clothing or with the skin, this area is subject to friction that thickens the epidermis and causes the accumulation of dead cells loaded with melanin.

  • Certain diseases.

There is a correlation between diabetes and the pigmentation mechanism. Insulin can interfere with the melanogenesis process. For this reason, underarms that are really darker than the rest of the body are sometimes a warning signal for this condition. Another condition that may be linked to darker underarms is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

  • Some deodorants and antiperspirants.

These products may contain allergenic compounds such as alcohol or perfume, which irritate the most sensitive skin and cause inflammation. The body may respond excessively to these, resulting in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that darkens the underarms.

A darker coloration in the armpits 

can also be genetic.

How to Lighten Underarms or Prevent Underarm Hyperpigmentation?

It is important to note that sometimes armpit lightening unfortunately will not be possible, especially when the origin is genetic or due to a disease. Nevertheless, in other circumstances, it is possible to prevent this form of hyperpigmentation:

  • Use natural deodorants.

We recommend that you use natural or hypoallergenic deodorants that are free of alcohol derivatives and synthetic perfumes.

  • Spacing out hair removal/shaving sessions.

The solution may be to give preference to depilation (complete removal of hair with the bulb) over shaving, since hair regrowth and hair removal sessions are less frequent. You can also decide not to wax at all and to take responsibility for your hair, which is quite common in this area of the body!

  • Take care of your underarms.

During the shower, don't forget to clean your armpits daily. This allows you to eliminate the impurities that dull this area. Moreover, after shaving, use a soothing calendula cream, for example. After waxing, to soothe the sensation of heat, a cool compress, a hydrolat or a gel enriched with aloe vera can be effective.

  • Exfoliate.

Excessive dead skin sometimes causes darkening of the underarms. To prevent this, scrub your underarms once or twice a week. Choose a gentle, natural exfoliator that suits your skin. Our nourishing body scrub helps soften and smooth the skin. It is especially suitable for dry and uncomfortable skin and may be tried as a product to lighten underarms slightly.

  • Wear loose fitting clothing.

This avoids rubbing but also makes you feel comfortable and limits perspiration. Choose cotton clothes and avoid synthetic clothes which accumulate sweat.

Sources

  • Syndrome des ovaires polykystiques (SOPK), un trouble fréquent, première cause d'infertilité féminine. INSERM (2019).

  • DANSINGER M. Skin problems in diabetes. WebMD (2021).

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