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Dark underarms – Causes & Treatment

Dark Underarms - Causes & Treatments

Darkening of underarms is a common problem faced by many. It often leads to lack of confidence and social embarrassment. The good news is it can be prevented and treated as well!


  • Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin condition where the skin folds and thickens giving a dark, velvety appearance. It can due to weight gain or metabolic conditions including diabetes or insulin resistance
  • Fungal infections like Tinea corporis or P. Versicolor
  • Certain auto immune conditions like inverse psoriasis, Lichen Planus
  • Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) after any dermatitis or infection.
  • Pigmentation due to folliculitis or ingrowth.
  • Allergic or contact dermatitis due to deodorants/ roll-ons, waxing, or hair removal creams.

Prevention & Treatment:

  • Avoid alcohol based deodorants and roll-ons.
  • If waxing and hair removal creams are the reason behind the condition, go for laser hair removal.
  • Stop scrubbing.
  • Q switched laser and Chemical peels help lighten the PIH.
  • Botox injections help reduce under arm sweating, which can restrict your use of deodorants.
  • Topical creams with Kojic acid or hydroquinone help to treat PIH.
  • Acanthosis requires weight loss or correction of the underlying metabolic disorder. Topical Salicylic acid, Retinol also help reduce the appearance.
  • Must visit a dermatologist to rule out bacterial and fungal infections. Also, if there is an infection appropriate treatment must be started.

Book an appointment with your dermatologist to find the cause behind you darkened underarms before trying out any home remedy.