Dark armpits are embarrassing and can affect your self-confidence. They may also be a sign of an underlying health condition that you should see a doctor about. The good news is that you can use natural home remedies and cosmetic solutions to lighten your armpits, as well as other areas of the body where the skin tone is darker than your usual skin color.
A common cause of darkened underarms is irritation from shaving, and it can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that results in a darkened appearance. Shaving without a razor or using one that’s too coarse or doesn’t have a lubricant can result in low-grade cuts that irritate the skin, which in turn triggers the production of more pigmentation that can darken your underarms. Excessive sweating can lead to dark underarms as well, especially if you wear tight-fitting clothes that don’t allow your skin to breathe. A buildup of dead skin cells in the area can also cause your armpits to look darker. You can help brighten your underarms by shaving and waxing less often, wearing looser, breathable clothing, and using hyaluronic acid-based creams to perk up dull, dry skin that’s prone to causing hyperpigmentation.
Hormonal imbalances or a health condition can also trigger your underarms to become darker, especially in the case of a condition called acanthosis nigricans. If you have diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you may be more likely to get this problem, as insulin imbalances can affect how your skin produces pigmentation.