Dark Underarms: Possible Causes and Solution

By | July 6, 2020
Underarms Darkening
Underarms Darkening

Having dark underarms can be embarrassing. You cannot wear your pretty sleeveless summer dresses and sexy swimsuits because you are not confident enough to show off some skin. 

Skin discoloration, especially in the underarms, is common. Anyone, women or men, can suffer from it. Here are some of the possible causes of underarm darkness and how you can get rid of it: 


Many people shave their pits because it is painless, cheap, and easy to do on your own. However, the process may be making your underarms appear darker than the rest of your body. 

Experts say that most underarm darkening is a result of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. You might not notice it, but the razor that you are using is irritating your skin.

Another possible reason is the leftover hair. When you shave, you remove only the part of the hair above the surface of your skin. The other half of the hair remains under the surface. If your hair is darker than your skin tone, the subsurface hair may appear like a dark stain on your pits. 

The best way to remove hair is by going to a waxing salon and letting the professionals work their magic. It will be painful but only in the beginning. You will eventually get used to the sensation, and underarms, hopefully, will lighten, allowing you to wear sleeveless clothes during the warmer months. 


Your pits also need TLC. It is not enough to grab and use whatever antiperspirant is available in the supermarket. Like regular skincare, not all antiperspirants are compatible with your unique body chemistry. 

Your underarm discoloration might be an adverse reaction of your skin caused by the antiperspirant you are currently using. Ask yourself, have you recently changed your antiperspirant? When did you notice that the skin on your underarm started to darken? Try to discontinue using your antiperspirant for a while to see if your pits will lighten. If they do, then it is time to get a new antiperspirant. 


If you tend to wear clothes that feel a little tight around the arms, then it might be causing the problem. Uneven skin tone can be a consequence of friction. It may happen around your inner thighs, too. If you feel your shorts or pants rubbing against your skin, it will start to darken over time. 

Since it is summer, let your skin breathe. Wear some looser clothing that will not cause friction around your pits. 


Sometimes, skin discoloration is not a result of something that you can control on your own. Disruptions to your natural hormonal output may also cause darkening. 

Your hormones directly affect your skin. It makes your face oilier, causes acne to appear, and makes patches of your skin to darken. 

Skin discoloration due to hormone imbalance is called melasma. The most common cause of melasma is pregnancy. However, those who take certain medications, including birth control pills, may also have it. 

This skin condition maybe a little more challenging to treat. If you are taking medication, you need to talk to your doctor about your experience and concerns. Do not stop taking medications abruptly. If it is caused by pregnancy, it might go away on its own. Or, you can use whitening products after you have given birth and no longer breastfeeding. 

If none of these solutions has helped lighten your underarms, it is best to consult a doctor. You may have an undiagnosed medical condition that should be treated by a professional.