How to Remove Dark Spots From Underarms

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How to Remove Dark Spots From Underarms (Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Many people suffer from dark spots on the skin in the underarm area. These spots can be caused by biological factors like naturally dark hair follicles and fungal infections, as well as certain activities such as shaving or using deodorants with alcohol or aluminum. Even the build up of microscopic dead skin cells can cause discoloration. There are a number of ways you can remove dark spots from your underarms depending on your specific needs.

Habits and Conditions

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Switch to an antiperspirant instead of a deodorant to avoid toxic chemicals that could be causing your skin discoloration. The results may not be as effective on your body odor, but unwanted skin pigmentation may go away.

Habits and Conditions

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Wax or pluck your underarm hair instead of shaving. This removes hair from the follicle’s root and will prevent visible dark hairs just below the surface.

Habits and Conditions

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Combat fungal infections with creams or pills prescribed by your dermatologist. If you suffer from hyperkeratosis (when brown skin thickens under the armpits due to an excessive buildup of keratin in the skin), your dermatologist can recommend topical creams that contain salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid with lactic or glycolic acid, urea, tretinoin or hydroquinone (2-4%).

Habits and Conditions

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Use a shaving cream or gel every time you shave. Shaving without this can irritate the skin and cause it to scar over time.

Habits and Conditions

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Treat a medical condition called Acanthosis Nigricans with prescription medication. This condition is typical in overweight people and can be treated using Retin-A, 20% urea, alpha hydroxy acids and salicylic acid. Monitoring your insulin levels to keep them in control can also help resolve this condition.

Home Remedies

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Apply baking soda, vitamin E or coconut oil under your arms. These substances are all recommended to eliminate dark spots.

Home Remedies

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Cut a lemon in half and rub each half under each armpit for 1 to 2 minutes a day. Over time, you may notice lightening of the dark spots.

Home Remedies

(Photo: Richard Ellgen/Demand Media)

Combine 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1 teaspoon of cucumber juice and a pinch of turmeric powder in a bowl. Using a cotton washcloth, spread the mixture on your dark spots and let it penetrate for 15 minutes. Rinse and repeat daily to remove dark spots.

Things You'll Need

  • Antiperspirant
  • Wax kit or appointment with beautician
  • Shaving gel or cream
  • Several lemons
  • Baking soda (as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cucumber juice
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Cotton washcloth
Tips & Warnings
  • Apply all creams or home remedies after showering to achieve maximum effectiveness.

  • Do not apply lemons or prescription medications to open sores, cuts, or wounds under your arms, as these can cause irritation and possible infection.

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