Published on November 1st, 2022

Last updated on January 24th, 2023

Why Are My Armpits Dark? Dark Armpit Stains Causes And Treatment

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
girl's armpit

We are used to the fact that the skin of the armpits is most often the same color as other areas of our body. However, people sometimes have a problem with pigmentation in this area for various reasons.

Dark underarms can be due to obesity, improper shaving, hormones, medications, diseases, and many other reasons. Treatment is most often getting rid of the root of the problem.

Whatever the causes of dark skin are, it has other significant disadvantages associated with a person’s mental state. Due to dark underarms, women often suffer low self-esteem and forego revealing outfits in their wardrobes.

This article will look at the leading causes of dark armpits, possible solutions to the problem, and when you should visit a doctor. Stay tuned, and read our article to get the necessary knowledge to maintain your health properly.

Why Do Dark Armpits Appear? The Most Common Reasons

Why Do Dark Armpits Appear 1024x512 - Why Are My Armpits Dark? Dark Armpit Stains Causes And Treatment

To effectively get rid of underarm dark spots, you must correctly identify the problem’s source. Dark spots in the armpit area can occur due to many issues in the body.

While dark spots do not carry any negative consequences for your body, they can hide dangerous diseases that should be overcome shortly.

In this block, we will look at the most common causes of underarm dark spots and find out which of the causes can potentially be very harmful to your body and which can be ignored or be changed without much effort.

1. Obesity

Because being overweight makes your body more resistant to insulin, which controls blood sugar levels, your body may start producing skin cells with a different pigment.

It is known that people who weigh more than 200% of their ideal weight have dark underarms and other areas of the body with folds.

2. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is also closely related to insulin. So, people who have diabetes are more likely to have dark armpits. In this case, there is no specific remedy for dark armpits.

3. Hormonal Syndromes

This includes:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome;
  • Cushing’s syndrome;
  • Acromegaly;
  • Hypothyroidism( an underactive thyroid gland).

4. Taking Certain Medications

Some medications that can raise your insulin levels have been known to cause darkening of the underarm area. These drugs often include:

  • Insulin;
  • Prednisolone;
  • A growth hormone;
  • Pills for emergency contraception;
  • Niacin.

5. Shaving

It is known that shaving your armpits can also cause the darkening of the skin. Since shaving removes hair without the root and, in any case, leaves the shortest possible length of hair, its dark part may be visible on the skin. This creates the illusion of dark spots in the armpits.

6. Building Up Of Dead Skin Cells

Dead skin cells can build up in the armpits and cause them to turn dark. Poor underarm hygiene is a common cause of this appearance.

7. Excessive Pigmentation

This problem may appear due to problems in melanin production in your body. In addition, this condition can also be caused by Addison’s disease. With this disease, your adrenal glands may not produce enough essential hormones. It is also not uncommon for dark spots in the armpits to occur during pregnancy, indicating changes in the body’s hormonal state.

8. Acanthosis Nigricans

With this disease, dark spots can appear on your body but extend beyond the armpits. Spots can also occur on the arms, neck, palms, elbows, and even knees. In this case, you need to see a doctor. The specialist will most likely recommend reducing your weight and insulin resistance.

9. Genetics

In this case, you can “thank” your relative, who also suffers from a similar defect. However, it would be best not to worry since any specific disease can significantly affect your health.

10. Irritation From Deodorant

Your deodorants can also cause dark spots. Due to their burning effect, your armpits can become dark and irritated. In that case, change your care product.

Dark Underarm Treatment

Once you can determine what might be causing the disease, you need to find the proper treatment. Therapy will depend on your particular case; however, the most common methods to get rid of underarm dark spots include:

  • Natural remedies for dark armpits;
  • Medications for underarms.

If, in the case of natural methods, no questions and problems should arise, in the case of treating the dark underarm with the help of drugs, agreement with the doctor is necessary. Only a specialist can correctly determine the source of the disease and prescribe the medications required for treatment.

Natural Products Vs. Dark Armpits

Natural skin treatments include changes to your lifestyle. Changing your habits can simultaneously remove several causes of underarm darkness. So, by adjusting your diet and playing sports, you can adjust insulin production and eliminate excess weight. With this approach, you can eliminate two causes of dark spots at once – obesity and diabetes.

You can also use sea cucumber extracts, curcumin, and milk thistle extract to brighten your skin. However, there are side effects when using these natural products.

Also, here are some valuable tips on how you can quickly and easily get rid of dark armpits:

  • Stop using deodorant, which can lead to blackening of the skin. You can choose not to use deodorant at all, but in this case, you need to shower frequently;
  • Use waxing as an alternative to shaving;
  • Choose loose clothing that won’t rub against your skin;
  • Stop smoking.

Although many people report that natural methods for preventing and removing underarm darkness help, there are no documented studies regarding the abovementioned methods. 

Therefore, when using any extracts, oils, or other products, you must pay attention to individual tolerance. If you have allergies but you know that an illness and other methods do not cause the dark spots are not working for you, it is best to leave your skin alone and not irritate it. Working out this problem with a psychologist is better if dark spots prevent you from living a full life.

Medicine Vs. Dark Armpits

If none of the above can help you, in your case, you need to seek help from a specialist. Only drugs can help you to get discoloration under your arms.

Popular options include:

  • Retinoid creams or tablets. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is one of the most popular solutions for treating dark spots. If you use it regularly, you can brighten your skin;
  • Chemical peels. Trichloroacetic acid peels effectively exfoliate the skin. With peeling, you can remove the top layer of dark skin and reveal lighter skin;
  • Calcipotriene (Dovonex). This vitamin D cream reduces pigment cells in the skin;
  • Dermabrasion and laser therapy are also used to eliminate dark underarm skin;
  • There are also cases where a doctor prescribed antibiotics to treat dark skin.

When Should You Visit a Doctor?

If you can’t get proper underarm discoloration, you should consider consulting a doctor since some diseases can cause dark color in the underarm area. You should consult a dermatologist since only a skin specialist can determine more precise causes of unusual skin pigmentation.

Also, the proper treatment in case of diabetes or other diseases will help you get rid of dark spots in the armpits.

Bottom Line

There are many potential causes of dark underarms, including shaving, friction, dead skin cells, and accumulation of sweat. Treatment options include regular exfoliation, deodorants and antiperspirants, and laser hair removal. If dark underarms cause concern, it is best to speak to a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any underlying medical conditions.


Why Are My Armpits Dark?

Shaving, friction, the buildup of dead skin cells, and shaving cream are a few potential causes of dark underarms. It is best to consult a physician or dermatologist if dark underarms worry you to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

How To Whiten Underarm?

Regular exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells and lighten the skin. The use of deodorants and antiperspirants can also help to lighten the skin. Laser hair removal is another potential treatment option. If dark underarms cause concern, it is best to speak to a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

How Much Time Does It Take To Get Rid Of Dark Armpits?

If appropriately chosen, the treatment can show the first visible result after two-three weeks of active treatment.

Who Can Help Me With Dark Armpits?

You can get help from a dermatologist. This specialist deals with derma problems and chooses the best treatment solutions for the patients.