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You are here Home > Beauty and Grooming > Articles
  DARK UNDERARMS - by Editor

My armpits are very dark and I feel embarrassed everytime I wear something sleeveless. What do I do

Dark underarms is a very common problem. Most of us, especially in the summer, like to wear sleeveless clothing. We naturally cannot do so until our underarms are free of hair, and so we get the hair removed. However, anyone who gets their underarms waxed regularly knows that one cannot re-wax the underarms until the hair has grown out substantially, and this is where the problem lies. Unfortunately, everytime we get our underarms waxed, our armpits are completely free of hair for a few days, maybe a week. But then the hair starts growing back and we reach a stage when we cannot wear sleeveless any longer, and neither can we get the hair removed as it is still too short for waxing! So while some of us grab our dresses with sleeves for the remainder of the month, others pick up the razor.


While there is nothing wrong with shaving off hair from the underarm region, the underarm region does tend to get darker especially with Indian women, since they have black or brown hair. This hair is not pulled out from the roots, and so it is often visible below the skin even after shaving, especially if you are light-skinned. If you have not had any problems with shaving your underarms, and if your armpits have not darkened, you can continue shaving them.

Hair removal creams

Using hair removal creams on your underarms regularly will darken the region as the hair is not getting removed from the root, and is still present under the skin. In addition the chemicals often darken and burn the skin with prolonged use.

Hair removal creams contain harsh chemicals. Think about it. The chemical is strong enough to literally melt the hair away. Sure, moisturizing elements are added to most hair removal creams to sooth the skin but there is no doubt that your skin too will feel the harsh effects of the chemical. While the use of hair removal creams is okay once in a while, don't make it a habit. So if you are planning to wear a sexy sari for your cousin's wedding and your entire stomach area will be exposed, you could consider removing the hair from your tummy with the help of a hair removal lotion.


Waxing removes hair from the roots, so no hair is left under the skin. As a result, the shadow on your underarms that sometimes remains after shaving hair, is not usually present after waxing. It is present sometimes when the hair breaks instead of coming out from the roots, or when the hair has not grown out completely so it cannot be waxed out. However, over a period of time, with regular waxing, your underarms will remain free of hair for longer each time and after some years you will forget that you ever had a problem of dark underarms.

In addition to removing hair from the roots, waxing also removes dead skin. Your armpits contain thousands of dead skin cells, and this is especially true if you have dry skin. Apply a light moisturizing lotion every night, and scrub your underarm region with a pumice stone daily, while taking a shower.


If you feel you must remain hair-free on a daily basis, instead of shaving the hair invest in an epilator. It is not very painful if you remove hair when it is still very small, and if you do so every few days. Your underarms will remain hair-free and clean.


Dark underarms could also be caused by regular use of deos and anti-perpirants, so try and keep your underarm region deo-free when you at home, and apply it on if you feel you need to. Instead of applying your deo when stepping out in the morning, apply it in the afternoon, when you feel you need to do so. If you are wearing sleeveless however, apply an anti-perspirant, and wash if off when you reach home.

If your underarm region is itchy or inflamed, you may have a bacterial infection and may need to apply a light medicated cream or anti-fungal powder.

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Name: shubhangi
City:   mumbai
Comments:   i want to remove hair which is growing on hand, underarms and on chin. i want some homemade treatment that remove unwanted hair, can u suggest. i have problem using hair remover like anne french, i get itching problem. i cant do waxing. can u give information of epliating what exactly it is is thier any shaving machine for women. please give suggestion for me to remove unwanted hair without doing waxing, without using any cream or lotion
Name: rekha
City:   ludhiana
Comments:   kindly note that the underarms remain dark even if there are no hair on it so what should be done in such cases
Name: geetanjali
City:   baroda
Comments:   pls tell me what should i do as the skin colour of my underarms has itself become very dark it is visible even if theres no hair pls help!!
Name: sneha
City:   usa
Comments:   hi! has anyone tried bleach on the underarms does it really works does it really lightens the dark colour
Name: vandu
City:   usa
Comments:   hi, skin colour of my underarmbecome very dard by using hair removing cream .pls tell some home made treatment for lighting my skin.if I will do waxing reguraly then it will effect.
Name: anika
City:   alwar
Comments:   hi girls,if you have dark armpits and its not coz of the hair its probably cuz u r suffering fron Ancathosis Nigrosis.u'll probably be suffering from pigmentation in other parts of your body,like the nape of neck,ankles,the part of u'r body where the the thigh joins the butt and knuckles.its hormonal and there's little u can do about it.most women with PCOS have it.its related to LUtenising hormone which is related to insulin which is of course related to diabetes.actually caused due to insulin resistance
Name: jenny
City:   costa mesa
Comments:   use make up like the spray on stuff by sally hanson to lighted your pit use tweezers to remove your hair from under arms
Name: Candice
City:   Las Vegas
Comments:   I'm actually African-American, but i was searching online for why my armpits are extremely darker even when the hair is removed when I stumbled onto this website. The ladies on this site seem to have the same problem I do, and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to lighten the skin, without using makeup to do so.
Name: anonymous
City:   Right here
Comments:   I had darker armpits, too. I went to get get a facial one day and happened to mention my armpits to the specialist. She recommended that I try cleansing my underarms with a glycolic cleanser. I brought one and it worked great on me. The underarms are much more like the rest of my skin color. They are slightly darker, but not noticeably.
Name: Danielle
City:   Las Cruces
Comments:   Hi, I've had dark underarms since I was about 12 also. I've been using Ambi bleaching cream for about 4+ months and my underarms are a little lighter but still noticably dark.
Name: naina
City:   dhaka
Comments:   hi..very good suggestion but how will i wax the under arms pls tell me.....
Name: Preeti
City:   Denver
Comments:   Hi its my first time hopefully you can help me. I used to shave my underarms then started to wax about 2 years ago. I still have black spots is there anything i can use to lighten that black spot. Please Its very important.
Name: Makeda
City:   MyTown
Comments:   Apply lemon juice to your pits, neck, etc. for 15-20 minutes a day. Use should notice a difference within a week.
Name: Howdy
City:   Denver
Comments:   Dark Armpits - Chances are, your dark underarms aren't caused by hyperpigmentation but result from a persistent buildup of dry skin, says Colorado dermatologist Richard Asarch, director of the Asarch Center for Dermatology and Laser. The unsightly dark spots are probably tons of dead skin cells trapped in microscopic "hills and valleys" on your skin. To rid yourself of this buildup, apply an OTC moisturizer with exfoliating lactic acid to damp skin morning and night. Try AmLactin 12% Moisturizing Lotion, $10.95, or Stiefel LactiCare Lotion, $11.95. If you don't see improvement after six weeks (or don't want to wait that long), ask your doctor for a prescription-strength skin-sloughing solution, like Retin-A, which should yield results in only two to three weeks. Warning: If the darkened area is itchy or inflamed, you may have an allergic reaction or bacterial infection, either of which can be cured with a topical prescription medication.
Name: noone
City:   nowhere
Comments:   I'm a 14 year old african american girl and I have dark underarms. I thought it was because of my ezema but now im not sure. Im about to start high school and i dont want dark undeerarms. could someone give me a fast easy solution pleeeez?!? (Something that isnt to exspensive either)
Name: diane
City:   Bulacan
Comments:   I had darker armpits, too. I went to get get a facial one day and happened to mention my armpits to the specialist. She recommended that I try cleansing my underarms with a glycolic cleanser. I brought one and it worked great on me. The underarms are much more like the rest of my skin color. They are slightly darker, but not noticeably.
Name: Jojo
City:   Somewhere in The United States
Comments:   Can anyone recommend a glycolic cleanser Also, Epilating instead of shaving really does help.
Name: Torya
City:   denver
Comments:   Instead of using shaving cream use lotion to shave your underarms or any other sensitive part on your body the lotion makes it bump free no razor burn and it makes it smooth and non dark.
Name: Lolita
City:   NEW YORK
Comments:   I think 2 different problems are being talked about here. I think some are asking about the fact that they can still see the shadow (like when a man shaves his beard) of their dark hair. Those talking about their actual skin being dark is a different story. I have this on my neck, groin, nipples, and armpits. Im Afro-Cuban, medium brown in color. As I search the internet for what it may be, I keep coming up with sominthing called Acanthosis Negricans (which I believe Anika, above meant to call it. The confusion is that they seem to attribute it to obesity, (which Ive never been) and Diabetes (but I wasnt allowed to eat a lot of sugar as a child (I do now though, even in the form of pasta). This is very tramatic. Its not only a problem of fashion and wearing short sleeves, but the thought of being nude for the first time with someone is what makes you consider staying single. You feel so ugly, and no cure. Through my life no doctor or dermatologist has ever recognised or taken it seriously enough to help. If I met more people with it, maybe, I wouldnt feel so abnormal. Its not only dark skinned people who have it. Search the web for pictures, and white people have it too (or atleast their skin looks white - they dont show faces so they could be of Latin decent which would mean they have African in their genes anyway). I wonder if the lemon thing works - it seems natural. Or maybe were lacking something in our diets like protein or we are putting too much sugar/starches in our system. Im going to look into the "insulin resistance" relation, and see how that could have happened in my childhood or is it really with me until Im old and dont care what I look like cause the rest of me is all wrinkled anyway. Do men get this Good luck everyone.
Name: Fiza
City:   Brentwood
Comments:   Hey Whenever i shave my underarms they stay dark nd i don't kno if itz my dead skin or what so please tell me what to do?
Name: Ria
City:   Phuket, Thailand
Comments:   i live in a place where waxing is not available cos girls living here don't have hair on their body. so nobody wax, so i have to use razor which in turn have made my underarms extrememly black and being fair complexion its looks horrible and so please please suggest me something to improve my color for my underarms.
Name: maxine
City:   sta mesa
Comments:   try godiva whitening cream for about 6 months ull notice one day that your underarms are not noticably dark anymore
Name: iya
City:   philippines
Comments:   hi! i've really got black underarms and i raelly sweat a lot.its really embarrassing. i am 15 years old. do you know any home remedy for this? the nautural way?
Name: Veena
City:   Illinois
Comments:   Hi, I agree with Lolita above. There are two topics are are being confused with. However, what is a major concern is of dark armpits EVEN AFTER you shave them. What can be done Iam 20 years old and I have always dreamt of wearing sleeveless tops like other girls and have not been able to do so without any nervousness since 12. How can there be no solution to this, whatsoever
Name: kitiks
City:   nyc
Comments:   hi im curious about glycolic cleanser..where can u buy itpls pls help me..
Name: eddy
City:   phoenix
Comments:   hi, my wife has the same problem. she tried godiva products but they made her underarms even darker. i'll search more into this and maybe I'll find a solution for her... I'll post here if I did... Thanks
Name: Jojo
City:   Somewhere in The United States
Comments:   eddy... i wish i had read ur post earlier. just this morning i bought godiva deodorant and whitening soap. oh well ... maybe it will work for me! i had read a good review about it elsewhere. anyhow, i wanted u all to know i found this deodorant advertisement for dermadoctor brightening deodorant. if anyone tries it please post on the results! something else i am trying is a lotion that i purchased from sally beauty supply called Purist Lightening Lotion. will post back if i find it to be worth it.
Name: abc
City:   US
Comments:   hi all, Theres one solution if any of you have dark underarms. Keep on waxing. Thats the secret. First few times, maybe u wont find noticeable change,but dont lose heart. Keep waxing ur underarms once a month and after a couple of months, u would find that ur skin is restoring its original color.This is my personal experience. all the best girls!!
Name: Francesca
City:   london
Comments:   I have dark underarms since I was about 14 years old.To make matters worse,the groin area and some areas in my abdomen are dark as well.No whitening cream or soaps could eliminate these embarassing dark blemishes.I don't understand why I have these;I cannot wear sleeveless clothes or swimsuits;just imagine the embarassment!I have to wear t-shirts & long pants even if the weather is roasting!Can somebody help me?I am desperate!
Name: simran
City:   delhi
Comments:   my underarms are dark since i was 13 and the same problem whenevr i wear sleeveless outfits i feel embarressed and using bleach and lightening lotions have worsened the problem.......someone suggested me to try these homemade solutions and apply them on th epigmented area....mix potato juice with lemon juice or lemon juice with sugar ..and also never use lemon juice alone it itches ....... n i also tried exfoliating with a pumice stone but the bumps (the ones ebony from chicago mentioned) hurt when i do so and of no avail...lets see ill try out ..n i guess putting on sunscreem helps big time...all the best to similar problem holders...
Name: sheetal
City:   mumbai
Comments:   pls cud u suggest me where can i find this glycolic cleanser in mumbai or is there any sustitute for it . does it really help in lightning the drk armpit
Name: ash
City:   phukhet
Comments:   i too have this problem of dark underarms and groin area. i am so embarrased by it, and i don't know what to do any more. i won't even let anyone see me naked because i think it will turn them off
Name: abcd
City:   usa
Comments:   ash i have the same problem!!!!!!!!! PLZ Help!!
Name: korii
City:   New Zealand
Comments:   I have this problem too (i've had it since i was 9) and i believe it's because i'm overweight and i've noticed it's gone a little bit lighter due to losing a few pounds, but it's really dark under my arms and neck.
Name: Nasra
City:   Muscat
Comments:   Hi, I've the same problem need help!!
Name: shemaa
City:   Mauritius
Comments:   Hi everyone! I too have this problem of hyperpigmentation under the arms as well as on the neck and between my thights. I have noticed that loosing weight if you are overweight does help a bit.
City:   mumbai
Comments:   i dnot want my beard & mostache so please tell what to do there is some cream so it will come again but no face mark
Name: rj
City:   Vancouver
Comments:   Hi!! hav u ever tried using NIVEA deodorant (whitenting) i tried it and it worked.... u should too!!! gud luck^_^
Name: Dr. Naveen
City:   Hyderabad
Comments:   Armpit hair is sexy, many men prefer like women with armpit hairs. Our team has done a research work on hair preferences. Almost 80% men said they like armpit hairs. Almost 60% men said they're turned off by women's hairs. We also found that 90% men feel excited to see pubic hairs and to feel it sensually. So, my suggestion is to avoid shaving and other hair removal techniques if you are having more than one partner. Teenage girls may avoid such hair removal, and may remove only after marriage depending upon the partners preference.
Name: jayyy
City:   USA
Comments:   HI guys just want to know where I could by the glycolic cleanser...really need your help on this coz I also dark underarm and thigh area...
Name: tmoney
City:   new york
Comments:   dermadocter deodorant made my armpits even worse! do not buy it!
Name: lia
City:   cainta
Comments:   where can i buy the glycolic cleanser i only get to read one person's testimonial about it, that it really works for underarm whitening.
Name: Yoshi
City:   St. Paul
Comments:   is there anything i can do to get rid of the dark underarms
Name: teddy sweet
City:   egypt
Comments:   how can i get rid of my dark underamrs..they are always dark even after removiig hair i want a simple way plz..thank you for ur efforts
Name: Andrea
City:   San Francisco
Comments:   Oh, I know where you can buy glycolic cleanser. Its something like facial cleanser for pimples and oily skin. The thing is, glycolic cleanser removes dead skin cells and acts as a mild chemical peel so it lightens your skin color just like chemical peeling does.Try finding facial cleansers with glycolic acid in it, theres some acne creams that has glycolic acid in it too. I think the best is once brand of facial cleanser called Neo-Strata. Try it.. I'm trying it and I can see that the darkest part of my armpit just got buffed off.. its visibly lighter, you can see the results after 4 or 5 days
Name: Mary
City:   New Jersey
Comments:   I also have the same problem and loosing way helps a bit. Can the glycolic cleanser be used in the thigh area.
Name: Cher
City:   North Carolina
Comments:   Anika is absolutely right! I never had this darkened skin under my arms until I was diagnosed with insulin resistance and Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease. It is one of many symptoms (also diabetes. I am researching to find alternative means for lightening this skin. It is very embarrassing and I will try just about anything at this point.
Name: Cher
City:   North Carolina
Comments:   Also... I am white. I am overweight. I have many other symptoms of PCOD. The hair isn't the problem for me... it is actually the skin that is dark. And no matter how hard you scrub it doesn't do anything to help except irritate the skin. My doctor prescribed this Ammonium lotion stuff... it does soften the skin BUT does nothing to help the coloring of the skin. I am going to try the chemical peel/glycolic cleanser. I will bring back my results.
Name: Vanessa
City:   san francisco
Comments:   I am 28, Latina, not overweight. I have had dark shadows on my underarms after and before I shave since I was 13. If I wear a sleeveless shirt I never raise my arms, it was hell growing up with this. It is conforting to know there are others out there going through the same thing. I am going to try the following solutions I have found on the net: *papaya soap (lightening) *scrubbing with lemon peel powder *lotion with mixture of hydroquinone and tretinoin *scrubbing with pumice stone *sally make up spray *cleanser with glycolic cleanser *Nivea whitening deoderant Good Luck women! but remember we are beautiful no matter what your armpits look like!

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