The darkening of the skin, frequently
i.e. "skin staining"
- 1 Factors contributing to hyperpigmentation
- 2 What you can do about hyperpigmentation
- 3 Idiot homemade notions
- 4 Resources and interesting links
Factors contributing to hyperpigmentation ∞
- Tight-fitting clothing
- Rough clothing
- Dry skin
Medical reasons ∞
Acanthosis nigricans via:
Acanthosis nigricans will not be helped by any advice here; seek professional treatment.
Hyperpigmentation caused by damaged skin ∞
Skin is delicate. The skin under the armpits is particularly prone to irritation. Irritation can easily heal with discoloration, something like how a scar is different.
If the effected skin sees sunlight, it is key to use SPF 30+ sunscreen and to reapply it regularly. [ 1 ] e.g. Face Moisturizer by Olay Complete Daily Defense All Day Moisturizer With Sunscreen, SPF30 . Zinc oxide is anti-inflammatory and gives a physical barrier for the skin. Yes, yes you can use a "chemical sunscreen".
Do not perform manual exfoliation; even rubbing with a towel should be avoided. Absolutely do not use a brush or a scrubbing product, as that can micro-tear, and can make your skin dry. After washing, pat yourself dry. Consider the chemical exfoliation techniques below, and trust that showering will do its job.
Hair removal should be avoided or done intelligently.
Skin-on-skin contact causes friction. It isn't "being dirty" that is the problem so much, but sweat making that friction much worse and can lead to sweat rash or the equivalent of diaper rash. If you already have rashes, see your doctor. None of this advice will work if you have an active rash.
Friction-damage from clothing can also be a problem, especially around the groin. You need a balance between loose-fitting clothing which will not rub against you, soft clothing that will not chafe you, and breathable clothing that will allow you to stay dry. Wear close-fitting boxers [ 2 ] or with a "ballpark pouch" , bike shorts, shapewear, pantyhose or yoga pants.
Do not have fragrances as ingredients in any of your products, as they can cause vasodilation. This is by far the most important ingredient to look for when considering products to use; some of them will not help you because their ingredients are meant more for entertainment than effectiveness.
What you can do about hyperpigmentation ∞
All of these ideas will take time and consistency to help.
- Reduce damage
- Reduce friction
- Treatment with topical products
- Treatment with other methods
- Some people have a nickel allergy.
- Deodorants and anti-perspirants commonly have aluminium salts, which can be irritating to some.
Sodium bicarbonate can cause hyperpigmentation without even causing a rash. Home remedies and "natural" deodorants frequently have this.
Topical products ∞
Barrier-cream - e.g. a diaper cream.
- Zinc oxide is anti-inflammatory and gives a physical barrier for the skin.
- Chemical exfoliation
Ceramides in a moisturizer.
- Helps support the skin barrier.
- A skin protectant.
- FDA approved for acne.
- Can be left on the skin overnight, and doesn't need to be washed off. Can be layered with Hydroquinone.
- Introduce it slowly and observe for any negative reaction; once a week for a bit, then every other day.
more to research:
Some products must not be left on overnight.
Good ingredients ∞
- Kindof like lactic acid.
- A great alternative to hydroquinone.
- Good for hyperpigmentation and addressing redness.
- Moisture-retention and hydration.
- Polyhydroxy acids (PHA)
Willow bark extract
Ingredients to be wary of ∞
Things to be cautious about or outright avoid.
Too strong for delicate skin such as that under the armpits:
- Beta hydroxy acid
- Note that retinol needs to stay on the skin; do not use a "body wash".
- e.g. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer, Anti-Wrinkle Face & Neck Retinol Cream with Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol & Glycerin with SPF 30 Sunscreen
-- But boy is that packed full of good things..
- Use it before bed and leave it on overnight. Try it once a week, then every other night as tolerated.
Ingredients to watch out for:
- Might aggravate acne.
- Can worsen hyperpigmentation when you go out in the sun.
Papaya fruit extract
- Be careful; this can be irritating.
- Potentially irritating.
- A fragrance.
- While it might help in some circumstances, it might also cause contact dermatitis.
- It's difficult to formulate and has stability issues, so it's a lot of money for something that might not do anything.
- Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is stable.
- It won't help with hyperpigmentation, and might have fragrances that worsen the condition.
While recommended, it has issues and is banned in the United States for over-the-counter sales.
(source) -- Hydroquinone is one of the most effective bleaching agents but one should avoid its usage because it can cause various side effects. Deadly diseases such as leukemia, thyroid problems and liver damage can be caused due to this ingredient.
Can be layered with adapalene.
Don't use it indefinitely.
Good products ∞
- Salicylic acid
- Colloidal oats
- Licorice root
Hair removal ∞
Any kind of hair removal irritates (shaving, waxing, sugaring, plucking, etc); stop it while you work on this condition. Consider laser hair removal instead.
If you do shave..
Use a sharp razor, and be sure to be careful and skilled; ingrown hairs and nicks are seriously problematic.
Be sure to examine their ingredients and be aware of any drying or irritating effects.
Before shaving, you can use hair conditioner under your armpits; apply it while showering and leave it there for at least a few seconds before rinsing.
I've been told that razor blades have nickel in them, and some people have a nickel allergy. I don't think this is true at all, because the "ingredients" are listed on them and I've never seen nickel noted during my safety razor blades project.
Chemical exfoliation ∞
This must not be your only solution, you must otherwise keep your skin healthy and friction-reduced.
Alpha hydroxy acids (HA) can be used to exfoliate (skin turnover) and moisturize to some extent.
Salicylic acid is good for people with darker skin, and is anti-inflammatory. Name brands aren't important; generic is fine. Don't care about the marketing -- face or body; they are the same.
These help with ingrown hairs, dry skin, and irritation.
In "leave on" or "peel" forms, be wary as these can be very harsh, especially in sensitive areas.
Follow their instructions; test in an inconspicuous area over a number of days and observe the result. Only then can you consider them elsewhere, and keep observing the areas for damage.
A body or face wash is best.
Idiot homemade notions ∞
do not do these things
- No. This does very bad things to the skin.
- There is no such thing as "oxygenated water". Maybe it's plain water which has been treated with oxygen similar to how carbonated water works, in which case it's probably not what you want, or it is diluted hydrogen peroxide, which is bad for your skin.
- Can cause hyperpigmentation without even causing a rash.
- Also, "natural" deodorants frequently have this.
Exfoliation of underarms with a nature-based scrub can inhibit the production of Melanin. You should perform this technique twice in a week for getting rid of these stains.
- No. A scrub will damage the highly-sensitive skin, causing irritation and encouraging hyperpigmentation.
- What's that about Melanin? Doubtful.
Lemon is an extremely effective lightening agent. You can rub lemon in your armpits, which will reduce dark spots. It mostly makes your skin dry which can be later treated with Vitamin E oil.
- Lemon is acidic and dangerous.
- Vitamin E as a moisturizer? No.
You can also apply sandalwood paste in your armpit for at least 20 minutes for removing dark stains.
- What? No!
Some of the most effective skin whitening ingredients are kojic acid, lactic acid, mulberry extract, emblica powder, Alpha Arbutin and licorice extract. You can apply pigment-reducing creams containing the above constituents for treating sweat stains naturally. Meladerm is the only cream which contains all the above ingredients. This cream not only diminishes your underarm sweat stains but also cures age spots, melasma, birthmarks etc. with ease.
- Note to self: This page was SEO/side-sales for Meladerm, so be careful.
- Acids must be used carefully. Some of the other ingredients are noted above, and I don't know anything about the rest.
You can also perform waxing for removing the dark hair follicles. This technique will help you in attaining a clean and spotless armpit.
- No, waxing irritates the skin, and pulling follicles makes the area subject to ingrown hair, which causes additional irritation.
You should maintain a healthy regime for diminishing these complications. Drinking enough water is extremely important for hydrating your body. You should at least drink 10-12 glasses of water daily.
- First, no. Second, HAHAHAHA.. how?!
Eat high fibrous foods for flushing out toxins from your body. You should include lots of Fruit and vegetables in your diet.
- Fruits != lots of fiber. Is non-fruit fiber okay?
- "Toxins"? What chemicals precisely? What is the mechanism of this "flushing"? Hyperpigmentation has no relation to "toxins".
This option not only removes stains, it also gives him a very nice appearance to the skin. You mix until a paste 2 tablespoons powdered milk, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of honey. Apply it 20 minutes and wash well with warm water. If the stain is applied to the face after plain yogurt and leave it to act for 10 minutes. Finally you must rinse again with warm water. Your notice skin softer and stains will slowly.
- What. Applying acid for 20 minutes? The rest of this is silly.
Resources and interesting links ∞
- Skin whitening
- Anal bleaching
I gained a lot of knowledge from Dr. Dray: