How to Lighten and Get Rid of Dark Armpits Fast

Different factors such as hormonal imbalances, infections, melanin overproduction, and certain medications can contribute to dark armpits. So how can you effectively lighten and maintain healthy underarm skin? Find out in this article. 

A lady wearing a white top that shows off her armpit

Key Takeaways

  • Sun exposure can worsen the appearance of dark underarms. It's essential to protect the underarm area from the sun by wearing clothing that covers the area or applying sunscreen with a high SPF.
  • You can use natural remedies like lemon and turmeric and treatments like laser therapy and dermabrasion to get rid of dark armpits fast.
  • But before applying any home remedy to lighten dark underarms, perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the remedy to a small area of your skin and wait for 24 hours to check for any adverse reactions.
  • If home remedies and over-the-counter treatments do not provide satisfactory results, or if the darkening of the underarms is accompanied by other symptoms or discomfort, it's recommended to consult a certified aesthetician. 

Have you noticed darkened skin in your underarm area? Wondering why it's happening? Well, there are different reasons this might happen. One potential cause is shaving.

When you shave your underarms, the repeated friction from razors can lead to skin irritation and gradually darken the area. It's like a small battle your skin fights every time you remove hair from that delicate region.

Another common cause is hyperpigmentation, where an excess production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin coloration, occurs in the armpit area. Factors like genetic predisposition, sun exposure, and hormonal changes can influence this.

Speaking of hormones, fluctuations in hormone levels, especially during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can also trigger the darkening of the skin in the armpits.

Certain medical conditions may also contribute to dark armpits. For instance, acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition often associated with insulin resistance or obesity, can cause thickening and darkening of the skin, including the armpits. 

If you're concerned about dark armpits, keep reading to find out how to get rid of dark armpits quickly as well as precautionary measures to take. 

Tips on How to Get Rid of Dark Armpits Quickly

Here are some quick and actionable tips on how to lighten up your dark underarms: 

  • Soften the hairs on the armpit before shaving. Take a warm shower or apply a warm compress to the armpit area to soften the hair and reduce skin irritation or ingrown hair.
  • Avoid shaving with blunt blades. Blunt blades can cause friction and micro-cuts on the skin, potentially leading to darkening and the formation of razor bumps. You can opt for sharp and clean shaving sticks for a gentle and effective shave.
  • Use shaving creams to lubricate and reduce friction during shaving.
  • Exfoliate your armpits regularly to remove dead skin cells and encourage a brighter complexion. Do this with gentle exfoliants made with natural ingredients like sugar, oatmeal, or fruit extracts.
  • Choose antiperspirants containing ingredients like aluminum chloride or aluminum zirconium to control sweat production and minimize darkening due to excessive perspiration.
  • Keep the armpit skin hydrated and healthy by moisturizing regularly. Look for non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic moisturizers with ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, or coconut oil.

With lots of patience and consistency, incorporating these tips into your skincare routine will help you achieve brighter and smoother underarms.

Natural Remedies for Getting Rid of Dark Armpits

Natural remedies can be a popular choice when it comes to getting rid of dark armpits.

The following are a few of the natural remedies you can try at home and a step-by-step guide on how to use each ingredient for underarm brightening:

1. Lemon

Lemon contains natural bleaching properties due to its high vitamin C content. It can help lighten dark armpits by reducing the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. 

How to use lemon juice to lighten the armpit:

  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a bowl.
  • Dip a cotton ball or pad into the lemon juice.
  • Apply the lemon juice directly to your armpits, ensuring an even coverage.
  • Leave it on for about 10–15 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Moisturize your underarms afterward to prevent dryness.

2. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and has moisturizing properties that can nourish the skin and potentially reduce dark patches. 

How to use coconut oil to lighten armpit:

  • Take a small amount of coconut oil and warm it between your palms.
  • Gently massage the coconut oil into your underarms until it is fully absorbed.
  • Repeat this process daily after showering or before bedtime.

3. Tea tree oil mix

While scientific studies specifically focusing on tea tree oil's skin-lightening effects on underarms may be limited, some people claim that the regular application of tea tree oil can help lighten dark patches.

How to use tea tree oil to get rid of dark armpit:

  • Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or almond oil.
  • Mix well to ensure proper dilution.
  • Spread the mixture on your armpits using a cotton ball or your fingertips.
  • Leave it on for about 10–15 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water.
  • Take care not to use tea tree oil directly on the skin without dilution, as it can irritate.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric possesses skin healing and lightening properties, making it a beneficial ingredient for underarm brightening. It helps brighten the skin and provides relief from itching due to its antibacterial qualities.

How to use turmeric to get rid of dark armpit:

  • In a bowl, mix turmeric powder with water or rose water to form a paste.
  • Rub the paste in your armpits, ensuring an even layer.
  • Leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
  • Rinse off thoroughly, taking care to remove any yellow staining.
  • Do not use hot water, as it can cause the turmeric to stain the skin.

5. Egg yolk

Egg yolks are rich in nutrients like vitamin A and proteins that can help nourish the skin.

To use egg yolk for underarm brightening, separate the yolk from the egg white and apply a thin layer of the yolk to your armpits. 

How to use egg yolk for lightening the armpit:

  • Separate the yolk from the egg white.
  • Spread a thin layer of the egg yolk on your armpits.
  • Let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water.
  • Don’t use hot water, as it can cause the egg yolk to cook on the skin.

6. Potatoes

Potatoes contain natural bleaching agents, such as enzymes and vitamin C, that can help lighten dark spots and pigmentation. 

How to use potatoes to get rid of dark armpit:

  • Grate a potato or blend it into a fine paste.
  • Apply the potato directly to your underarms, ensuring complete coverage.
  • Leave it on for about 15–20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water and pat dry.
  • Moisturize your underarms afterward to keep the skin hydrated.

Perform a patch test before using any of these ingredients to check for any allergic reactions or skin sensitivities. Also, results may vary, so it may take time and regular usage to see noticeable improvements.

Treatments Dermatologists May Recommend for Lightening Dark Armpits

For lightening dark armpits, Dr. Uzo Iloabachie, a trained aesthetic dermatologist and the head aesthetician at Skintisfaction, recommends the use of an intimate chemical peel and a depigmenting product such as a specially-designed advanced formula roll-on deodorant enriched with niacinamide and vitamin E. 

Some other professional treatment options for dark armpits may include:

1. Laser therapy

Laser treatments can target pigmentation and stimulate collagen production, helping to improve the appearance of dark underarms.

During the procedure, specialized lasers like intense pulsed light (IPL) are used to break down excess melanin responsible for darkening the skin. 

Depending on the situation of your armpit, the dermatologist may recommend multiple sessions. Some temporary redness, swelling, and discomfort may occur after treatment.

Following post-treatment care instructions is essential. Some sensations that may occur after treatment include temporary redness, swelling, and discomfort.

2. Oral medications

In some cases, your dermatologist may prescribe specific oral medications that contain antioxidants for skin-lightening agents. These medications, taken by mouth, work from within your body to help regulate melanin production. 

It is important to follow your dermatologist's instructions and regularly communicate any concerns or changes during the treatment.

Your dermatologist will then monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan as needed. 

3. Topical antibiotics

If dark underarms are caused by inflammation or infection, dermatologists may prescribe topical antibiotics to treat the underlying condition and promote skin healing.

The antibiotics come in the form of creams or ointments that you apply directly to your underarm area; they work by eliminating bacteria that may contribute to the darkening of the skin.

To use topical antibiotics for treating dark armpits, you will need to clean your underarms thoroughly before applying the antibiotic cream or ointment. Then, gently massage a thin layer onto the affected area, ensuring it is evenly distributed. 

4. Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion involves removing the outer layer of skin using a rotating brush or diamond wheel to reveal fresh, new skin cells and promote a more even skin tone. The procedure can help diminish the appearance of dark patches and stimulate skin rejuvenation.

Your aesthetician will carefully use the dermabrasion tool to gently abrade the skin in your underarms during the treatment. This process may cause a temporary sensation of scratching or tingling, so a local anesthetic may be applied beforehand to ensure your comfort during the procedure.

After the treatment, your skin may appear red and feel sensitive, similar to a mild sunburn. Your dermatologist will then offer post-treatment care instructions, including the use of gentle cleansers and moisturizers to aid in the healing process.

It is essential to protect your skin from the sun and avoid excessive sun exposure during the recovery period.

5. Lotions

When applied regularly, lotions containing ingredients like kojic acid, arbutin, niacinamide, or vitamin C can help exfoliate the skin, reduce pigmentation, and promote a brighter complexion.

So, your dermatologist may recommend lotions containing any of these ingredients to foster the inhibition of melanin production and gradually lighten your underarms over time. 

To use the lotion effectively, you would need to follow the instructions provided by your dermatologist regarding the frequency and duration of application. It may take some time to notice visible improvements, so patience is key. 

When following a treatment plan recommended by your dermatologist, you can expect noticeable improvements in dark armpits within three weeks or more, says Dr. Iloabachie. 

Precautionary Measures to Avoid Dark Underarms

When it comes to dark armpits, it's important to remember that while some cases may be linked to medical conditions, many are simply cosmetic issues that are not harmful to your health.

However, it's always a good idea to consult with your aesthetician or dermatologist to find out the underlying cause of your dark armpits.

To ensure your safety and achieve the best possible results, it's important to be cautious. Here are a few important points to keep in mind:

  • It is highly recommended to see a dermatologist. They have the expertise to assess your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and offer personalized care.
  • Tight clothing can cause friction and irritation, thus contributing to the darkening of the skin. Opt for loose-fitting clothes that allow air circulation.
  • Use sunscreen on your underarms when exposing them to the sun. This can help prevent sun-induced hyperpigmentation.

Final Thoughts

Darkened skin in the underarm area can be caused by factors such as shaving, hyperpigmentation, hormonal changes, and certain medical conditions.

To lighten dark armpits, you can try various remedies, including using lemon juice, coconut oil, tea tree oil, turmeric, egg yolk, or potatoes. You may need to perform a patch test and be patient, as results may vary. 

Your dermatologist may also recommend professional treatments like laser therapy, oral medications, topical antibiotics, dermabrasion, chemical peels, or lotions containing specific ingredients. Finally, be cautious of fake products to prevent skin irritation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can you get rid of dark armpits naturally?

To naturally address dark armpits, you can try a few remedies, like applying lemon juice, rubbing potato slices, and exfoliating with gentle scrubs to remove dead skin cells. 

Can you prevent dark armpits?

Yes, you can prevent dark armpits. The steps you can take include: 

Shave in the direction of hair growth, and use a sharp, clean razor to prevent skin irritation.

Minimize the use of harsh deodorants or antiperspirants that can irritate the skin.

Keep your underarms well moisturized to maintain healthy skin.

Can you get rid of dark armpits overnight?

No, you can't get rid of dark armpits overnight. While complete overnight results are unlikely, consistent use of appropriate remedies and treatments can lead to gradual improvement over time. You should manage your expectations and understand that achieving noticeable results may take several weeks or even months.