Skin tone is uneven in many people. One common area of discolouration is beneath the arms. The skin of the underarms tends to take on a darker tone for various reasons including genetic predisposition, inappropriate shaving habits, continuous contact with dark clothing or with surrounding skin, accumulation of dead skin cells or as an unfavourable reaction to chemicals such as those commonly used in deodorants. While there are commercial products you can purchase to help lighten the skin beneath the arms, there are also several inexpensive and simple home treatments you can try which may be just as effective.
Dark underarm skin can be caused by the build-up of deodorant products, perspiration, skin cells and other types of residue. To counteract their effect upon your skin tone, exfoliate the armpit area at least three times a week. A homemade body scrub can be made by using a combination of olive oil and brown sugar. Before showering, measure 1/4 tsp olive oil into the palm of your hand. Rub the oil into the skin beneath the arm. Then measure one tbsp of brown sugar into a dish. Take a pinch of brown sugar and gently massage it into the affected area, moving your fingers in a small circular motion. Get into the shower or bath and rinse away with warm water. This will remove any debris that has accumulated on the surface of your skin. Exfoliation also helps to stimulate the growth and development of new skin cells, which can drastically improve the appearance of the area.
Those who require more than the occasional scrub can take advantage of the items lying around your kitchen, which can be used to gradually lighten the tone of the skin. For example, lemon and lime are both known for the bleaching properties. After exfoliating the skin, try placing slices of these citrus fruits on the affected areas. Rub gently, allowing the juice to soak into the skin and then let the treated areas dry for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water. Follow this treatment with an application of vitamin E oil or body lotion as citric acid can have an unpleasant drying effect on the skin.
With regular treatment your underarm colour should lighten considerably over time. Once you have achieved the desired results, the following steps can help to prevent future incidents. Wax your underarms, rather than shave them. Removing the hair by the root keeps the area looking cleaner and prevents unsightly, dark stubble. Those who cannot tolerate waxing should use shaving cream rather than soap, for a smoother, closer shave. Additionally, you should limit the number of times in a week in which you wear tight-fitting, dark fabrics as the constant chafing causes a build-up of skin residue and the fabric dye may rub off on the skin, aggravating the condition unnecessarily.