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Underarm Lightening: Why Does It Happens & How to Whiten Them

Underarms may become darker over time due to many factors. Many people may feel that their darker underarm skin is embarrassing and keeps them from wearing their favorite sleeveless tops, bathing suits, and even deters them from participating in sporting events. Dark armpits may lead some people to develop diminished self-esteem and confidence.

Causes of Dark Underarms
There are several factors that lead to armpits to become darker including:
1. Shaving (i.e., abrasion and irritation)
2. Antiperspirants and deodorants which contain chemicals that may irritate the skin
3. Friction from tight clothes
4. Lack of exfoliation, which leads to the accumulation of dead skin cells
5. Smokers melanosis (i.e., hyperpigmentation of the skin caused by smoking tobacco)
6. Increased melanin production (i.e., hyperpigmentation)
7. Dark patches on the skin (i.e., melasma)
8. Bacterial infections (i.e., erythrasma)
9. Diabetes, obesity, abnormal levels in hormones leading to acanthosis nigricans
10. Addison's disease (i.e., damage of the adrenal gland)

Initial Steps to Lighten Armpits
First, your antiperspirant/deodorant should be changed. Changing to a natural deodorant alternative (e.g., charcoal, apple cider vinegar or baking soda) may allow for the decrease of underarm darkening. Stopping the use of deodorant may also help decrease the darkness of your underarms. Another step to lightening underarms is to discontinue shaving. Shaving alternatives such as waxing or laser hair removal are helpful in decreasing the darkness of armpits. Exfoliation may also help decrease underarm darkness. This can be accomplished through the use of a body scrub on the underarm area two to three times a week. Another step that should be followed is to wear loose fitting clothes. Finally, if you smoke, discontinuing smoking or reducing the amount that you smoke will help decrease the darkness of your underarms.

Natural Methods to Lighten Underarms 
There are several ways to lighten underarms naturally. Potatoes can be grated, pressed for juice, and the juice applied to the underarms. The juice from the potatoes should be rinsed after 10 minutes. Cucumbers also have natural bleaching agents. Thick slices of cucumbers can be rubbed under the arms to lighten them. Allow the cucumber juice to soak for 10 minutes and afterward rinse your underarms with room temperature water. Lemons are also a good choice when lightening your underarms. The same method should be used as described above; apply lemon juice and rinse after 10 minutes with cool water. Other natural lighteners include turmeric, egg oil, coconut oil, orange peel, and tea tree oil.

For those without time to make their own treatments, there are thankfully many natural treatments you can purchase that are ready-made as well which often contain the ingredients mentioned above, including whitening creams, scrubs, soaps and others. This guide provides a detailed guide about underarm lightening.

Medical Methods and Treatments for Underarm Lightening 
There are several types of treatments for lightening underarms that may be prescribed by a dermatologist. These include:
1. Cream containing hydroquinone
2. Cream containing corticosteroids
3. Cream containing azleaic acid
4. Cream containing tretinoin
5. Cream containing kojic acid
6. Laser therapy that removes pigment
7. Chemical peels containing beta hydroxy acids and alpha hydroxy acids
8. Microdermabrasion or dermabrasion
9. Clindamycin or erythromycin and antibiotics for individuals diagnosed with erythrasma

If you are looking to lighten your underarms there are many options out there. Whether you are interested in natural remedies or medical remedies, there is something to help you. It is common problem, so do not stress about it!

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