Dark underarms can be a form of inferiority complex. Some people steer clear of wearing sleeveless or strapless tops because they’re afraid the dark patch might be seen as unsightly. If you’re one of those people, and still don’t know what’s causing the dark underarms, this info might be useful for you.

  1. Shaving
    When you shave, you cut off hair just below the surface of the skin, resulting in an unsightly stubble. This can give the illusion of darker underarms. The same goes for hair removal creams, which only remove hair on the surface. Go for waxing or IPL instead. Although it may hurt more, the hair will be removed from the root and your underarms will appear fairer. Waxing also works as a form of exfoliation.
  2. Dead skin
    Dead skin cells accumulate over time and when they’re not removed, it can result in dullness and a slight darkening of the skin. Do a gentle all-over exfoliation with a body loofah and a whitening scrub (or a scrub that contains lactic acid).
  3. Tight clothing
    The friction between fabric and your armpits from wearing tight clothes on a daily basis can sometimes lead to skin darkening. Try switching to looser-fitting clothes, especially during the hotter months, as they provide more breathing room for your skin.
  4. Acanthosis nigricans
    This is a disorder that causes light brown to black markings on your skin. It is an imbalance of insulin levels and could be caused by eating too much starches and sugars. It is a treatable disorder so pay a visit to your doctor if you suspect you’ve got it.

Image: sergeyp / 123RF.com
Text: Cynthia Chew
Additional reporting: Liu Kai Ying