Dark underarm skin? (photo)

dark underarm skin. tried everything from lemon juice to potato juice to prescription creams(anti fungal powder) but nothing works. I am thinking of hydroquinone. what % should I use? what other acid peels can you recommend? do they work? if so , ho much time would it take?

Doctor Answers 4

Dark skin under the arms could be Acanthosis Nigricans

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Do you have similar darkening on the neck? If yes, you should check with your doctor for a diagnosis of a condition called Acanthosis Nigricans, which may have a hormonal/ metabolic basis. In that case, results of any lightening treatment may only be short lived unless the underlying problem is attended to.

Good luck!

Pigmentation Improvement under the arms

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Many times this pigmentation you see is a result from trauma to the area, for example shaving the area can cause this. In many cases you can improve the pigmentation, I recommend a series of salicylic acid peels to improve the darkness. You can also use prescription hydroquinone of 4% on a nightly basis to speed the lightening process along. However, this may cause irritation if you continue to cause trauma to the area you can inhibit the amount of improvement you will get. Based on the picture my recommendation is to get laser hair removal in the area to stop the trauma and stop causing the pigmentation. The combination of those three things will give you the best results. Consult with a Board Certified Dermatologist to see what would best benefit you.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Luminase and Exfolase creams for the underarms

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I would recommend prepping the skin with Luminase and Exfolase creams followed by fractional laser. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

#Realself100 Surgeon

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Dark skin under the arms can be lightened

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Chronic moisture in the thighs and underarms can result in hyperpigmentation.

This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). 

I recommend Melarase AM and Melarase PM creams from Kare Skin as well as a broad spectrum sunblock like Spectrase. Bothe are from Kare Skin. Scler-x post inflammatory hyperigmentation relief complex is a great supplement to take as well. See link below. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.