I'm an Indian Female (30 Years) with Dark Underarms. I Would Like to Glycolic Gel Peel 35% at Home?

Will it be safe? How long should I wait to see the results. I feel terrible due to this discoloration and completely avoid wearing anything short sleeved.

Doctor Answers 3

Dark Underarms may be treated with Glycolic Acid or other cream formulations.

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Dear RealSelf writer, Dark Underarms may be treated with Glycolic Acid or other cream formulations. Most of the times, the dark color in these areas is Not from an increase in the skin pigmentation/color. Rather, a condition called Acanthosis Nigricans is more commonly what we find in 'darkly colored' armpits. This condition is due to 'rough' or 'thickened' skin in these areas, which gives it the appearance of being dark. Therefore, a cream regimen that can moisturize and soften the skin, can be very successful in the majority of cases. While I prefer for patients not to use peeling agents with glycolic acid at home, the milder concentrations in certain creams are acceptable. Another good choice is the combination of urea 40% cream and salicylic acid 6% cream applied twice daily in a thin layer. Equally important is not to scrub these areas too aggressively as if to 'clean' them up. Remember, there is nothing to be cleaned up here, just very dry and rough skin to be moisturized. A mild strength of hydroquinone bleaching agent, like hydroquinone 2% or 4%, may be added to this treatment. Lastly, acanthosis nigricans may be seen mostly in our darker skin type ethnic groups, but it may also be seen, regardless of background, in patients with diabetes mellitus. If your case is not too extensive, it is likely that here's no connection to diabetes; but in patients with acanthosis on the armpits, neck and groin, being tested for diabetes would be very important. I hope this information helps you and wish you good results in your treatment. Dr. Bowes from Miami. 

Luminase and Exfolase creams for the underarms

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I would start the process with Luminase and Exfolase creams to lighten the skin, followed by fractional laser therapy. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

#Realself100 Surgeon

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

Before treating to find the reason for dark underarms

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Hi ,you can definately go for glycolic peel session s for dark underarms ,but single session is not of much help,you need to do a couple of sessions.along with this you should also apply some skin lightening cream with kojic acid,glycolic acid,urea,niacinamide at night time to supplement the effect.Acanthosis nigricans(AN) a condition with thickening and darkening of the skin of neck,underarms,groins,any friction prone areas of the body  should be ruled out.AN affects females or males who are obese,has DM,genetic history,PCOS etc.If you have underlying AN then only peels will not help effective.Treatment of the underlying cause is equally important.

Milan Doshi, MS, MCh
India Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

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.