What Causes Underarm Darkening?

I'm a 22 year old female. My underarms started to darken when I was 21. I'm not using any harsh deodorant so what could have caused the underarm darkening?

Doctor Answers 3

Underarm Darkening - Hyperpigmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are many causes for this such as:

1. excessive sweating

2. shaving with irritation, abrasion, hemosiderin deposition, etc

3. chemicals in antiperspirants such as the alcohols

We recommend treatment for the underarm hyperhidrosis (Botox) or the other techniques, and perhaps laser hair removal to avoid the continued trauma of shaving, plucking, etc. It is believed that shaving is the worst offender followed by sweating.

Underarm darkening

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I hesitate to give someone a diagnosis without actually performing an examination. I can think of several reasons for why someone's underarms would be dark, including a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, hormone-associated hyperpigmentation, medication-related pigmentation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from an allergic-type reaction, to name a few. You should consult with a dermatologist to obtain an accurate diagnosis of your condition.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

Skin irritation, friction causes underarm darkening

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Mechanical friction and skin irritation will make your underarm skin darker. Proper skin care, proper deoderant use, and in some cases hydroquinones, might help with this condition.

You might also like...

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.