How to Get Rid of Dark Armpits

Two Methods:Home RemediesMedical Remedies

If you've trashed all your tank tops and keep covered up because of dark armpits, you don't have to stay that way. In this article, you'll learn both home-based and medical ways to restore your underarm confidence.

Method 1
Home Remedies

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    Try a natural bleaching agent. The acidic, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties in some vegetables and fruits allow them to lighten the skin naturally. Potatoes, cucumbers and lemons are three that can help eliminate dark skin under the arms.
    • Potato - Thinly slice a potato and rub a slice on the dark area. Or, you can grate some of the potato to release the "juice." Apply this juice to your underarms, let it dry 10 minutes and rinse.
    • Cucumber - Just as you did with the potato, you can rub cucumber slices on the affected area or grate some of the cucumber and use the juice. You can go a step further and add a few drops of lemon juice and some turmeric (enough to make a paste) to the cucumber juice. Apply the paste, wait a half hour and wash off.
    • Lemon - Rub a thick slice of lemon on the dark area; the fruit will remove dead skin cells and lighten the skin. Follow-up by washing and, if necessary, applying moisturizer. (With continued use, lemons can dry out the skin). Add a small amount of tumeric, plain yogurt or honey to lemon juice to make a paste that can be left on for 10 minutes and then rinsed clean.
    • Egg oil - Gently massage egg oil on the dark area and leave on overnight; the omega-3 in egg oil promote re-epithelisation (new skin cells) which make the skin smooth and light. Wash in the morning with a pH balanced soap or body wash.
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    Moisturise. The single most important thing you can do to prevent or treat dark underarms is to moisturize the area at least twice a day. Prefer to use natural moisturisers like aloe vera, lecithin etc.
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    Exfoliate. Dark underarms may be caused by dead skin cells that have accumulated there, so exfoliating can reduce the dark appearance of the skin.
    • Sugar - Mix a cup of brown sugar with 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Apply to wet skin for a minute or two during a shower or bath and rinse. Try using the mixture twice a week when you bathe.
    • Baking soda - Make a thick baking soda-and-water paste to use as a scrub. After scrubbing, rinsing and drying the area, you can apply a dusting of baking powder to the skin to give it a lighter appearance.
    • Baking soda and rosewater - Make a somewhat thick paste of baking soda and rose water. Apply to the underarm area, then wash off with warm water. Dry your arms. Do this until you see lightening of armpits.
    • Orange - Peel an orange and put the peels out in the sun to dry. Grind the peels to form a powder and make a paste by adding rose water and milk. Scrub your underarms with the paste for 10 to 15 minutes to remove dead skin cells and rinse with cold water.
    • Pumice stone - Gently remove dead skin cells from under your arms with the use of a pumice stone. This light-weight, abrasive volcanic rock is sold in drug stores and beauty supply stores. Wet the stone thoroughly and gently scrub the underarm area.
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    Try a liquid treatment. Open your refrigerator or kitchen cupboard to find remedies that can not only lighten dark underarms but make the skin softer and fresher
    • Milk - It's the vitamins and fatty acids in milk that make it effective in lightening dark skin. Create a paste of two tbsp. milk, one tsp. curd and one tbsp. flour. Apply to the skin, let sit for 15 minutes and rinse with cold water. Skin should be softer and free of dead skin cells, which will make the area look much lighter. You can get even better results with full fat milk cream.
    • Vinegar - For a lighter look and germ-free, sweet-smelling skin, mix vinegar with rice flour to form a paste. Take a hot shower and then apply the paste to the underarms, let dry for 10-15 minutes and rinse with warm water.
    • Coconut oil - The Vitamin E in coconut oil can help lighten dark skin over time, so for best results it should be used daily or every other day. Before bathing, massage the oil into the skin for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with a mild soap and lukewarm water. Another benefit of coconut oil--it's a natural deodorant.
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    Make a whitening pack. If you're willing to commit to a frequent treatment regimen, you can try a natural whitening pack made from gram flour (also known a chickpea flour). Mix the flour with yogurt, lemon and a little turmeric to form a thick paste. Apply and leave in place for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Apply this whitening paste daily for two weeks and then three times a week to speed up the whitening effect.
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    Skip shaving and start waxing. Dark underarms may be caused by thick hair under the skin due to shaving. Because waxing removes hair at the root, it may leave the area lighter and the skin softer.
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    Skip deodorants. The strong antiperspirant chemicals of deodorants often darken underarms by an inflammatory response. Very few people actually have a problem with body odor and most do not need the widely advertised deodorants.

Method 2
Medical Remedies

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    Check with your doctor. Home remedies may not help with dark underarms if you're suffering from a condition known as acanthosis nigricans, a skin disorder that results in velvety, light-brown-to-black markings in areas that include the armpits.
    • This condition can occur as a result of obesity or an endocrine (glandular) disorder. It is frequently found in people with diabetes or a tendency towards diabetes and is most common among people of African descent. [1]
    • Other possible causes of acanthosis nigricans include Addison's disease, pituitary gland disorders, growth hormone therapy, hypothyroidism or the use of oral contraceptives. [2]
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    Change your diet. If your condition is diabetes related, modifying your diet to restrict starches and sugars may help.
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    Stop taking the pill. If oral contraceptives are at the source of your skin condition, you can try switching to a different form of birth control to see if the condition improves once the medication is stopped.
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    Get a prescription. Retin-A, 20% urea, alpha hydroxyacids, and salicylic acid prescriptions may help, but they've been found to be only minimally effective. [3]
    • The most widely used ingredient in skin lighteners sold in the U.S. is hydroquinone, which is regulated by the FDA. Dermatologists can write prescriptions for lighteners that contain up to 4% hydroquinone. Over-the-counter skin lighteners can contain no more than 2% hydroquinone.[4] Always check with your doctor before using a product that contains hydroquinone.
    • Use skin lighteners sold by trusted brands. Although the FDA banned the use of mercury in skin lightening products in the U.S. in 1990, lightening creams that contain this toxic metal have been found here. These products were manufactured in other countries but sold in stores in the U.S., so read labels very carefully when shopping for this product. [5]
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    Stop electrolysis. All women, but especially those with dark skin run the risk of hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) when they use electrolysis for hair removal. [6] If you've been having electrolysis treatments to remove the underarm hair, stopping the treatment should stop more discoloration from occurring.


  • Exfoliate more often if you suffer from hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating).
  • Have a professional perform underarm waxing for best results


  • If you do not suffer from hyperhydrosis, be aware that darker skin is completely normal in skin areas that are very thin, including your eyelids, for example, as well as in your genital and anal area. It is not a physical flaw. Consider that women in professional pictures (commercials, print ads) often have this area changed to look lighter with special effects in post-production. Actresses in adult films usually have the skin in their genital/anal area bleached to give this appearance.
  • Bleaching skin, as well as excessive exfoliation, can cause serious harm and scarring. The hair follicles, pores, and sweat glands in your armpits can become infected. The close proximity to your lymph nodes can be very dangerous, since any infection can spread quickly throughout your system, possibly causing a septic shock. Consider all pros and cons carefully before you decide to tamper with such delicate skin. Consult medical professionals first.

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