8 Big Reasons Why Your Armpits Are Dark

4 min


How many times have you stood in front of your closet, grabbed that tank top, and put it back? You can’t wear it because your armpits are too dark. This is not only upsetting, but also scary because you don’t know what in the world is making your underarms dark all of a sudden. Here are 8 reasons why your underarms are dark if you’re curious and want to know why.

Hair Removal Methods

Shaving and hair removal creams are the most common ways for women to get rid of hair. They are easy and don’t hurt, which is probably why they are used the most. Both of these ways to get rid of hair are known to make the underarms darker.

But when it comes to shaving, it’s not hyperpigmentation that makes the skin dark. Your skin looks dark because of the hair below the surface. To solve this problem, it would be better to wax or pluck the hair out of its roots.


Friction From Clothes

Why do underarms cause such a fuss? Except for your underarms, your body loves it when you wear clothes that fit close to your skin. Because they sweat, they are fussy. Because of this moisture and the constant friction from wearing clothes that are too tight, your armpits look dark and dull. Make sure to wear loose, breathable fabrics so you don’t sweat and rub against your underarm skin.


Dead Skin Build-up

Take a break and look at the skin on your armpits. Use a magnifying glass if you don’t mind going out of your way. You’ll notice that the skin is bumpy and has a lot of dimples. Dead skin often gets stuck in these “potholes” and builds up there. The best way to keep this from happening is to exfoliate every other day until the dark spots go away. If you don’t want to buy one, you could make a simple scrub yourself.



It could be a bacterial or fungal infection. Underarms are a common place for fungal infections like ringworm to happen. Microbes can grow and spread easily when you sweat all the time. Ringworm makes the skin get darker than usual.

Dark underarms can also be caused by bacterial infections like erythrasma. This skin infection affects the sweat glands in the armpits and other places on the body. During the early stages of an infection, the skin turns pink or red and itches and hurts. At some point, the spot gets darker and turns brown. The condition can be treated with antibiotics, and you shouldn’t ignore it or think it’s a fungal infection by mistake.


Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition that makes the skin rough, dark, and velvety in the underarms, neck, and groin . This happens when insulin levels are out of whack, which is most often seen in people who are overweight or have diabetes.

When the body has insulin resistance, insulin metabolism goes haywire, and acanthosis nigricans is one of the results. Because of this, women with PCOD often have dark underarms and groins. Some of the things doctors recommend are losing weight, controlling insulin levels, and putting creams on the skin to make it lighter.

Acanthosis nigricans

Contact Dermatitis

Did you get a rash in your armpit because you started using something new? This could be an allergic reaction because the deodorant or antiperspirant you are using has an allergen that is causing inflammation.

Most of the time, this rash and irritation cause the skin to get darker. Most contact allergies are caused by substances that give off a scent. The allergy doesn’t just make the underarm skin darker; it also makes it thick and leathery.


Hormonal Fluctuations

Women who are pregnant and girls who are going through puberty often notice that some parts of their bodies, like their underarms, have changed color. This is called melasma, and it happens when the amounts of progesterone and estrogen aren’t right. Melanocytes are the cells that make melanin, which is a dark pigment.

When the body makes too much melanin, it makes the skin look dark. When hormones are out of balance, melanocytes are overstimulated, which causes pigmentation. Dermatologists say that you can get rid of this problem by bringing balance to your hormones naturally and putting creams and lotions on your skin.


Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

As the name suggests, this is a pigmentation that happens when a physical injury causes inflammation in any part of the body. This can happen anywhere on the body, even in the armpits. When you wax or shave your underarms often, your skin is more likely to get cut or hurt. Also, right after shaving, it becomes very sensitive, which makes it even more vulnerable. This post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation could be the reason why your skin got darker after you got your hair removed.

There are lots of natural home remedies for pigmentation that you can find on the internet. But if you think there’s something more serious going on that can’t be fixed without medical help, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible.


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