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Top Causes of Dark Underarms

How many times have you been embarrassed by dark underarms? Know the causes and learn what you can do to finally say goodbye to dark underarms. Here are the most common causes:

Shaving. When you shave, you cut most of the hairs off at just below
the surface of the skin.  This can give the appearance that your skin has
a dark stain when it`s really just sub-surface hair.

Scratching. The hairs grow back after
shaving, or plucking, or waxing. They can cause itchiness that results in “pleasurable” scratching. The constant friction from scratching can cause skin discoloration.

Skin cells build up. Dark spots can be the
result of dead skin cells that are trapped in microscopic “hills and valleys”
on your skin.

Antiperspirants. The aluminum salts and the fragrance
ingredients in antiperspirants  could be reacting with skin to cause
discoloration. Many claim that when they stop using their antiperspirant, the
darkness goes away.

Overweight.  Fat people tend to have
light-brown-to-black markings not only in their underarms, but also on the neck
and in the groin. Friction is an obvious cause, but there is the more serious issue
related to insulin production.

Pregnancy. A number of physical, chemical and physiological factors can
induce your skin to produce excess melanin pigment during pregnancy. 

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What To Do: 
  1. Stop shaving, waxing, and plucking. Once the hairs start growing back, scratching can be a problem.  

  2. Go for the more permanent solution: laser hair removal (LHR). Prices of
    LHR have gone down tremendously. Check the very affordable packages offered by SkinStation, the leader in painless diode laser, the gold standard in laser hair removal.  
  3. Exfoliate and apply underarm whitening cream such as DERMAX NanoWhite
    UA cream with retinol to prevent formation of excess melanin.
  4. Use a deodorant like DERMAX deowhite natural deodorant instead of an antiperspirant. You may get
    wet in some adverse conditions, but that is probably less embarrassing than
    having perpetually dark armpits!
  5. If you have weight problem, go on diet and exercise, and monitor
    your insulin level.
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on March 13, 2012. The author is the CEO of
    He received the 2011
    Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his
    achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry.  (Updated on April 24, 2013.)
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