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Dark Underarms : Main Causes and Treatment

dark underarms

Undoubtedly, dark underarms are a nightmare of women, especially, as summer months approach when the standard drill is generally to exhume all our skimpy summer finery from the depths of the wardrobe.

Women tend to flash more flesh on the sand and even in the street, as beachwear gains acceptability on the trek back to one’s lodging.



This article touches upon the causes of dark underarms, risk factors of dark underarms and treatment methods, in short, this article discovers all you wonder about dark underarms.

Most of the time, dark patches in the armpits are not a symptom of any serious disease. Nevertheless, women seek ways to get rid of them mostly for cosmetic reasons.

Even though, we say ” most of the time ” this skin problem is not a sign of a serious illness, sometimes it can be a sign of obesity and in rare cases might occur in the body due to cancer.

The back of the neck, elbows, knees are also the parts that are prone to get darken in the human body. This article contains everything you need to know about dark underarms. Without further ado, let’s start reading.


The Causes of Dark Underarms

Primarily, it is important to know that your skin colour is determined according to the amount of melanin pigment produced in your body.

This pigment also determines the colour of your eyes and hair. Since an albino‘s body almost never produces melanin, his/her hair and skin are mostly whitish and yellowish.

If these pigment cells multiply more than the body needs for instance in the armpits for a certain reason, the area begins to darken.

Some risk factors make some individuals more susceptible to developing dark armpits. Therefore, it is sensible to touch on these risk factors.


Risk Factors 

Having Darker Skin: A comprehensive scientific study; demonstrates that Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics have a higher chance to encounter dark underarm problems.

Genetics: Genetic factors may also be involved in dark underarms just as genetic factors play a role in almost every disease. If any of your close relatives have this skin issue, it means that you, too, can develop these harmless skin patches.

Hair Removal: Another factor that can bring about dark underarms is the irritation caused by armpit shaving. Irritation and skin damage tarnish the armpits,  causing dark underarms.


1- Obesity 

Scientific studies highlight the link between obesity and dark underarms. It appears that people who are obese or overweight are more likely to develop this skin problem relative to those whose body weight is ideal.

Comprehensive scientific research proves the relationship between body index and dark patches usually emerge in the armpits.

According to the same research, dark underarms is more common in overweight adults.


2- Type – 2 Diabetes

We mentioned in the previous section that people who are obese or overweight are more likely to have black patches in their armpits.

So when we consider that obesity and diabetes have a very close relationship, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that diabetes causes dark underarms.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association known as AAD; dark patches on certain areas of the body for instance; the armpit, neck are among the symptoms of diabetes.


3 -Hormonal Changes

In addition to these, it is known that hormonal changes in the body cause darkening in the armpit. Hormonal changes can take place in the body due to various reasons.

For instance, a human body goes through solid hormonal changes in puberty and pregnancy. Since the hormonal changes are quite common in the pregnancy process, mothers-to-be become susceptible to dark underarms in this period.


4- Medication Use

The use of some drugs is associated with the darkness in the skin surface, usually in the armpits. According to Medical News Today; high-dose niacin, birth control pills are among the drugs that may cause underarm darkening.


5- Cancer

Even though it is very rare, cancer development in the body triggers certain dynamics inside the body and result in increased melanin pigment that gives the original colour of the skin.

This increased pigment production can cause darkness in the armpits. Here, the distinguishing factor is that a certain part of the skin suddenly and quickly appears darker than its original colour.



Naturally, just as in every disease, in the treatment of this skin problem to the aim is to eliminate the factors or causes of the disease.

If the aforementioned medical conditions are the reason for dark underarms, controlling or eliminating these diseases, such as losing weight for an obese person or controlling diabetes for the diabetic patient will help overcome the dark underarms problem.

If the cause of darkness in the armpit has nothing to do with the above-given health condition, then the following natural tips will take tackle the issue.



In fact, lemon can be an effective method for removing darkness in the armpits, proven by experience. Perhaps many of you were expecting to hear the name lemon because it is a food that helps women to whiten things in daily life with its acid content.

Thanks to its whitening effect, applying lemon to the armpit area of blackness once a day may reduce the darkness in the skin. 

As for the, apply the sliced lemon onto the darkness in the armpits. However, the only disadvantage here is that some people’s skin can react to the strong acid of the lemon, so it will be useful to try it at a small point before using it.



In fact, potatoes and lemon have almost the same effect for dark underarms. These two foods ( vegetable and fruit respectively) have a whitening property.

The advantage of potato over lemon is that lemon might irritate some sensitive skins, while potatoes are more suitable for use.

With sliced potatoes, you can obtain good results after a certain period of time in terms of lightening dark underarms.



The fact that milk is a very suitable food against skin darkening is mostly related to the fatty acids in its content. Although many of us do not know, milk is also rich in vitamins.

Vitamins and beneficial fatty acids in milk are effective together against dark underarms. 

As for the way of use: the milk should be mixed with the curd and a drop of honey until it turned into a porridge. Apply this mixture to the armpits, wait 10 or 15 minutes and rinse.



Perhaps the most widely known of the natural solutions we have given so far for dark underarms is carbonate. Many people use this method and obtain effective results.

The whitening effect of baking soda is known by most people and it is known that baking soda is also a household method for teeth whitening.

It will be enough to mix the baking soda in a little water until it becomes a paste. Apply it to your armpit and leave it for 5 minutes.

If this paste does not cause irritation on your skin, you can obtain another mixture with lemon, baking soda and water apply it to the darkened skin area.



Placing cucumber slices under the armpit is a very safe method for people of all ages who have dark underarms problems. Cucumber can be used by anyone regardless of skin type.

Apply the sliced cucumbers to the dark area under the armpits. Thereafter, let the cucumber juice remains in the area for about 10 minutes.

It is suitable for daily use. You can apply it every day until you get results.



Aloe vera has been used for its skin benefits for centuries throughout the world. And, modern medicine acknowledges some claimed skin benefits of aloe vera.

For instance; studies show that aloe vera gel can help heal first to second-degree burns (12345).

The question is, can aloe vera also help lighten dark underarms?

Aloe vera may lighten dark underarms thanks to its aloesin compound.

Although there is not enough scientific evidence on this subject, there are some studies, showing that aloe vera has skin lightening properties ( study 1), ( study 2).

Moreover, on this website, we published a comprehensive article about dark knees and aloe vera. You can read the article by clicking here.

And, we concluded in the article that aloe vera might be natural to lighten dark knees around the body.



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