Dark Underarm Causes, Symptoms, Remedies

A dark underarm is an aesthetic problem for some people, especially women. As a result, their self-confidence decreases and social interaction may be affected. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for dark underarms.

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Dark underarms have various causes. According to Cleveland Clinic, as cited by Live Strong, these include acanthosis nigricans, a condition common in people with insulin disorders like diabetes mellitus. Insulin resistance and disorders like hypothyroidism, pituitary problems, and Addison’s disease also contribute to the condition. According to The Beauty Brains, as cited by Live Strong, shaving the armpits also leads to darkening due to the dark stain of the hair stubble following the shaving process. Bacterial infection and the use of antiperspirants also contribute to the development of dark underarms, as per the publication.

Signs and Symptoms

A dark underarm may be accompanied by various symptoms. According to Simple Remedies, these include itchiness of the armpit, which may lead to redness and scratching; as a result, the armpits may become discolored due to friction secondary to scratching. Other associated symptoms are excessive sweating and bad odor related to bacteria build-up in the armpits.

Home Remedies

While some creams and other medical treatment are designed to lighten dark underarms, home remedies can be done to manage the condition without using medications.

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One remedy for dark underarms is cucumber. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, cucumbers act as natural bleach, allowing the discolored skin to lighten. To apply the remedy, as per the publication, the person rubs a thin cucumber slice on her underarms; she can also grate a cucumber and apply the juice to the underarms. This remedy can be done once or twice a day until the symptoms resolve. As an alternative, the cucumber juice can be mixed with a small amount of turmeric powder and lemon juice until a paste is formed. Next, the paste is applied on the affected area and is allowed to stay for 30 minutes before it is washed with water. The remedy is done once a day or every other day until the discoloration lightens.


Lemon is another way to lighten dark underarms. According to Rapid Home Remedies, lemon acts as a natural bleach and cleanser, in addition to its antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Lemon is also a weak form of acid, so has the ability to exfoliate dead skin cells and lighten the skin in the process. To apply the remedy, as per the publication, the person takes a thick lemon slice and rubs on the underarms daily before taking a bath or shower. Then, some moisturizer can be applied, since lemon has a drying effect n the skin. As an option, honey, yogurt, and turmeric can be added to the lemon juice until a paste is formed. Just like the cucumber paste, the lemon paste is applied to the underarms and is left for about ten minutes before it is washed off with water.

Baking Soda

Another remedy for dark underarms is baking soda. According to Health N Body Tips, baking soda also has natural bleaching effects, just like cucumber and lemon. Baking soda is also safe to use, since, as per the publication, it is mild and it does not have any side effects on the skin. To prepare, baking soda and water are mixed to form a thick paste, which is applied onto the affected area and is left to dry. Then, it is rinsed off with lukewarm water.

Overall, dark underarms serve as an aesthetic concern for others and this may affect their self-esteem and social relationships with others. To manage the condition, one may consider applying home remedies as home management and seeking medical consult with a dermatologist for proper medical advice.

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