People nowadays would say that it’s normal to have dark underarms and underarm hair; however, this isn’t always the case as the Internet remains a cesspool of people who are quick to judge. Even though we’re heading towards a more progressive future where it’s highly acceptable for women to flaunt things that have been previously labeled as “imperfections”, there are people whose problems go beyond appearances. In my case, dark underarms are an effect of continuous, intense itching and skin dryness due to a skin condition called atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. For some, it’s the result of medical conditions like insulin resistance or diabetes. For such complicated cases, a piece-by-piece approach don’t usually work, so we’re giving you a look at how to address it holistically.
Thanks to the power of science, we can now address such concerns from the root! To give you a glimpse at what it takes to address dark underarms for a person with eczema, here’s a 14-minute documentation of my program under Dr. Kaycee Reyes of Luminisce:
NOTE: Aside from the personalized underarm program, I’m also undergoing separate eczema treatments every two weeks at their clinic but that’s a topic for another video!
Here’s a quick overview of everything you should know to help take better care of your underarms — one of the most sensitive areas of our skin:
WHAT CAUSES DARK UNDERARMS?
In my case, it’s eczema which leads to itching and excessive dryness, which then leads to my unconscious scratching, and eventually ends up as small wounds that darken over time. It’s a never-ending cycle!
However, there are other causes to consider as well:
- Harmful chemicals from deodorants, antiperspirants, and even strong laundry detergents can sometimes cause a negative reaction leading to thicker and darker skin.
- Improper shaving, waxing, or plucking may also damage the skin, causing irritation.
- Wearing tight clothing can cause frequent friction/rubbing, which then translates to hyperpigmentation.
- Sometimes, medical concerns like obesity, diabetes, and hormonal problems (like PCOS) take into play. For such instances, best to consult your doctor first to tackle the problem from the root before starting skin treatments.
- Improper diet can lead to itching for people who have allergic reactions. Best to see an allergologist if you think you have one (or more).
HOW TO PREVENT DARK UNDERARMS:
Based on my discussion with Dr. Kaycee, I have to monitor what I eat, what I wear, and even my stress levels as my eczema flare-ups also contribute to my underarm darkening. Remember: The first step to every treatment should be identifying what causes the problem in order for the treatment to become effective long-term!
Here are some tips that can be applied for all skin types —
- Avoid inflammation caused by waxing or hair removal creams that contain strong chemicals.
- Go for laser hair removal instead of continuous shaving and plucking.
- Do not use deodorants and antiperspirants with alcohol, baking soda, and fragrance essential oils as these can cause irritation.
- Avoid whitening deodorants and DIY home remedies as each skin reacts differently to chemicals.
- Avoid too much scrubbing with beads and loofah.
- Wear loose or comfortable clothing to minimize friction.
- Rule out acanthosis nigricans by checking with your dermatologist or endocrinologist.
LUMINISCE TREATMENTS I’VE TRIED:
- StarWalker Angel White DeoLase: Delivers fairer, smoother, and clearer skin
- PitsPerfect Peel: For gentle exfoliation, brightens the underarms, and improves texture to avoid chicken skin. Costs around Php 6,000 per session.
- Lustrii Laser: Lightens the skin by targeting hyperpigmentation. Costs around Php 6,000 per session.
- Creams for sensitive skin such as Physiogel Hypoallergenic Calming Relief AI Cream and Avene XeraCalm; and ointments such as Rocimus for my underarm eczema. Prepare at least Php 1,000 for each of these!
PROGRESS (1 1/2 MONTHS)
In my case, it was a slow progress due to my eczema flare-ups from time to time. Underarm darkening hasn’t always been an issue for me, but when my eczema got worse during the pandemic, it got harder for me to deal with skin issues. I started my program around February but around mid-March, it got worse so Dr. Kaycee had to prescribe antihistamines and a calming cream to help me deal with the itchiness! Fast forward to today, I’m happy to share that my underarms are smoother than ever and I only have super light “shadows” that can easily be addressed by my remaining laser treatments under my personalized program:
May you be experiencing recurring skin problems or a more serious medical condition, it’s important to ALWAYS consult a dermatologist or physician. Even though it’s cheaper to follow DIY treatments or skincare tips from beauty influencers/vloggers, remember that we do not have the same type of skin and lifestyle. What works for other people may not necessarily work for you. If I hadn’t consulted Dr. Kaycee about my condition, I wouldn’t have taken the holistic way of solving my skin problems because it seemed cheaper to do it piece-by-piece. I was wrong! Looking back at all my expenses from trial-and-error with different products, I wish I visited Luminisce earlier!
Hope my story helped you somehow! I highly encourage everyone to start their #skinvesting journey soon. Stay healthy, inside and out! 🙂