Can Deodorants Darken Your Underarms?

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In the summer, it’s time to start off wearing the sleeveless clothes that make you feel a little cooler and make you feel like a fashionista. But your dark underarms may make you conscious and ultimately loose the fun of wearing cool and comfy sleeveless fits. Though pigmented underarms are nothing much to worry about, but they may be a matter of concern for most of us. The article ponders the various causes of underarm darkening and its treatment methods.

What causes underarm darkening?

Dark or pigmented underarms can be caused by certain factors;


Darkening of underarms might occur due to the multiplication of melanocytes (pigment cells) in your skin, at an unusually rapid rate. When you shave your underarms frequently, it might cause excess production of melanocytes, which can result in irritation.


Antiperspirants and deodorants contain chemicals, alcohol, parabens and fragrances. These components can cause inflamation to your skin. With due course of time, the continuous inflammation, thickens and darkens your skin.


This condition is described by the formation of dark blotches on your skin. Melasma mostly affects the ones with a darker complexion. Stress, hormonal issues and thyroid disease are mostly known to increase the risk of this condition.


This skin condition is characterized by excess production of melanin (skin pigment) by melanocytes. People experience hyperpigmentation because of increased levels of a hormone which plays a key role in the melanin production.

Frequent exfoliation, smoking and wearing tight clothes are some other factors which may darken your underarms.

How to prevent underarm darkening?

You can prevent further darkening of your underarms by taking the following measures:

Replace your deodorant:

Change your chemical-based deodorant with some natural or herbal alternative. As an alternative you can also opt for apple cider vinegar or baking soda to prevent body odor. Make sure to patch test before using it.

Do not shave your underarms anymore:

If you do not like underarm hair, consider waxing or laser hair removal treatments. Frequent Shaving can cause more pigmentation.


Get rid of the unwanted bacterias and micro particles! Exfoliate your Underarms using a gentle scrub, not more than thrice a week.

Wear loose-fitting clothes:

Tight clothes, that doesn’t let your skin breathe, especially made of synthetic fabrics, may cause excessive friction. Friction can induce the accumulation of sweat in your underarms, causing more and more pigmentation.

Quit smoking: As per research, excessive smoking increases the melanin production in the skin, which leads to hyperpigmentation. This further darkens the underarm skin.

Medical Treatment For Dark Underarms

Some people with dark underarms may believe that it is a normal part of the aging process. However, this is not true. Darker skin discoloration can be due to a number of factors such as heredity, hormonal changes or exposure to sunlight and it can also be caused by an underlying condition like low thyroid hormone, liver disease or diabetes.

If the underarm pigmentation is a result of a serious medical condition such as diabetes, Acanthosis nigricans, Erythrasma, or Addison’s disease, then treatment would focus on resolving the underlying condition.

Recommend use of skin care products with ingredients, like:

  • corticosteroids
  • hydroquinone
  • retinoic acid
  • azelaic acid
  • kojic acid

Pigmented underarms may be embarrassing for many, though, it is possible to prevent and cure the condition efficiently.