One of the best parts of a night of dancing with friends is wearing a sexy sleeveless dress and freely moving without worrying about unwanted underarm skin discoloration. Trust me, I’ve been there. Dark spots often occur on the armpits, but they can usually be avoided by tweaking your hair removal products and regime. These tried and true methods will make you want to “throw ya hands in the air and wave em’ like ya just don’t care.”

1. Wax instead of shaving

It may seem more convenient and painless to shave than it is to wax but when you shave, you’re only getting rid of the hair above the skin. As a result, the root of the hair is visible beneath the skin and if you have dark hair and/or fair skin it can be more apparent. To avoid this happening, trade in your razor for wax strips. If you’re a newbie to waxing, you might want to go to a professional like a beautician or licensed esthetician for the treatment. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you might have to get a wax once every week. If you feel comfortable enough to do it yourself, opt for an at-home wax kit, but be sure to follow the instruction carefully to avoid irritating your underarm skin.

2. Exfoliate

No matter the part of the body, if you want smooth skin it has to be exfoliated. Underarm dark spots could be a result of dead skin buildup. To combat it, exfoliate regularly with a product containing lactic acid which hydrates skin and acts as an exfoliant for a softer rejuvenated finish.

3. Nix the deodorant you’re using

There are antiperspirants and deodorants that have ingredients such as fragrance that could be reacting with your skin and causing discoloration on your armpits. Your best bet might be to use an anti-fungal powder or an all-natural organic deodorant.

4. Get rid of your hair removal cream

Sometimes hair removal creams could be the culprit behind underarm dark spots. This is because similarly to shaving, the hair is not being removed from the root. There are also chemicals in these creams that could also irritate your skin. You could even burn your skin if you leave the product on too long or use it improperly. It’s fine to use a hair removal cream every once in a while but excessive use could cause irritation and discoloration underneath the arms.

5. Visit a dermatologist

If underarm discoloration just doesn’t seem like it’s going away despite trying different methods of elimination, it might be time to visit a dermatologist. The dark spots might be a result of a condition called acanthosis nigrican, which causes light-brown to very dark splotches under the arms, around the neck and in the groin area. It could be related to insulin production or a glandular disorder and typically occurs in overweight people.

-Margaret Francois

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