Dark underarms are the bane of our existence, especially when we want to wear armless clothes. So, how can we quickly whiten underarms permanently?
There are generally two things we can do:
- Obtain medical treatment
- or DIY our way to lighter underarms
Remember that dark underarms can be caused by a variety of reasons like:
- Irritation from shaving or other hair removal processes
- Irritation from underarm products
- Improper underarm care
- Hormonal syndromes like PCOS
- Other chronic illnesses or conditions that affect the skin
How effective any treatment is will depend on the causes, your skin itself, and your underarm care routine.
Related Article: 10 Quick & Easy DIY Natural Remedies For Smelly Armpits
Medical Treatments To Quickly Whiten Underarms Permanently
There are many medical procedures that can be done to permanently whiten dark underarms.
Sometimes, your best bet, especially if you are new to underarm treatments, is to consult a dermatologist to determine what is causing your darkened underarms and what would be the best options for you.
Many times, when the underlying cause is controlled, the treatments work faster and are more permanent.
Medical treatments for dark underarms include:
- Lotions, Serums, & Other Topical Applications
- Chemical Peels
- Laser Therapy
1- Use Lotions, Serums, & Other Topical Applications
There are a variety of creams, lotions, serums, soaps, and other topical treatments that quickly whiten dark underarms permanently with regular and proper use.
Under the guidance of a dermatologist or skincare professional, topical agents containing ingredients like hydroquinone, tretinoin (retinoic acid), corticosteroids, azelaic acid, and kojic acid can be very effective.
Other forms of topical treatment that are popular but less speedy are serums. These serums will include Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide, and Glycolic Acid.
You can click on the links below to learn more about these serums and how you can use them.
These treatments are usually available over the counter in less potent concentrations that are safe for unsupervised use.
On the other hand, some of them are also available in prescription strengths that need to be prescribed and approved for use by a doctor. These need to be used under strict directions for the best results.
Related Article: Toothpaste For Dark Underarms – Ultimate DIY Guide
Now for some great deodorants that can actually help to lighten dark armpits check out:
2- Chemical Peels
Chemical peels can be done on your underarms and will quickly whiten dark underarms permanently.
However, it is best to have this done by a trained professional after an initial consultation.
There are different grades and types of chemical peels. The recovery time and effects will depend on the severity of the darkness and the kind of chemical peels that is done.
Since the skin of your underarms is thinner and more sensitive, these peels need to be tweaked and applied either in lower concentrations or for less time. This is to make sure you have the best results, without causing irritation and more darkening of the skin.
The kind of chemical peel that is ideal for you will depend on the type and degree of hyperpigmentation (darkened skin) you have, as well as your skin type.
But, generally, the best chemical peels to treat darkened skin (even on the underarms) are:
- Glycolic acid Peels
- Lactic Acid Peels
- Salicylic Acid Peels
- Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peels (Most effective but harsher on your skin so this may not be a suitable option for everyone’s underarm, especially if you have super sensitive skin)
Dermabrasion is an exfoliating method that removes the top layers of skin by rotating an instrument with a rough surface over the skin.
This procedure needs to be done by a licensed skincare professional or a dermatologist in a clinical setting.
Usually, your doctor will administer a local anesthetic; but, occasionally, general anesthesia may be used as well. An assistant will hold your skin taut during the procedure while a dermabrader will be passed over your skin by your doctor.
Your skin will likely be pink and puffy, and you may feel burning or tingling after dermabrasion.
While healing, the skin may exude a clear or yellow liquid or crust over and will take around three months to completely recover. The pink discoloration will go away after the healing process.
However, the results after dermabrasion are expected to be permanent as long as any underlying conditions are kept under control.
Additionally, like all surgical procedures and skin treatments in general, there are a few side effects associated with dermabrasion. These include redness, swelling, irritation, bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.
Related Article: How to Exfoliate Armpits – 6 Best DIY Easy Natural Scrubs
Microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tip handpiece or a crystal-emitting handpiece to exfoliate the top layer of the skin.
This procedure needs to be done by a licensed skincare professional or a dermatologist in a clinical setting.
For microdermabrasion, neither an anesthetic nor a numbing agent is required.
- You will be asked to sit in a recliner chair or to lie on a bed.
- Your healthcare professional will then apply the particles using portable equipment
- And will sand away the skin’s outer layer in the desired regions.
- Finally, your skin will be covered with a moisturizer and sunscreen after the procedure.
After microdermabrasion, you should instantly notice a difference. The severity of your skin darkness and your expectations will determine how many microdermabrasion treatments you require.
However, the results from microdermabrasion are expected to be permanent if any underlying causes/conditions are managed, and with the proper underarm care afterward.
Mild pain, swelling, and redness are typical microdermabrasion side effects. These often disappear a few hours after therapy.
The downtime following microdermabrasion is minimal to nonexistent. You should be able to get back to your regular schedule right away.
To reduce dry, flaky skin, you could be suggested to apply a moisturizer. There can also be minor bruises due to the suction procedure employed throughout the course of therapy.
It is advised that you use moderate skin care products and keep your skin nourished while following your doctor’s aftercare instructions.
5- Laser Therapy
Laser whitening underarms is one of the most effective treatments for hyperpigmentation in that area, regardless of the cause.
While the first-line treatments for dark underarms are usually creams, serums, and other topical treatments, many people turn to laser treatment for faster and more permanent results.
If you have effectively treated or controlled the underlying cause of your dark underarm, then laser whitening is expected to be permanent.
The laser energy breaks down the melanin (darker pigment), which is subsequently taken away by your body’s healing response.
This procedure needs to be done by a trained professional or doctor, in a clinical setting, after an initial consultation.
While you may need multiple sessions to clear up your underarm darkness, how many you will need will depend on how dark your underarms are, and what is causing them.
DIY (Natural) Remedies To Quickly Whiten Underarms Permanently
There are tons of natural DIY remedies that that been tried when it comes to whitening underarms quickly and permanently.
While medical treatments may be faster, natural remedies are sometimes preferred because they are natural and more affordable.
Generally, most DIY treatments for dark underarms will start to show visible results within 3-7 days.
However, keep in mind that even these remedies will produce results that depend on:
- The severity of your underarm darkness
- The condition and sensitivity of your skin
- Your skin’s reaction
- Your consistency
The results from these remedies are also expected to be permanent as long as any underlying causes and/or conditions are being controlled.
Here are a few great natural remedies that have proven to be effective for dark underarms permanently and relatively quickly:
- Baking Soda
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Essential Oils
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Orange Peels
6- Baking Soda
Baking Soda is a great exfoliator and helps to removed dead skin cells from the skin. It is a great natural way to resurface the skin.
However, it can also cause excess dryness if overused. It can be combined with water. Lemon juice or other ingredients to make a paste, which is applied to and massaged around the underarms.
Lemon is a powerful antiseptic and it has natural skin whitening properties. It is a great source of AHAs and Vitamin C which exfoliate and bleach the skin effectively.
While it does a good job, applying too much of it for too long may burn the skin, especially if the skin is super sensitive. Lemon is most commonly used with baking soda for best results.
Turmeric inhibits the formation of melanin, the pigment that causes dark patches and other types of hyperpigmentation (skin darkening).
It can be combined with water, milk, honey, yogurt, and other ingredients to make a paste that is applied to the underarm. There are rarely any side effects associated with turmeric other than skin irritation in those with sensitive skin.
I have an entire article with some great recipes on how to use Turmeric for your underarms you can click here to read.
9- Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera, sometimes referred to as the natural sunscreen, is known for soothing irritated skin and lightening dark armpits because.
It also has great antimicrobial properties. Simply cut up a new leaf and scoop out some fresh aloe vera gel (or you may purchase organic aloe vera gel from a supermarket near you).
Apply a coating of this gel to your underarms and let it dry for about 10-15 minutes. For best results, rinse with water after using this treatment, then repeat every other day.
10- Essential Oils
There are various essential oils that effectively treat darkened skin, even in the underarm area. However, they are usually very concentrated and too strong to be applied to the skin alone.
So they have to be mixed with carrier oils, lotions, or other ingredients in small amounts to prevent burning the skin. The best essential oils for dark underarms are said to be:
- Carrot Seed
I have a complete guide on essential oil for underarms where I share recipes and tips on which are the best ones for lightening underarms you can click here to read it.
11- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is an all-arounder with a high amino and lactic acid content that helps remove dead skin cells and decrease scarring. Its astringent qualities open up the pores and lighten skin tone.
You may just apply some organic ACV on a cotton pad, rub it on your underarm area like a toner, and wait until it’s totally dry before rinsing it out.
Or, if your skin is sensitive, you may dilute it with some water first and then apply. For rapid and efficient results, repeat each day.
Rosewater is known to have anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the darkness of the underarm skin.
The pleasing fragrance is also a plus. It can be used as a toner or mixed with other ingredients to create an underarm mask or paste.
Related Article – Using Rose Water to Lighten Dark Armpits & For Body Odor
A well-known bleaching agent is potatoes. It operates on dark areas to make them lighter.
To apply potato on dark underarms simply take a potato slice and squeeze out the liquid. Using a cotton ball, apply it to the skin under the discolored underarms. After ten minutes of use, rinse it off with water.
Cucumbers are good skin bleaching agents and are also a great source of vitamins and minerals that help to soothe and repair the skin.
Simply massage a couple of cucumber slices on your dark underarms for a minute or two, then allow the juice to sit on your skin for an additional 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
If you apply the technique consistently every day, it is a great option for lightening the underarm skin.
15- Orange Peels
Citric acid, which is found in orange peels, aids in naturally lightening and brightening the skin.
To use this ingredient, take powdered orange peels in a bowl and mix them with milk to form a paste. Then, apply this mixture to the darkened armpits and wash with cold water.