Understanding and Addressing Dark Underarms: Causes, Prevention, and Treatments

Exploring methods to lighten dark underarms is a topic of great interest for many. In Singapore, there are a variety of approaches available for this issue. Addressing dark underarms, whether for aesthetic reasons or personal comfort, can significantly boost one’s confidence. In this guide, we will explore a spectrum of medical treatments, offering a pathway to achieving lighter underarms. Join us as we share our recommendations and effective strategies for managing dark underarm challenges.

What Causes Dark Underarms?

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To tackle the issue of dark underarms, it’s crucial to first understand what causes them. Various factors play a role in this common concern, and recognising them is the initial step toward an effective solution.


Obesity can be associated with dark underarms due to increased insulin resistance in the body, potentially leading to an overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour. Additionally, the excess weight can cause friction, especially in the underarm area, which further contributes to skin darkening.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes may result in dark patches on the skin, particularly in body folds such as the underarm area. This condition, known as acanthosis nigricans, is a direct result of insulin resistance, a characteristic of type 2 diabetes.

Hormonal Disorder

Hormonal imbalances, often seen in conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or pregnancy, can trigger an overproduction of melanin. Fluctuations in hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone can stimulate melanocytes, potentially leading to pigmentation, including in the underarms.


In some severe conditions like cancer, patients might experience dark underarms as a side effect of chemotherapy. Moreover, a disease called acanthosis nigricans, which causes darkening of the skin, can sometimes be a symptom of underlying severe conditions such as cancer.

Certain Medications

Some medications may cause skin discolouration as a side effect. Medicines like corticosteroids, certain hormone treatments, and even some oral contraceptives may lead to darkening of the skin in the underarm area.

A Habit of Shaving, Waxing, Applying Deodorants, & More

Regular practices like shaving, waxing, or the use of certain deodorants can irritate the skin and lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Over time, these actions can cause the skin in the underarm area to darken. It’s essential to be gentle with the skin and opt for non-irritating products to mitigate this issue.

How to Whiten Underarms Fast and Effectively

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Embarking on the path to whitening your underarms entails a combination of professional treatments and a good skincare regimen. Here are some methods you might consider:

Topical Whitening Creams

Topical whitening creams work by reducing the melanin production in the skin, which is responsible for the dark colouration. Ingredients such as kojic acid, licorice extracts, and witch hazel are common in these creams and known for their skin-lightening properties. It’s advisable to seek a dermatologist’s recommendation to find a cream that suits your skin type and addresses your concerns effectively. Consulting with a dermatologist or a skincare specialist at Glowwis for tailored advice and treatments would be a beneficial step forward.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments can offer a longer-term solution to underarm darkening. At clinics like Glowwis, treatments such as Pico Laser and Q Switch Laser are offered. These laser treatments work by targeting the pigment in the skin, breaking it down to lighten the underarm area. It’s a method often chosen for its longer-lasting results compared to topical treatments. Additionally, some laser treatments also assist in hair removal, which can further help in maintaining a lighter skin tone in the underarm area.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are another method for addressing underarm discolouration. This procedure involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to exfoliate the top layers. The new skin that grows back is often smoother and lighter. It’s essential to have this procedure performed by a trained professional, such as at Glowwis, to ensure safety and obtain the desired results.

How to Prevent Dark Underarms?

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The journey towards maintaining lighter underarms doesn’t end with treatment alone. Prevention is equally, if not more, essential to ensure the results are long-lasting. Here are some proactive measures you can adopt to prevent dark underarms:


Moisturising is a simple yet effective step in preventing dark underarms. Maintaining skin hydration with a suitable moisturiser can reduce irritation and friction, which may contribute to darkening. Select a moisturiser suitable for your skin type, and consider one with skin-lightening ingredients such as vitamin C or licorice extract for added benefits.

Changes in Lifestyle Habits

Your lifestyle habits play a pivotal role in the condition of your underarms. Avoiding the overuse of deodorants and antiperspirants with harsh chemicals can significantly reduce skin irritation and subsequent darkening. Additionally, wearing loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibres can decrease friction and provide better ventilation for the underarm area. Incorporating a gentle exfoliation routine can also aid in keeping the skin in the underarm area smooth and free of dead skin cells that can contribute to darkening.

Consult a Professional

Lastly, consulting a dermatologist or a skincare specialist, for instance at clinics like Glowwis, can be a step towards preventing and addressing dark underarms. They can provide professional advice and suggest suitable treatments or products tailored to your skin’s needs. Regular consultations can also help in monitoring the progress and effectiveness of your underarm whitening journey, ensuring that you are on the right track towards achieving and maintaining lighter underarms.


Venturing into the world of underarm whitening might initially appear challenging, but with the right guidance, it transforms into a rewarding and achievable mission. This guide has outlined the journey from understanding the causes of dark underarms to exploring a variety of treatment options and preventive steps. Each choice, whether it’s a topical cream, laser treatment, chemical peel, or a lifestyle tweak, is a step towards brighter underarms, boosting your self-confidence and comfort.

The professional expertise at clinics like Glowwis elevates this journey, offering tailored solutions. Combining these professional offerings with a dedicated skincare routine brings the goal of lighter underarms closer. Remember, every skin is unique, hence the importance of personalised advice from skincare specialists. With informed decisions and a touch of patience, the aspiration for lighter and healthier underarms is well within your grasp.