Dark underarms may be something you hide or something that hinders you from wearing tank tops in the summer. In sunny San Diego, it’s short-sleeve weather all year round, so not being able to show your underarms can affect your life a lot. Luckily, if you’re self-conscious of dark underarms, you don’t have to let it affect you anymore. 

Have you ever heard of underarm whitening? Underarm whitening is a trend that includes various methods to lightening dark underarms, so you can show them off. I have a few recommendations that can help you lighten your underarms and get you the long-lasting results you deserve. 

First, let’s analyze why you may have dark underarms. Dark underarms can be affected by:

  • Hygiene 
  • Weight 
  • Shaving 
  • Reaction to deodorant 
  • Dead skin cell build-up
  • Friction from tight clothes
  • Medical conditions, such as diabetes

Underarm Skin Pigmentation Options

The causes of dark underarms are manageable and a change in habits or routines can help lighten the skin. It is important to see a board-certified dermatologist to ensure the correct diagnosis for your underarm skin pigmentation. Some options to help lighten your underarm skin include:


Gently exfoliating the skin under your arms can clear dead skin that has built up and allow for new, lighter skin to replace it. In addition, good hygiene will help keep you and your skin healthy. However, exfoliating too much or too aggressively can lead to irritation, so be wary of how you exfoliate. You want to gently expel dead skin cells from the underarm without causing irritation

Deodorant Options

Some deodorants can actually worsen underarm darkness by causing irritation due to the ingredients in the deodorant. Thus, you need to be cautious and research the ingredients before use. One ingredient to watch out for is aluminum chloride, which can stain your clothes and skin.

Shaving Alternative

Shaving your underarms is temporary and can sometimes irritate or discolor your skin. If you have thick dark hair, shaving may still leave hair and make your underarms look darker. Laser hair removal selectively targets dark hair, so it is a great alternative to shaving. Laser hair removal selectively targets dark hair, so it is a great alternative to shaving.

Laser hair removal is a fast treatment option that leaves your underarm skin silky smooth and hairless with long-lasting results, so you do not have to worry about irritation or ineffective shaving. 

If these changes are not enough to give you the light underarms you desire, I recommend lasers that treat pigmentation. 

Skin Lighteners

Combination therapy to address underarm pigmentation is key and topical skin lighteners can help remove the pigment in the skin quicker. Some lightening agents include Lytera and Discoloration Defense, or topical hydroquinone.

Clear and Brilliant Laser

The 1927 nm diode laser can be used to lighten the underarm area. It is typically used for hyperpigmentation, and skin rejuvenation. This is a gentle laser that helps gradually fade pigment in the underarms. With this device, we can lighten your underarm skin so that you don’t have to be self-conscious anymore and can wear tank tops all year long.

Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation in San Diego Today

It is important to have an expert perform any laser treatment. At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology, our dermatologists are highly trained to use a number of lasers. Our practice has over 50 lasers that we can combine in treatment to create customized treatment plans for every patient. Contact Cosmetic Laser Dermatology’s San Diego office or call us at (858) 943-2113.

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