I am African American but I have very light skin. However, my underarms are very dark and have been so since I was a kid (at least 8 or 9 years old). No one has ever really noticed because I don't raise my arms unless I am wearing a top with sleeves. I am getting married next April and I would really love to wear a sleeveless gown, but I can't bear the thought of someone seeing my underarms! What can I do to finally make this problem go away? I've been scared to try something because my underarm skin is very sensitive, but I cant take this anymore! Please help!
Hyperkeratosis is a thickening of the skin that occurs in women with brown skin. It is due to excessive accumulation of keratin in the outer layers of the skin. Thickening of the skin protects it against rubbing, pressure and irritation.
THis skin thickening is also associated with hyperpigmenataion or skin darkening. Creams that contain the active ingredient salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid (lactic or glycolic acid), urea, or tretinoin can be used to reduce the thickened areas which will also improve the discoloration.
You can use skin lightening agents like Hydroquinone 2-4% along with this to reduce the pigmentation.
It will take at least 3 months for the results to start showing. In case you have allergic reactions to any of these then you will have to stop using them.
The skin in the regions you mention is normally dark as compared to skin elsewhere.
Do you have any other associated symptoms of itching, rash , etc.
It would not be advisable to scrub the area too hard as this would irritate the skin. You should try to avoid sweat collection in the areas, keep the areas clean, maintain good personal hygiene, wear lose comfortable clothes. Apply calamine lotion at the sites.
Consult a skin specialist for your complaints and discuss whether a demelanising agent would help in your case. You could also talk to your skin specialist whether laser therapy or microdermabrasion would help.
Let us know about how you are doing and if you have any other doubts.
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