How to Lighten Your Underarms With Natural Home Remedies

Dr. Priyanka Kalyankar Pravin

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Priyanka Kalyankar Pravin


6 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Underarms skin is very sensitive and can have multiple problems such as rashes, infection, acne or ingrown hair
  • There can be various reasons that lead to darker underarms, let’s look at the most common ones
  • There are many natural ways that can help lighten the skin of the underarms. You can try some of these

Ideally, your underarms should be of the same colour as the rest of the body but underarm skin is very sensitive and can have multiple problems such as rashes, infection, acne or ingrown hair. The most common complaint raised by both men and women is hyperpigmentation of the area and many women suffer from embarrassment as their armpits are several shades darker and restrict them from wearing sleeveless garments. It is frustrating for many and also affects their self-confidence. The colour of the skin is determined by a pigment called ‘melanin’. When this multiplies, it leads to darker skin colouration. Underarms are an area which is mostly neglected and not taken care of well.

home remedies for dark underarms


Causes of Dark Underarms

Chemical irritants:

Deodorants and antiperspirants consist of chemicals that irritate the sensitive skin and cause the discolouration.


Frequent shaving of the area causes friction and inflammation in the area leading to increased production of the skin cells that causes darker skin colour.


It is characterized by hyperpigmentation of the skin as a result of hormonal changes such as in pregnancy or use of oral contraceptive drugs.

Lack of exfoliation:

Dead skin cells accumulation can also darken the skin due to lack of exfoliation.

Acanthosis nigricans:

It’s a skin pigmentation disorder, characterized by dark patches of skin with a thick, velvety texture. The affected areas of skin may also itch or have an unpleasant odour. It is commonly seen in people who are obese and have diabetes.


Chronic smoking causes smoking melanosis; which is a condition causing hyperpigmentation. Dark patches appear in areas such as underarms as long as smoking continues.

Addison’s disease:

It is a medical condition in which adrenal glands are damaged. Addison’s disease causes hyper-pigmentation which results in darkening of the skin that hasn’t been exposed to the sun such as underarms.


It is a bacterial infection that affects in the areas of skin folds which initially appears as pink patches and then turn into brown scales.

Tight clothing:

This can lead to frequent friction in the armpits leading to its darkening.

Excessive Perspiration:

Sweating heavily and poor ventilation in the armpits can be a culprit to dark underarms.

Additional Read: Hyperpigmentation Causes and Remedies

Home Remedies For Dark Underarms

There are many natural ways that can help lighten the skin of the underarms. You can try some of these below and check out which one works for you the best. It is best to do a patch test first i.e. try it on a small area and check if doesn’t irritate the skin.

Lemon juice:

Few drops of lemon juice acts as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent, exfoliating the skin making the skin lighter due to its natural bleaching properties.

Tomato juice:

The natural bleaching properties of tomato help to reduce the discolouration which results in underarm lightening.

Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera's antibacterial nature and the aloesin pigment in it soothes the inflamed skin and lightens discoloured armpits.


Curcumin is an antioxidant found in turmeric. And all antioxidants help lighten the skin tone. Turmeric is considered as one of the most effective natural remedies for skin lightening.

Vitamin E oil:

Dryness in the underarm area can lead to pigmentation. Oils such as almond oil or coconut oil are known for its moisturizing properties and are rich in vitamin E helping the skin regain its lost moisture.


Cucumbers are filled with several vitamins and minerals, and are known to have excellent bleaching properties. They are popularly used for dark under underarms and eye circles.

Fuller’s earth:

Also known as Multani Mitti, absorbs impurities from the skin and decongests all clogged pores. It also helps in exfoliating the dead skin cells, leading to the lightening of the underarms.


The juice extracted from a grated potato can help lighten the underarms as it acts as a natural bleach and may help itchiness as well.

Baking Soda:

Baking Soda is something that is found in nearly all households. It has skin-lightening properties that deter the production of melanin, which is responsible for skin discoloration.

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil is also something that is available globally. It is favored for its natural skin-lightening agent - vitamin E, which reduces underarm discoloration.

Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is well known for its properties that remove dead cells due to the presence of mild acids, which is responsible for whitening armpits.

Olive oil:

Olive Oil is an amazing moisturizer for the skin. The antioxidant properties present in it can lighten your underarms.

Tips to Prevent Dark Underarms

There are some basic tips one should immediately follow to address the issue of dark underarms:

  1. Quit shaving and using hair removal creams should be avoided. Opt for waxing or laser hair removal instead.
  2. Change your deodorant/ antiperspirant: Check the label of your deodorant for any harmful chemicals, or switch to natural alternatives and quit deodorants all together.
  3. Wear loose-fitting clothes
  4. Just the way we exfoliate our facial skin, exfoliating the underarm skin is equally important. Use of exfoliating scrubs or detoxifying masks can help remove accumulated dead skin cells.
  5. Stop smoking

Medical Treatments for Dark Underarms

If your dark underarms are a result of a skin condition and you merely favour an intense treatment, visiting a skin expert or dermatologist might stipulate your medical treatments, such as:

  • Ointments or lotions retaining ingredients, such like:
  • Hydroquinone
  • Tretinoin (retinoic acid)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Azelaic acid
  • Kojic acid
  • Chemical peels containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) could be used to scrub the skin
  • Dermabrasion or microdermabrasion entirely cleans up the skin
  • Laser therapy to remove pigmentation from the skin

In case you have been detected with erythrasma, your physician will presumably prescribe any one of the following:

  • A topical antibiotic, like erythromycin or clindamycin (Cleocin T, Clinda-Derm)
  • An oral antibiotic, like penicillin
  • Both a topical and an oral antibiotic

There are various topical creams and ointments your dermatologist can prescribe for lightening the underarms. They mostly contain hydroquinone, tretinoin, corticosteroids or azelaic acid. One can also opt for laser treatment to get rid of hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels, dermabrasion or microdermabrasion are some of the other procedures for lightening the skin. You should discuss the best procedure along with any possible side-effects with your dermatologist before deciding.

Potential Risks Of Lightening Treatments

Remedies to lighten the skin may induce slight side effects that usually go away with time. Intense reactions are not usual unless you end up applying or consuming a medicine you did not know you were susceptible to.

Find the best doctor for the job on Bajaj Finserv Health. Locate a dermatologist near you in minutes, view doctors’ years of experience, consulting hours, fees and more before booking an e-consult or in-person appointment. Apart from facilitating appointment booking, the Bajaj Finserv Health also offers health plans for your family, medicine reminders, healthcare information and discounts from select hospitals and clinics.

Published on 15 Jul 2020Last updated on 13 Jan 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Priyanka Kalyankar Pravin

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Priyanka Kalyankar Pravin

, MBBS 1 , MD - Dermatology 3

Dr Priyanka Kalyankar Pravin Has Completed her MBBS From Govt Medical College, Nagpur Followed By MD - Dermatology MGM Medical College & Hospital , Maharashtra . She is Currently practicing at Phoenix hospital , Aurangabad with 4+ years of Experience.


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