5 Ways To Prevent Dark Underarms and Stretch Marks

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Hello Sunshine! It's that time of the month when I get the pleasure of hosting yet another talented writer for a featured guest post. Today, we have stellar Elizabeth Rago to share with us some skincare know-how discussing a big issue in women's beauty, stretchmarks and dark underarms. Let's go!

5 Ways To Prevent Dark Underarms and Stretch Marks

By Elizabeth Rago
The cause of discoloration under the arms or the development of stretch marks can cause anyone to avoid exposing their skin in warm weather. However, patches of dark under arm skin could be evidence of a more deep-rooted problem like Acanthosis nigricans or severe hormone fluctuation.

It’s always best to consult with your dermatologist to establish a diagnosis and action plan for uncertain skin conditions, however, troubleshooting from home can provide your health care practitioner with more information about your situation. Here are a few ways you can help prevent dark underarms and stretch marks:

1. Keep from being burned – The ultraviolet rays of the sun stimulate melanocytes that produce a brown-colored pigment of the skin (melanin). The longer you stay out in the sun, the more melanin you produce, and the darker your skin becomes. Staying out of the sun lowers your risk of skin discoloration.

2. Limit your use of steroid cream – if you have an allergic reaction and your doctor requires you to use a Corticosteroid cream, long-term use can result in the thinning of the skin and eventually cause stretch marks. Talk to your doctor if your condition has not improved within 4 – 6 weeks.

3. Switch your deodorant – Some deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, and fragrance, which can result in an allergic reaction in some individuals. Try Dermadoctor Total Nonscents Ultra-Gentle Antiperspirant, which is recommended for people with eczema, atopic or contact dermatitis.

4. Wax instead of shave – Improper use of a razor can lead to irritation of the skin and possibly, a bacterial infection. The armpit is a breeding ground for the bacterium, Corynebacterium minutissimum. A more deep-rooted problem called erythrasma can occur from the festering of bacteria. William Harris of Discovery Fit & Health explains that erythrasma is “a chronic infection in the deeper layers of the skin. Sometimes, the infection can lead to the formation of red, scaly patches. The border of the affected skin is well-defined, with a clear demarcation between the discolored patch and the surrounding normal skin. Over time, the pink or red skin fades to brown.”

5. Exfoliate with a product that contains lactic acid – Sometimes there is a build up of dead skin cells in the underarm area that eventually results in a dark patch. Dr. Diana Howard of the International Dermal Institute states, “Lactic Acid stimulates cell turnover and cell renewal at a higher rate than Glycolic Acid and with less irritation.”

Before using any new over-the-counter medication or creams for irritated or discolored underarm skin, consult your dermatologist, for guidance. Assuming a simple remedy to treat the discoloration of under arm skin is in order, you might need lab work or a biopsy to determine if your condition is a bacterial infection or possibly a skin disorder that requires in-depth treatment.

Elizabeth Rago is a freelance writer specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content, working with yoga studios, chiropractors, mental health, and wellness practitioners. Elizabeth writes the weekly column, The Circular Home for Chicago Shopping (an editorial partner of the Chicago Tribune) and is Senior Editor of All Things Girl, highlighting topics related to the modern domestic woman. She has been published in Mamalode Magazine, MOMentumNation.com and thesavvyfreelancer.com.  Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Google+.
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