Dark armpits are a common phenomenon, perhaps more common than many would care to admit. While this is not a medical emergency, it does cause concern for affected individuals, and has the capacity to alter one’s self esteem. There are a number of reasons why individuals spot dark armpits.

The first and most common reason is because of the accumulation of dead skin cells. Usually, these skin cells build up in the characteristic bumpy regions of the armpit, causing this region to appear darker than it really is. The second reason why dark armpits appear can be attributed to the use of certain antiperspirants. It is hypothesized that the ingredients in some of these products cause a reaction on the skin, and this leaves dark patches of discoloration.

girl at the pool with open arms

Some individuals get dark armpits as a result of excessive melanin production in their body, and although this is rare, it is not a far-fetched possibility. Other causes of darkened armpits include hormonal changes as is the case for pregnant women, obesity, disorders such as Diabetes as well as accumulation of bacteria in the underarm region.The latter is enhanced by the environment under the armpits: dark, sweaty and prone to irritation from garments. Excessive sweating and improper shaving techniques can also cause the armpits to darken.

If you suffer from darkened arms, you will be elated to know that there are a number of natural remedies used for the home treatment of this condition. Most of these remedies seek to lighten the skin while promoting underarm hygiene to reduce the risk of infections. Note, however, that of this darkening is accompanied by chronic skin infections in the armpits, it is advisable to see a dermatologist for professional medical checkup.

1. Baking Soda Scrub:

Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: A tablespoon of baking soda, a tablespoon of warm water, and additional warm water to rinse.
Difficulty:  Simple


Baking soda is an effective home remedy for darkened armpits because it works to get rid of dead skin cells. Its exfoliation action not only gets rid of the dead skins and superficial dirt, it also aids in the unblocking of skin pores. This allows armpit skin to breathe relatively easy. The consistent use of baking soda paste goes a long way in getting rid of darkened armpits.


  1. Mix the two ingredients in a small bowl and blend to create a consistent paste.
  2. Use your forefingers to apply this paste on your underarms, making sure to rub in gentle circular motions.
  3. Allow the paste to stay on for about 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse the armpit area with warm water and dry.
  5. Repeat this procedure every two days for best results.


2. Using Lemon as an Armpit Lightener:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Lemon (cut in half), a teaspoon of sugar/ honey, and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy


Lemon is an armpit lightener, thanks to its natural bleaching properties. Regular use of lemons enables the region around the armpits to lighten. Additionally, the presence of citric acid enhances the process of skin exfoliation, resulting in the elimination of dead skin cells (which have been known to cause darkened armpits).

The fruit’s antibacterial properties also help get rid of bacteria that may accumulate in the sweat-filled bumps on the skin. This home remedy is a natural cleanser, antibacterial and skin lightener rolled in one. The inclusion of sugar is meant to enhance the process of exfoliation for better results. Honey can be used in place of sugar for the same results. The latter, however, has the advantage of creating a thicker paste should you opt for lemon juice.


  1. Wash the lemon and cut it into half.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar on the cut lemon and use this to rub the skin for about 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse with warm water.
  4. Alternatively, squeeze juice from the half lemon and mix it with the honey to create a thick paste.
  5. Apply this paste on your skin and let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

NOTE: Regular use of lemon juice for this purpose can cause the skin to dry. For this reason, it is important to incorporate a skin moisturizer after use.


3. Orange Peel Scrub For Darkened Armpits:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Orange peels, grater, quarter cup rose water, quarter cup fresh milk, and cold water to rinse
Difficulty: Easy


Oranges, just like lemons, are members of the citrus fruit family. Consequently, they make for an excellent home remedy for those looking for natural ways to treat darkened armpits. The combination of exfoliating and bleaching properties makes these peels an ideal way to get natural scrub. The orange peels help get rid of the dead cells on the skin while the rose water leaves your armpits smelling fresh. The milk compliments the function of the two ingredients.


  1. Place the orange peels on a plate and take them outside to air-dry.
  2. Using a grater, grind the orange peels to get fine gratings. You may also use a grinder for this step.
  3. Take two tablespoons of the orange peels powder and mix with a few drops of rose water and milk. The idea here is to get a thick yet consistent paste. If the paste is too thick, add some more of the liquid ingredients until the desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Use your forefingers to scoop some of the paste and apply it on your armpits.
  5. Scrub the area for about 10 minutes to clear the skin of dead cells.
  6. Splash some cold water to rinse.
  7. Use this remedy twice weekly for best results.


4. Milk:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh milk (preferably full fat), a teaspoon of probiotic yogurt (may use curd instead), and a tablespoon of gram flour.
Difficulty: Easy


Milk is one of the most popular remedies for treating darkened armpits, and for good reason. Fresh milk contains a handful of nutrients that nourish the skin in the armpit area. The result is softer lighter skin. The addition of probiotic yogurt allows the elimination of bacteria, and the presence of lactic acid bleaches the skin, thus reversing the process of darkening armpits. The gram flour is included to create a base for the paste-like substance you need for this remedy. If you do not have gram flour, you can always substitute with chickpea flour which works just as excellently.


  1. Measure two tablespoons of the milk, and mix with a teaspoon of either yogurt or curd, before adding a teaspoon of the flour.
  2. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until you have a thick paste.
  3. Scoop some of the milky paste and slather it on your armpits.
  4. Let the paste sit on the skin for about 15 minutes, and rinse with warm water.
  5. Use this remedy on alternate days for best results. If you can, use full fat milk as it shows a better outcome in lightening the skin around your armpits.


5. Sandalwood:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Sandalwood powder, 5 drops of rose water, some warm water, and a ball of cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy


Sandalwood is an excellent option as far as treating dark underarms is concerned. This is because in addition to its pleasant fragrance, it also softens and brightens the skin. The remedy’s properties come in handy in the elimination of body odor that arises when bacteria in the armpits feed on sweat produced, and release the odor. The addition of rose water is intended to enhance the fragrance of the home remedy.


  1. Mix a tablespoon of the sandalwood powder with some water to create a paste-like mass. If the resulting paste is too thick to apply, add a few drops of water until you get the desired consistency.
  2. Add two drops of the rose water to the paste and mix some more.
  3. Apply the paste on your armpits using a ball of cotton wool.
  4. Let the paste sit on the skin for about 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  5. Use this home remedy thrice weekly until you notice an improvement in the pigmentation of the armpits.


6. Raw Potatoes:

Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need:  A small-sized raw potato, grater or juice extractor, cotton wool, and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy


It is impossible to talk about home remedies for darkened armpits without making mention of raw potatoes. Potatoes are not only packed with nutrients that nourish the skin, they also contain malic acid. It is this acid that is known to be a natural bleaching agent, thus effectively getting rid of the dark patches when used in the armpits.

In addition to this, potatoes also contain starch whose properties help smoothen skin in the armpit. This is important because it eliminates the characteristic bumps which create pockets for bacteria to hide. One of the biggest advantages of using raw potatoes is that unlike a number of bleaching home remedies, potatoes do not cause any skin irritation. This property makes it a perfect option for those with sensitive skin.


  1. Peel the potato and clean it under running water.
  2. Chop it to get thin slices which you will use to rub on your armpits.
  3. Alternatively, grate the cleaned potato to get fine gratings. Wrap the fine gratings in a cloth and squeeze tightly to get the potato juice. If you have a juice extractor, this will work perfectly.
  4. Once you have the juice, soak a small ball of the cotton wool and massage your underarms with it. Allow the juice to stay on for about 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse with warm water. Repeat this procedure twice daily, preferably around bath time for best results.


7. Fresh Cucumber:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh cucumber, grater, and a quarter cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Difficulty: Easy


Quite similar to raw potatoes in function, fresh cucumbers have natural bleaching properties that make them a handy remedy in the elimination of darkened armpits. This remedy also has the advantage of creating a cooling sensation, perfect for those who sweat excessively. The inclusion of lemon juice in this remedy enhances the bleaching action of this natural treatment.


  1. Wash the cucumber under running water and cut it into this slices. Place the slices under your armpits and hold in place for about 10 minutes.
  2. Alternatively, grate the cucumber to get the juice. Add a few drops of the lemon juice and roll some cotton wool in the mixture. Dab the soaked wool on your underarms and allow to dry for 10 minutes before rinsing.
  3. Use this remedy twice daily for improved results.


Other natural remedies that you can use for the home treatment of darkened underarms include vinegar which lightens the skin and gets rid of bacteria, coconut oil which both softens and lightens the skin as well as saffron which eliminates bacteria from the armpits. Fresh apples are also effective in getting rid of darkened armpits as they help in the exfoliation of the skin. Note that if the darkening of the armpits does not improve even after regular use of these natural home remedies, it is advisable to seek medical attention at the dermatologist clinic to rule out the possibility of severe skin conditions.

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