03/19/2012 05:36 EDT | Updated 03/19/2012 05:36 EDT

Underarm Discolouration: If You Have Darkened Pits, Raise Your Hand


If you experience underarm discolouration, raise your hand.

Feel uncomfortable doing that? At least you can take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. Forty-seven per cent of Canadian women who experience 'underarm discomfort' say their armpits are a different colour than the rest of their skin, according to a new Dove study. But so what?

Unless you’re one of the glamazon models who popularized armpit flashing earlier this year, your pits are probably not the most gorgeous part of your body. So for some women, underarm discolouration, or darkened pits, rank low on the list of beauty troubles. Although that didn't stop a Dove marketing campaign from making armpit beauty an issue last year, leading some to accuse the company of creating body image anxieties.

But for others, those dark, dirty and hairy-looking 'stains' on the skin are a reason to wear long-sleeved shirts in 30 degree weather. It's an issue that can affect all men and women, although those with darker skin experience it most often, dermatologist Audrey Kunin, MD writes on

Underarm discolouration can be caused by a number of things. Underarm skin is sensitive and can become irritated and lose moisture when shaved or waxed, or when harsh products are applied, according to Discovery Fit & Health. And when irritated, skin can stimulate the melanin that causes hyperpigmentation.

Discolouration can also occur when dark hair grows beneath the skin’s surface, or when dead skin cells build up. Genetics and medical conditions can also play a role, says, so consult a doctor to pinpoint the cause.

How can you get your pits to lighten up? Here are some solutions.

Underarm Discolouration

Also on HuffPost

Blugirl Ads