Darkening of skin or pigmentation of the underarm is a common and sometimes embarrassing condition. This condition affects both men and women, but most commonly occurs in women, particularly those with darker skin. There are many factors contributing to the presence of underarm pigmentation such as UV exposure, hormonal changes or medical conditions such as Addison’s disease or Acanthosis nigricans.
Underarm pigment can also be the result of external causes such as personal hygiene (use of deodorant, shaving and frequent use of depilatory creams), excessive sweating, build-up of dead skin cells and friction from shaving or clothing.
Underarm pigment responds well to laser treatment, in particular Q Switch laser treatment.
Q Switch laser effectively breaks down and stimulates removal of the excess pigment. Depending on the degree of darkness and cause, treatment is often combined with a prescription topical creme.
Treatment involves a series of Q Switch laser treatments with the addition of appropriate skin products including topical tyrosinase inhibitors and/ or lightening agents. Immediately after treatment a mild inflammation is generally expected with gradual lightening of the areas over several weeks following each treatment. Depending on the cause of the pigment, lightening of the area will be efficiently maintained with an appropriate maintenance plan.