There is a scientific explanation to the phenomenon of dark underarms.
This was the statement of dermatologist Ana Palabyab-Rufino at a gathering organized by deodorant brand Dove for women concerned about that part of their bodies, dubbed #DoveGoShave. Rufino, who is a member of the Philippine Dermatological Society, was invited to shed light on this common problem among women, and ultimately provide information on proper underarm care for.
She began her talk by saying that skin darkening is called “post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation” in medicine and caused by various factors.
“Shaving, scratching, among other things cause traumas [on the underarms]. And when the skin is traumatized, it gets irritated and it gets red. All these contribute to the inflammation, which eventually progresses into darkening,” she explained.
According to data gathered by Dove, 70 percent of Filipinas prefer shaving as their method of underarm hair removal. Unfortunately, they are not aware of the underarm’s extreme sensitivity, and as such, whenever they shave, they remove not just hair but also one-third of the skin.
But this does not mean that Filipinas should stop shaving their underarms altogether because, according to Dr. Rufino, there are ways to address this dilemma.
“If you’re going to rub two dry things together, there is going to be friction. And when there’s friction, there can be irritation or inflammation. But by moisturizing, you lessen that friction,” she shared. “Using a deodorant with moisturizing benefits on a daily basis is the perfect way to care for your underarms.”
Dove deodorant offers consumers a product made with one-fourth moisturizing cream, and thus can soothe underarm skin from irritation, as well as help repair damage caused by shaving, making underarms lighter and smoother.
Besides Dove, the dermatologist also recommended other shaving creams and gels that can aide in lessening the friction of saving.
But how about treatment of underarms already suffering from hyper pigmentation?
Dr. Rufino warned never to try home remedies without fully understanding their benefits and scientific basis. As an example, she cited, “People say, use calamansi for lightening. But actually, it is very acidic and it is also very irritating. So [it is always]better to see a dermatologist to get expert advice.”
Lastly, she reminded everyone of the golden rule: Prevention is better than cure.
“No matter how much you treat underarm darkening, if you’re not preventing the cause, it will just be cycle. So it’s better to get to the cause of the problem to stop it from happening. How? Just use a moisturizing soap and then a mild moisturizing deodorant. And, shave only when needed,” the dermatologist concluded.