How to fix common underarm problems
Many women don’t pay attention to those parts of the body that are not generally seen. Good care becomes vital, especially during the summer season. Summer is when you need to protect your hair, nails and skin from the sun and heat.
Underarms, which are mostly covered, also need meticulous care. Arab News spoke to dermatologist Dr. Thamer Hasan at Sky Clinic in Jeddah, for some great underarm care tips and techniques.
One of the biggest problems women face is that of dark underarms. According to Dr. Hasan, armpits darken for many reasons, including sweat, which rarely dries out completely. Underarm cracks hinder the complete drying-out of sweat, which generates uric acid that affects the skin. “Age, hormonal changes, hereditary factors, too much shaving, and low-quality deodorants contribute to underarm pigmentation as well,” he said.
There are different kinds of deodorants, such as those with powder base, water base and cream base.
“Cosmetic products, deodorants and antiperspirants we use on a regular basis contribute to skin problems and discoloration. These products include strong chemicals that interact with the skin and affect it,” he said.
“I personally would recommend people to use water base deodorants because they are light on the skin,” he added.
He highly recommends women to wash off their deodorant every four to six hours and freshen up. He also stressed that no one should ever sleep with the deodorant on. “Always make sure to sleep as light as possible, with no makeup and no chemicals because this is the time where your skin will breathe and it needs clean surface to do so,” he added.
Skin discoloration sometimes results from improper hair removal methods that irritate the skin and make it itch. You can follow a certain routine that fights underarm skin darkening. “The older generation used to use sweet to remove their body hair because it does not only remove hair, it also removes the dead skin in the area,” said Dr. Hasan. “Since then, other methods surfaced and along came other problems. Waxing for example can cause skin burn and irritation, shaving is only cutting the hair and you might also face itching and hygiene problems. My ultimate solution is laser,” he added.
Laser saves a lot of much time, effort and money. Only four to five sessions are required for the first year followed by retouching once a year for the rest of your life. “We have been hearing a lot of feedback from our patients that the treatment hurts sometimes. But with our new laser machine called Soprano Ice, this problem has been put to an end,” he added.
The Super Hair Removal works by gradually heating the dermis to a temperature that effectively damages the hair follicles and prevents regrowth, while avoiding injury to the surrounding tissue. “The sweeping In-motion technique of moving the applicator repeatedly over the treatment area ensures full coverage while ICE tech cools the skin surface. It prevents superficial burns and allowing virtually pain-free, yet highly effective hair removal,” said Dr. Hasan. “Soprano ICE comprises more treatment sessions in less time with a large spot size applicator allowing us to quickly treat larger areas, while offering the fastest and most effective hair removal possible,” he added.
Too much shaving may cause underarm pigmentation. Shaving scrapes the superficial skin layer off along with hair, thus the area gets darkened once you start sweating. “When you start your laser sessions you will no longer use any other methods. After the first session your hair will grow in almost 10 days and then fall all by itself,” said Dr. Hasan. “You only need to shave when you need to between sessions and try to limit it and do it only when necessary,” he added.
“There are new laser machines that can brighten the area and soften it. You can make your own scrub at home using brown sugar and olive oil and scrub once a week but this might take up to months to see results,” he added.
When you quit using hair removal creams, only then will you notice lighter underarm skin. These products contain strong acids, in addition to other hair removing ingredients that lead to skin discoloration.
Cleanliness is the best treatment
Lack of cleanliness makes the armpits darker as dirt and oils accumulate on the skin and causes dead skin to build up. The skin has to be washed well with warm water and soap, and kept dry and clean. Make sure to remove all cosmetic products, antiperspirant creams and deodorants well before going to bed.
Finally, Dr. Hasan recommends you to visit your doctor for a detailed consultation. “It all depends on your skin tone and skin type, only your doctor can tell you what is best for you,” he said.