5 ways to prevent and treat those pesky armpit woes
BY AYZEE CAZIMIRO
Living in a tropical country like the Philippines, clothes that breathe or are cooling such as sleeveless tops and sundresses is a wardrobe staple for women. But it’s a different story for those who are conscious about showing their armpits for whatever reason (discoloration? chicken skin?).
More than eight out of every 10 women consider their underarm condition before choosing clothes to wear or buy. Over 60 percent of women cannot wear sleeveless tops as often as they would like.*
Based on a study done across South East Asia, about 96 percent of women care about their underarm appearance. This statistic certainly solidified the increase in demand for underarm care products over the past few years. But before heading out to buy anything to solve your underarm woes, we should first talk about what causes these problems.
Irritations such as redness and itchiness in the underarm are usually allergic reactions caused by the things or substances that touch the area, including deodorant, clothes, laundry detergent, bath soap, shaver, or depilatory products.
About 83 percent of women feel underarm irritation after hair removal. Common manifestations experienced are itchiness, dryness, and burning or stinging sensations.*
Keratosis pilaris, usually referred to as “chicken skin”, is a very common skin disorder affecting many people of all ages. It may be cosmetically displeasing but it is medically completely harmless. The exact cause of chicken skin is still unknown, but chicken skin in the underarm area becomes a common occurrence after hair removal procedures such as shaving and plucking, wherein most women experience the texture of their underarm skin change to something more coarse and bumpy. 74 percent are bothered by their chicken skin. Chicken skin, or big pores, can make underarms feel bumpy. They can look pretty rough, too.*
One of women’s biggest concerns is dark underarms, or what may also be referred to as hyperpigmentation. The discoloration or darkening of the underarms could be caused by several factors: Shift in hormones (common with pregnant women), trauma caused by friction, and underarm products not suited for you.
According to a study, about 84 percent of women are unhappy with their dark underarms, while other women just want the skin tone on their underarms to be more even.
Underarm issues, specifically dark underarms, really take a toll on women’s confidence and body image. About 84 percent of women think twice about raising their arms, all because of the way their underarms look; 31 percent have refrained from going to the beach, sauna, or spa; 28 percent refrained from engaging in physical activity or sports; and 24 percent chose not to go to a social event, party, or club.
Nobody should live their life in a box – constraint and limited – all because of a physical insecurity. Here are five ways to prevent and treat those pesky underarm woes:
1 Wash your clothes with laundry detergents that are perfume and dye-free.
2 Consider wearing clothes made of cotton. They’re more comfortable than synthetic fabric and will allow your skin to breathe.
3 Use products that are non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.
4 Use whitening deodorants with natural lightening ingredients like Licorice, Vitamin C, Kojic Acid, and Glutathione. If you have sensitive skin, choose the unscented ones.
5 Consult a board-certified dermatologist about procedures like underarm bleaching or lightening.
You see, it’s never too late to treat those chicken skin underarms or lighten those dark armpits. With the right product and care, you can now get your confidence back.
*Source: Beauty Understanding Survey Report, Clear, December 2011 via Dove’s The Little White Book on Underarm Skin Care.