This is a common problem in dark skinned people where the skin tone in the groin & armpits is darker than the surrounding areas.

There are three main reasons for this:

Friction-The skin in these areas is rubbing against each other, setting up irritation & inflammation, leading to melanin overproduction.

Infection-Fungal infection in these sweaty areas is quite common & can present with itchy dark patches.

Familial-This dark skin problem runs in families. This is by far the most common cause.

Once infection is excluded, it is important to check if the skin is thickened in the groin or armpits before treatment is advised.

If the skin is thickened or velvety in nature, then it is likely to be a condition called Acanthosis Nigricans, which is a common problem in dark-skinned people.

(Management of Acanthosis nigricans is discussed separately in another article.)

If the skin is of normal thickness, then the management should include:

1)A night time exfoliant/skin whitening compound formulation including ingredients such as Glycolic acid, Retinaldehyde, Lactic acid, salicylic acid with skin lighteners Kojic acid, Arbutin, Dioic acid, Azelaic acid, Phytic acid & Vitamin C.

An exceptional formulation called Lightenex® Gold Serum, Pharmaclinix® contains the above ingredients in sufficient concentration to remove skin cells, as well as reduce melanin formation.

This serum should be massaged into clean dry skin of the groin & armpits on alternate nights.

This is important because this is a strong serum & the skin in these parts is usually sensitive and can become irritated if used on a daily basis.

The frequency of application can then be increased by one night every week so that it is being massaged into skin every night by week five of use.

Lightenex® Gold Serum does tend to dry the skin & a deeply moisturizing & whitening lotion is necessary to prevent irritation.

2)Lightenex® Body Lotion is a soothing moisturizer with 36% skin whiteners that continue to prevent new melanin formation during the day. This should be massaged into clean dry skin twice daily.

A good reduction in skin darkening should be expected within few weeks.

3)An alternative is to have a chemical peel procedure performed using a Mandelic acid-based peel with skin whiteners. Lightenex® Max Peel is such a peel, which is available at “The Hyperpigmentation Clinic,1 Harley Street, London” ( where the outcomes are more rapid.

*Results may vary in every individual.*

Shashi Gossain
Skin care expert