Ways To Lighten Dark Private Skin
Dark skin in intimate areas is a cause for concern for many people. Although it is common and generally not a cause for concern, rare cases point to a condition called Acanthosis Nigricans. This condition causes dark, velvety skin and needs medical attention. It is recommended that one rule out the possibility of Acanthosis Nigricans before trying home remedies for skin lightening. Natural sources like aloe-vera, papaya, mulberry extract, citrus fruit, licorice root, soy milk and baking soda help lighten pigmentation. It is important to patch-test any remedy before trying it out.
Grooming is an essential part of most of our beauty regimes. Of all the parts of our body, looking after our private areas can be the most difficult. This is because skin down there is sensitive and prone to rashes, allergic reactions, and dark spots. Dark skin in our intimate area is something most of us struggle with at some point in our lives. The beauty industry’s impossible standards when it comes to this can be a cause of stress and insecurity as well.
While it’s absolutely natural to have dark skin in our private areas, there are a few medical causes of it that must be considered.
Medical Causes Of Dark Skin In Private Areas
The overarching cause of dark private skin is a condition called Acanthosis Nigricans. This causes darkening and thickening of the skin almost to the point of it being velvety. There are several causes of Acanthosis Nigricans-the most common being obesity. Others include hyperinsulinemia, Cushing syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), total lipodystrophy, crouzon syndrome, hormone treatments, insulin, glandular disorders, corticosteroids, and heredity (African roots).1 2
While Acanthosis Nigricans is not very serious, rare cases turn out to be tumor related and need medical attention. It’s always best to check with a professional to eliminate these causes of dark skin so as to get the best possible solution to your skin woe.
Dark skin that is not the result of a medical condition is often attributed to bad eating habits, smoking, excessive sweating, and razors. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Dermatologists generally prescribe lightening creams, while beauty salons suggest bleach. If you’d rather try something natural, we have 6 ways to do it.
Natural Ways To Lighten Dark Private Skin
1. Massage The Area With Aloe Vera Gel
- Aloe-vera both soothes and reduces pigmentation in skin
- From soothing burns to treating skin allergies- Aloe Vera is the go-to solution for most skin problems. Studies have linked its active ingredient aloin to skin lightening and depigmentation.3
- How To Use: You could buy the gel from a store or slice open a leaf and scoop out the gel yourself. Apply it on the area for 20 minutes and wash it off.
2. Give Mulberry Extract A Shot
- Mulberry extract inhibits skin darkening and melanin production
- Although native to China, mulberry extract has gained popularity in the West owing to its skin-lightening properties. Studies have shown that the extract derived from mulberry leaves inhibits melanin and skin darkening.4 Its effects, however, are not as significant as that of kojic acid which is often prescribed for skin lightening. On the flip side, mulberry extract is less likely to cause skin irritation.
3. Exfoliate With Soy Milk And Baking Soda
- Soy milk proteins depigment the skin
- Baking soda is a staple across most kitchens and beauty regimes. It’s soft granular texture works well for gentle exfoliation. Proteins in soybeans (Bowman-Birk inhibitor and soybean trypsin inhibitor) help in depigmentation of the skin by inhibiting or reducing the transfer of melanin.5
- How To Use: Make a paste of baking soda and soy milk and gently scrub the pigmented area. Leave it on for 5 minutes and wash it off.
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4. Use A Papaya-Citrus Pack
- Papaya gently exfoliates and citrus lightens skin
- Papaya has featured in fruit bowls, face packs, and funky recipes but it’s also very effective in skin-lightening. The fruit contains an enzyme called papain which gently exfoliates dead skin cells and reveals brighter skin. While both orange and green papaya is effective, the latter contains more of the enzyme. Citrus fruits, meanwhile, contain vitamin C that inhibits the production of pigments and acts as a natural bleach.6 However, they are known to cause itchiness, rashes and skin allergies so if you decide to give the old ‘lemon-to-bleach’ trick a shot, it’s best to add it to something moisturizing.
- How To Use: Add lime juice to papaya paste and apply it on the affected area for 15 minutes before washing it off.
5. Use Licorice Root Regularly
- Licorice inhibits melanin and lightens skin
- Licorice inhibits a melanin-producing enzyme called tyrosinase and is hence effective in skin lightening. It’s often used to fade suntans as well.7
- How To Use: Add licorice root powder to water or rose water to make a paste. Apply this on the affected area for 15 minutes and wash it off.
- As with most skin remedies, a patch-test is important. To ensure that you don’t add to your skin woes, test these remedies on your wrist to check for allergic reactions. Once you’ve found a remedy that works for you, follow it up regularly to see results.