Since there is constant friction, you want to be sensitive and handle the area with care at all times,” Dr. Barba recommends. “When shaving, ensure you’re using fresh razors and lubricant. Your deodorant choice is also extremely important. Choose one that provides daily care for this sensitive skin. My go-to is Dove Advanced Care Clear Tone, it’s one-fourth moisturizers and ingredients like calendula and sunflower seed oil to help calm the skin and restore it to its natural tone. It comes in [both] a stick and spray format.”

If you prefer waxing or laser hair removal as opposed to shaving, Dr. Barba suggests going to a professional laser expert who knows how to treat this delicate area of the skin. Keep in mind, though, that not all laser clinics have the proper capabilities or technology to accommodate different skin tones, hair colors and hair thickness. For those of us who have darker skin, the temperature of the laser and the type of laser itself is extremely important when it comes to treatment. If a doctor or laser expert uses the wrong type or temperature, it can lead to severe scarring.

4. Beyond laser treatment, what are some ways a dermatologist can assist with severe armpit discoloration?

Dr. Barba suggests that there are a few initial questions that dermatologists ask themselves before determining a method of treatment:

— What’s the underlying cause of the pigmentation?

— Where is the pigmentation?

— Why are there dark spots, and is it acne?

— Is it a sign of an underlying medical disorder like diabetes, or is it melasma, which tends to be more chronic?

Not all pigmentary disorders are the same and it is important to find the cause,” explains Dr. Barba. “The treatment always revolves around protecting diligently from the sun, wearing sunscreen religiously, stopping hormones if necessary and using a combination of bleaching agents with rotating active ingredients.”

5. For those who can’t afford laser treatments, are there any home remedies that can prevent a recurrence of armpit hyperpigmentation?

There are a lot of active ingredients like folic acids, blueberry extract, licorice extract and azelaic acid that can help brighten the skin,” Dr. Barba suggests. “However, skin under the arms is notoriously super sensitive. The ingredients you can tolerate on your face may not be tolerated on a daily basis under your arms. There are also prescription product options.”

But, ultimately, Dr. Barba recommends speaking with your dermatologist for the best course of action.