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Hi there.

I would like to know whether there are some skin lightener that I can buy (truly effective and not mere promise) for my use in between thighs and even underarms. I am brown (Asian) and it's common to quite a number of us. I truly envy those that have even colors even in those areas that are not even exposed to sunlight. How can I have the same? what treatment is it called if I go see doctor? Any home made remedies available that's a sure hit? Please tell me.

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Hello and welcome to the forum. What you're describing is not uncommon. It has a name: acanthosis nigricans. It can be from hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, even puberty sometimes), can be a symptom of Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or metabolic syndrome (like pre-diabetes), or just a hereditary thing.

The solution depends on the cause most of the time. If it's due to PCOS or pregnancy, it may go back to normal when the hormones do.

You can try gentle exfoliation with scrubs, microfiber cloths, and very gentle chemical peels, along with things like Retin-A or Hydroquinone 4% (prescription strength in the US) to speed up skin cell turnover. You have to still be patient in this because over exfoliation will only irritate the skin, and it takes about 28 days for skin cell turnover.

Read up here on this forum to learn your options. Most of what others have tried on their faces or arms to remove freckles can be used to reduce these darker areas - if they can be reduced at all. You hear of celebrities getting 'bleaching' in the nether regions and they are using the same products to strip old cells that have darkened and reveal lighter cells.

On a personal note, I'm Caucasian with very fair and still have darker areas. I've been using Hydroquinone 4% (HQ4%) for about 6 weeks and have seen some definite lightening about 4 weeks in with 2x day application. I used Retin-A .04% (also Rx) periodically, but found it was very irritating there so I discontinued. I've also used a 35% glycolic peel for 3 min (no noticeable difference is skin shade), and on a whim, a 25% TCA peel for 2 min. TCA peels generally cause peeling a few days after, but I did not experience this on the upper thighs for some reason.

You may be able to lighten these areas somewhat with patience and work. It's upsetting what some people believe about this - that sweat causes it, skin not 'breathing' as in the case of rolls of skin on overweight people - all false. If you have the option, I recommend a dermatologist so they can assess it, and write you Rx's for the things that may help.

Oh also, the underarm area may be due to shaving also. The hair is close to the surface after a shave, and like a man who gets a 5 o'clock shadow by afternoon, these hairs approaching the surface again will make the area look darker.

Good luck!
 
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