A question about darker skin under the arms and in the groin area.

Hello Dr. Are the darkened skin in the pubic area and under arm also called melasma and do the medications for melasma such as renova, hydroquinon, and peeling work for those skins? I am an Asian woman and my skin in those areas are 3-4 degrees darker than the olive skin in the rest of my body and I feel embarrassed.Thank you for your help and advice.

First, generally this isn’t referred to as melasma because it isn’t caused by the interaction of female hormones and light exposure.  Other causes can include genetic (other people in your family may have it), irritation from things like antiperspirants or chafing, etc., certain bacteria, or occasionally, illnesses like diabetes or prediabetes. Please see your doctor before treating this problem yourself!

Please also don’t use the Renova, hydroquinones, etc here because they may irritate you (the skin is more sensitive here) and could make the problem worse!!   There are gentle ways to lighten the skin in these areas, but first you need an accurate diagosis about what may be causing it.   Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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