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Picture it: After weeks of looking and enduring the unflattering lights of dressing rooms, you have found the perfect swimsuit to show off your summer beauty. Then you see it, the dark patches of skin under your arms and on your inner thighs. Allow yourself a moment of wallowing and then no more. Hopes for looking great at the pool are not dashed; you can still become the swimsuit goddess you've been dreaming of, with a little work.
Exfoliate, exfoliate and exfoliate some more! Your localized dark skin could be the result of dry skin that's taken up residence in these unflattering areas of your bod. When your skin doesn't shed as it should, it can thicken and look darker than the rest of your skin. Loofah your underarms and inner thighs with a mild soap or body wash to remove the dark scales; if this is the extent of your problem, it should reverse over time.
Moisturize your delicate areas to keep your newly exfoliated skin looking soft and smooth. Help the exfoliation process along with lotions that contain lactic or salicylic acids that can slough away the toughness.
Use a fading cream to banish the dark patches that appear in embarrassing places. Over-the-counter strengths of hydroquinone cream can lighten up dark skin by stopping your body from producing as much pigment. These products can be irritating, especially under the arms and in the bikini zone, where your skin is already most sensitive. Use sparingly to avoid making your skin look worse.
See your doctor if your dark underarms and thighs don't respond to the TLC you've given them, or if you also notice a darkening on your neck. You could have a condition called acanthosis nigricans, an increase of pigment that primarily affects people who are plus-sized. Losing some weight --- safely, please! --- and taking fish oil supplements are among the treatment methods, according to the Mayo Clinic.