Recall those baby powder and nappy ads. Remember how soft, supple and bright the bums look? Only if we could retain the same throughout life…
As we begin to gain awareness, we start covering our intimate parts. Now, technically, they should be fairer because no sun, no tan, but that doesn’t happen. Quite the opposite happens. Not that pigmentation on neck, groin, inner thighs, underarms, etc. is bad or unnatural, but it does make some people highly conscious of how they look.
But the question is what goes wrong? What happens to that baby skin that it gets pigmented? Are we doing making it darker or is it natural?
Let’s find out.
Cause #1: Sweat and lack of ventilation
Due to lack of personal space and discomfort with our own bodies, we rarely “air” intimate areas. They are mostly covered. Even while bathing, we don’t give them sufficient time to dry and so, they remain moist. And then happens sweating.
The trapped moisture increases the melanin production and hence, the hyperpigmentation.
Cause #2: Acne & Infections
Sweat meets active oil and sebum glands of the intimate area, and bam! Say hello to acne. Sometimes herpes too. Now, cleaning the intimate area using a gentle intimate cleanser and freshening it up at regular intervals is a great option, but if you don’t dry and air the area properly, the problem will persist.
Even if the infections heal, they will leave scars which are difficult to fade without external help.
Cause #3: Rashes & Friction
When water flows over rocks, the rocks eventually get shaped and polished. The same is true for our intimate areas – constant rubbing from tight clothes scrapes the skin and blocks full flow of blood. The skin being resilient, regenerates itself. However, the new skin is thicker and more resilient to friction. It is also darker in colour.
So, the moral of the story is to avoid tight outfits be they undergarments, pads, shapewear, jeans…. Well, you know what we’re talking about. If any clothing restricts movement of certain body part, then it sure is tight and will give you rashes and pigmentation.
Cause #4: Hormonal Fluctuations
This is unavoidable since we’re women! Throughout our lives, our hormone levels keep fluctuating. That’s normal and so is the darkening of intimate areas. However, for women who suffer from thyroid, PCOD, are pregnant, or on contraception, the situation worsens.
The added recalibration of hormones and medicinal intake further increases melanin production and leads to hyperpigmentation.
Cause #5: Frequent Shaving
Not everyone appreciates a healthy bush down there even if it comes with anti-microbial perks. So those who prefer to go hair-free down there and use razors, we have bad news. The ingrown hair and stubble are making your intimate area darker. First, there is frequent abrasion with the blade and then, the stubble-caused rashes exacerbate the pigmentation issue.
Some good options are trimming, waxing (painful though!), and depilatory creams.
Cause #6: Diabetes & Obesity
Those with diabetes and obesity often have a velvety dark patch in and around their intimate areas. It’s a medical condition called Acanthosis Nigricans and a by-product of the other two health issues.
Can the darkening in intimate areas be reversed?
Yes, and no.
The darkening that is caused by unnatural hormonal fluctuations (PCOS, thyroid, contraception, pregnancy, etc.), acne scarring, rashes and friction can be reversed. But the darkening caused by natural changes in the body, i.e. puberty, menstruation, menopause, ageing, etc., can’t be reversed.
There are many herbal and home remedies that claim to make your intimate areas fairer. However, they are either less concentrated to show any long-term benefit or too concentrated to leave the delicate skin inflamed and worse than before. If you wish to lighten and brighten your intimate areas, what you need is a product that has natural ingredients but in the right proportion and concentration.
After much research and testing, we co-created Intimate Lightening Serum with Indian mothers. It is a balanced, natural formulation completely devoid of harmful chemicals that can be applied readily without the fear of side effects. Explore more about it here.