Melanin is the pigment that gives colour to our skin. When there is more melanin in any area, the higher the pigmentation and darker the skin gets. Excess production of melanin is called ‘hyperpigmentation’. In severe cases, not the just inner thighs, the darkness can spread till the hip region and that can dent your confidence deeply.
What causes darkening of inner thighs?
“One most common reason I see in my patients who come with darker inner thighs problem is ‘obesity’ or ‘being overweight’” says Dr. Deepa Ganesh, popular cosmetic gynaecologist in at DG Laser & Cosmetic Gynecology Clinic, Chennai. She adds “as the person adds weight, the thighs start rubbing against each other when he/she walks and as a result, the area becomes dark”. Adding to this, there are other reasons why people develop darker inner thighs including:
- Hormone or other medication that alters the hormonal balance in the body or cause pigmentation of skin.
- Over exposure to Sun or exposure to harsh sunlight without proper sunscreen protection.
- Tight clothing
- Acanthosis Nigricans – this is a medical condition (similar to vitiligo of skin) that causes dark spots on the skin. The spotty areas may itch and/or have an unpleasant smell.
- Wondering about this effect of diabetes? It’s true that people with high blood sugar levels in their blood develop dark patches of skin on the nape, armpits, groin areas etc. This can include inner thighs as well.
Home remedies to lighten dark inner thighs
“As soon as you start noticing that your inner thighs are getting dark, I would advise you to check your weight and if you see that your thighs are rubbing against each other while you walk, run or even sit in a chair, the first thing you need to do is – start working out and bring down your weight” says Dr. Deepa Ganesh. Here are some home remedies for dark inner thighs you can try before you see a good cosmetic gynecologist near you for treatment.
Skin exfoliation with sugar and lemon solution
Exfoliating the upper layers of skin can lighten the darkness of the skin on the inner thighs. As the new skin comes up, you can see that the darkness keeps fading away. In order to do this, you can mix up sugar syrup with little bit of lemon juice (make sure you don’t mix too much of this as it is acidic in nature) and a tablespoon honey. Mix it thoroughly and apply on the inner thighs. Once dried (after 30 minutes), wash off the area with a scrub. Sugar and acid in lemon juice helps in skin exfoliation and lemon juice can help in controlling hyperpigmentation.
Lemon juice with coconut oil
Similar to the sugar solution, you can just add few teaspoons of coconut oil to the juice of half lemon and make a mixture. Apply the mixture gently in the affected areas and wash it off after 15 to 20 minutes. Application of coconut oil keeps the skin soft, healthy and glowing. Lemon juice helps in controlling pigmentation.
Oatmeal yogurt scrub
If you see that your skin is peeling of too much when you use sugar and lemon solution, you can switch to oatmean yogurt scrub. Add equal portions of oatmeal and yogurt (you can substitute Indian curd if you want to try) and make a good paste. Voila, your cream for lightening dark inner thighs is ready! Apply the paste on the dark area and wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes by gently scrubbing the area. Yogurt is good for the skin that can keep it soft and supple. Also, the lactic acid in yogurt (or curd) can help in controlling the pigmentation of skin.
Baking soda paste
Baking soda, a powder almost every Indian household has! Yes, it is the same powder you use to mix with your dosa and idly batter. Baking soda can exfoliate your skin just like the sugar solution. Add equal amounts of water and baking soda and mix well until you get a cream. This can be one of the best creams to treat dark inner thighs that you can make at home. Then apply the cream on the darker regions. Let it dry for half hour and then wash it off. Remember to make the cream with equal portions of baking soda and water. If you happen to add more baking soda, that can hurt your skin and worsen the condition.
Application of pure Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera needs no introduction. One of the most preferred plant that has multitude of benefits. It can be consumed to cleanse your body of toxins and aloe vera gels are widely used to keep the skin smooth, moisturized and in healthy condition. Regular application of pure aloe vera gel on the dark inner thighs and then washing it off after 30 minutes to an hour can give visible results in a month.
Just take a slice of tomato and rub on the dark inner thighs for few minutes. Let the area dry and then wash it off. You can do this a couple of times in a day and we are sure, you can start seeing your skin on the inner thighs getting lighter. You can also try this on any part of your body including face to see remarkable results.
Which doctor should you see to lighten your dark inner thighs?
You can either see a good cosmetic gynaecologist near you or you can see a good dermatologist to lighten the dark skin on your inner thighs. Just make sure that you get to know about the doctor very well before you make an appointment.
Treatment options for dark inner thighs
When none of the home remedies for darker inner thighs work, the next thing you would look for help is, finding a good cosmetic gynecologist. Following are the treatment options that may be at the disposal of your doctor to work on lightening the skin on your thighs.
Skin bleaching is the most common and may be the first thing to start with to lighten the darker skin. Your doctor may prescribe some hydroquinone containing creams for your dark thighs. Use just as directed and note that hydroquinone is found to be a cancer causative chemical. So, you can either use it with caution as advice or go for a different treatment option.
If you were suffering from pimples and tried getting rid of pimples and pimple scars, you may have come across retinoids. Retinoids make the skin dry and cause exfoliation of skin and lighten the pimple scars. In the same way, application of retinoids based creams and lotions on the darkened regions of thighs can lighten them but you will need some patience to see the results while using it as it can take few months to see visible results.
Laser skin whitening / lightening
This is an advanced procedure that uses highly focused laser beam on the darker regions to lighten the skin. The high energy beam causes the skin to shed layer by layer and generate new skin. You need to undergo multiple sessions for Laser skin whitening to see significant results and the most important thing you need to do is to look for the highly experienced cosmetic gynaecologist or a dermatologist near you. Incorrect settings of laser energy can damage your skin permanently or make the condition of the skin worse.
Chemical bleaching is one other skin lightening procedure used by good cosmetic gynaecologists and dermatologists. The procedure involves applying a fine layer of the chemical that can remove the dead skin and the top layers of the skin to reveal lighter, younger looking skin.
Chemical bleaching can also be used to lighten the outer vaginal region. Read more on ‘Chemical peels for genital lightening’ if you think that your vagina has turned darker over the years.
How to prevent darkening of inner thighs?
- If you are overweight or obese, you should work on your weight.
- If you are diabetic, change your diet, workout regularly and take medicine prescribed by your doctor.
- Wear loose dresses instead of tight clothing. Tight clothing can increase the temperature of the body.
- Over use of chemicals for any reason should be avoided. This can darken the area instead of lightening it.
- Always use sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor of 30 or above. You can go for 50 SPF creams if available. Try to reduce skin exposure to harsh sunlight.