Underarm is a delicate yet intimate area of the skin that needs specialised tender loving care that are often forgotten in our daily beauty regime. I was honoured to be invited to give a lecture pertaining to this yesterday by Unilevel Malaysia. I thought it is timely to discuss on this often neglected part of our body.
Why is underarm care important?
Lets face it. Thought its a topic not often talked about. Most of the ladies spend a considerable time grooming their underarm by either plucking, shaving or waxing their underarm. More ladies do not want to be restricted by the way they dress up, not be the way their underarm look like. Even if their underarm is not exposed, having a clean and healthy underarm makes one feel confident in their presentation to the others in the society. Others wants to feel and be healthy, away from whatever disease and infections that can occur on their underarm. More than just being visible, underarm problems can present with body odour. When present, the sufferer will be greatly affected and affects their quality of life.
How is underarm skin different from other parts of the skin?
Underarm skin is very thin, one of the thinnest on our body. Its thickness is almost comparable to skin over our face and groin. This makes it more susceptible to damages, requiring more tender loving care. The good news is that because it is thin, it will be more susceptible to the treatment or creams applied. It is also an area with denser hair and glands (including sweat gland and another specific gland called the apocrine gland). Hence, underarm tends to have more hair and more sweats and secretions.
What are the ways for underarm hair removal?
Underarm hair removal can broadly be classified into temporary and permanent measures. Most of us will employ temporary measures such as plucking, epilating, waxing and shaving. Permanent measures will include the use of light and laser devices. Plucking, epilating and waxing removes the hair from its roots and hence, tends to me more painful but last a lot longer than shaving. On the other hand, shaving removes the hair from the shaft and tends to last only for a couple of days, if not less. It is important to make sure that underarm is clean before the hair removal and after the hair removal. Moisturising the underarm post-hair removal is important to encourage and expedite the natural skin healing for the minor injury that had been rendered.
How to keep underarm smooth?
A smooth underarm is a healthy underarm that is well moisturised. Well-moisturised skin tends to be smoother and with less fine lines. On top of that, it should be free from allergy, irritation and infections. Keep away from underarm products that may be loaded with lots of allergens and harsh products. Deodorants with moisturising components are highly recommended. Keep the surface of the underarm skin moisturised but not damp. Too much of dampness may promote fungal growth.
Why does my underarm darken?
This is a common problem encountered leaving countless of ladies helplessly seeking for treatments to lighten it. Firstly, it is important to find out the cause of the darkening. Underarm darkening can be due to the cumulative minor injury rendered to the underarm by frequent or harsh underarm plucking, shaving and waxing. It also also be due to allergy or irritation by the underarm products or other medical conditions. Once the trigger is identified, stopping the offending agent may be the way to lighten the underarm. When needed, you may need to seek medical consultation to pin point to the exact cause of the darkening. Skin lighteners are often incorporated into some lightening deodorants. These can be tried initially. Most darkening may improve. When it doesn’t, medical advice should be sought after.
How does deodorant stop the underarm sweats?
Deodorant contains aluminium or zirconium compound that will react with sweats to form a temporary plug over the sweat opening, hindering the release of sweats.This temporary plug will eventually be shed off with the normal exfoliation process of our skin.
What causes body odour and what can be done for the odour?
Underarm is unique as it contains apocrine gland that secrete some milky white secretion that is initially not odourless until it reaches the surface of the skin. On the skin, bacteria from the underarm will react with the secretion resulting in the release of a by-product that causes the odour. Hence, reducing the secretion and bacteria will reduce the body odour. Reduction of the secretion can be achieved by using deodorant that contains antiperspirant. Alcohol and antibacterials in deodorant will reduce the bacteria count which in turn will also reduce the body odour. Of course, deodorants that contain fragrance and essential oils may mask the body odour as well.
In short, choose your deodorant well to suit the needs of your underarm. Clean it with a gentle cleanser and put on a moisturising deodorant with other added properties if needed to. Raise your arms high and enjoy your life!