Anyone can experience dark skin on their inner thighs, irrespective of their skin tone. This happens when the skin on the inner thigh produces a lot of melanin which is a pigment that gives dark color to the skin. This process is referred to as hyperpigmentation. Such discoloration may also stretch to the groin or bikini area of the body.
Causes of hyperpigmentation
There are several reasons why one may experience darkening skin on their inner thighs. Some reasons include:
- Chafing: This can happen while walking or exercising and may cause the skin to be itchy, thin, or discolored.
- Hormonal imbalance: It is common among women during pregnancy, lactation, or menstruation. Hyperpigmentation is also common among people who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
- Some medications, especially in cases like chemotherapy medications or hormonal oral contraceptives.
- Dry skin.
- Sun exposure.
- Friction from tight clothing.
- Acanthosis nigricans (skin pigmentation disorder).
- Diabetes mellitus.
As a result of skin chafing, obese people may be at a higher risk for dark inner thighs. Anyone with diabetes mellitus or hormonal imbalance could also be at increased risk if they take certain medications.
In some cases, home remedies can help lighten the dark skin on the inner thighs. Let’s take a look at some solutions.
- Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice
Lemons contain an abundance of vitamin C which may help in the case of hyperpigmentation. Coconut oil can also serve as an excellent moisturizer, helping to keep your thighs supple and soft.
Here are some directions to making coconut oil and lemon juice scrub:
- Combine the juice of half a lemon with a few tablespoons of coconut oil.
- Rub the mixture against the affected part of the inner thigh and massage it for about 10 minutes.
- Wash the area of the inner thigh clean.
Research has pointed out that some formulations containing vitamin c could be more effective than others. In this case, this method may not be the most effective for you.
- Sugar Scrub
Sugar can be excellent in exfoliating the skin. You may exfoliate the dark skin if it is caused by a lump of dead skin.
- Combine a teaspoon of sugar, fresh lemon juice, and a tablespoon of honey.
- Scrub the sugar mixture gently into your inner thighs.
- Gently rinse the area so you can remove the scrub.
- Oatmeal Yogurt Scrub
You can treat eczema using oatmeal. You can use it to treat many other inflammatory skin conditions. It can act as an exfoliation agent and may be gentler to use on one’s skin than sugar. Yogurt has a good content of lactic acid which improves the health of the skin. There may also be more benefits of yogurt to the skin, but research is still ongoing in this area.
These are the steps to follow if you want to create your own oatmeal scrub:
- Make a paste that contains an equal volume of plain yogurt and oatmeal.
- Apply and rub the paste on the darkened skin; scrub gently.
- Wash the paste off the area.
- Baking Soda and Water Paste
Baking soda may actually help exfoliate and lighten your skin. However, it should be used with caution because it may be too harsh for certain skins. You could also get irritated and skin conditions may become worse.
Here are simple steps to using a baking soda scrub:
- Make a paste that contains an equal volume of water and baking soda.
- Apply a thin layer to the dark inner thighs.
- Rinse off after 15 minutes of proper application.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel or an aloe vera-based product can help calm chafed, irritated skin. Aloe contains aloin which can be used as a skin lightener. You should apply it like you apply a lotion and let it soak into the skin. Unlike other methods, you don’t have to rinse off aloe vera after application.
- Potato Rub
Rubbing potato on the skin can be a great remedy for dark spots on any part of the skin. There is a general belief that catecholase which is an enzyme found in potatoes can help lighten the skin.
Here are the steps to follow if you want to try this remedy:
- Slice a potato and rub it over the affected area. Do this for a minimum of 15 minutes/
- Wash the area gently.
Over-the-counter (OTC) Treatments
Several OTC treatments make the claim of being able to lighten the skin. Many of them are made of natural supplements and have some potential in the ability to reduce dark skin pigmentation. The American Academy of Dermatology has highlighted the following four ingredients as low-risk carriers of allergic reaction and they work well to lighten the skin:
- Ellagic acid
- Lignin peroxidase
The following ingredients are quite common in OTC treatments and have the potential to lighten your skin, but have the risk of causing an allergic reaction in some people:
- Kojic acid
You should endeavor to talk to a dermatologist before using any OTC treatment for skin lightening of any area. Dermatologists can help evaluate the underlying cause of dark skin and help you in picking the appropriate product.
Procedures and Prescription Ointments
If home remedies and OTC treatments do not suffice, you should book an appointment with your dermatologist about the available products and follow the prescriptions that can help you lighten your dark inner thighs.
The following are some additional treatments that may be recommended to you by your doctor
The standard treatment used in the case of lightening a skin usually contains hydroquinone. Some studies have suggested that hydroquinone may be carcinogenic. As such, it is advised that you use the treatment on a short-term basis only and as directed by your dermatologist.
Retinoid products that are based on vitamin A are available via OTC. Nonetheless, dermatologists may recommend stronger treatments depending on your condition. Treatments such as retinoic acid can help regulate skin cell growth and are a great option to treat skin darkening. You may also need to use retinoid products for many months before you start getting the desired results. Retinoids may also make your skin dry and sensitive to the sun.
Laser skin lightening is a very effective non-invasive procedure that can help lighten your inner thighs without leaving scars. You can have a discussion with your dermatologist to know whether this treatment is appropriate for your own condition. The healing process may not be comfortable with inner thighs, particularly if your thighs often rub together.
Avoid Injectable Skin Lighteners
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend injectable skin lighteners. There isn’t enough evidence to approve their work and users may be at higher health risks.
For those who have an increased risk for dark inner thighs, here are several steps you can take in order to prevent your skin from darkening:
- Wear loose, breathable clothes to prevent your body from excess friction and sweat.
- Keep your inner thighs clean and well exfoliated as this limits the lump of dead skin.
- Prevent chafing by putting on nylon stockings or bicycle shorts under your dresses and skirts.
- Avoid waxing or shaving the spot too often in order to prevent irritation.
- When exposed to the sun, ensure you always put on an SPF of 30 or higher as this helps you avoid extreme sun exposure.
Darkening of the inner thigh is a common thing and not in any way harmful to your overall health. We have highlighted several home remedies, OTC treatments, and medical products you can use to lighten the dark spot. Also, keeping your inner thighs clean, avoiding sun exposure, and avoiding chafing can help reduce the risk of dark inner thighs now and in the future.