Avoid the Pity Party – How to Comfort your Armpits

Don’t be afraid to go sleeveless or cheer for your favorite team thanks to these 8 tips for sexy underarms.

SEE ALSO: Get Rid of Flabby Arms with Brachioplasty

1. Kick the Stink
Smelly pits aren’t pleasant. And if you can whiff them, so can your boyfriend. There are many reasons why body odor happens, but keeping it under control is possible. B.O. is produced when bacteria on the skin breaks down sweat into acids and bathing regularly is the easiest and most obvious way to fight the stench. But instead of using regular soap, opt for an antibacterial body wash that will help kill lingering germs. Bacteria needs high pH levels to live and applying witch hazel on your skin can help reduce those levels. Witch hazel can be applied directly onto your skin using a cotton ball or small spritz spray if you’re on the go. Eating certain foods can also increase your chances of reeking. Avoid strong spices, red meat and produce that can alter your body’s natural aroma such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.

2. Know Your Type
Applying the right roll-on or solid can provide your pits with an extra layer of protection, especially if you have sensitive, dry or smelly ones.

Deodorant/Antiperspirant – This combination product targets odor-producing bacteria on the skin with antibacterial ingredients and additionally reduces sweating. Since it’s a regular strength formula, this combination is ideal for people who don’t sweat profusely.

Clinical Strength – This product offers a higher concentration of the active ingredient aluminum zirconium and should be applied only at night, when you sweat less. One application is usually enough to last you through the next day. In fact, some people only require it once a week.

Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate – Usually found behind the pharmacy counter, this formula offers higher concentration of active ingredients, which will provide more effectiveness against perspiring. However, this product is more likely to irritate the skin. Start with the lowest strength and work your way up if you continue to sweat.

Natural Deodorant – This mild product is made with 100% natural mineral salts, which helps neutralize body acids and prevents odor. Conversely, it will not fight sweating.

3. Fight the Stain
Over the years, your underarms can darken due to sun exposure, hormones, hyperpigmentation and even some deodorants. Unfortunately, axillary darkening seems to be even more common for women of darker skin. On the bright side, there are a few DIY and professional treatments that can help reduce the appearance of dark pits. Lemon not only has antibacterial properties, but its bleaching potential can be used to improve dark spots. Before bathing, rub a slice of lemon under each armpit, which will lighten the darkened area as well as remove dead skin cells. To prevent dryness, apply a moisturizer after bathing. If you have sensitive skin, ditch the lemon and instead rub a thin slice of potato under each arm for 5 to 10 minutes. If you prefer a professional treatment, chemical peels use alpha hydroxyl and beta hydroxyl acids to remove the top layer of your skin to help discoloration. Additionally, laser skin resurfacing and dermabrasions can also reduce uneven skin tone.

4. Beat the Fuzz
For sexy, stubble-free underarms, knowing when and how to remove the hair is key. Shaving is the quickest and most common solution for hair removal. For maximum smoothness, showering before shaving helps rid the pits of dirt, oil and deodorant residue that causes clogged pores. Since underarm hair grows in many directions, splurge for a 5-bladed razor and shave from three different angles: up, down and sideways. For harder to reach hairs, raise your arm high and straight above your head, which will reduce creases and help the razor glide. If you hate shaving, waxing can also provide suave results, with a longer hair-free period. A more permanent solution is laser hair removal, though it’s not a cheap alternative. Most patients can expect permanent hair loss after 3 to 7 sessions.

5. Love Them Back
Deodorants, sweat, clingy fabrics, and excessive shaving can leave your underarms depressed. Give your pits some TLC by exfoliating them back to life. Using a homemade or store bought scrub, massaging twice a week will help scrape away dead layers of skin for a velvety underarm. Additionally, exfoliating also exposes hair follicles that were embedded in the skin, appearing as bumps.

6. Be Sensitive
If you have delicate skin, there are many things you can do to protect your underarms. Shaving at night helps your skin heal away any redness or nicks caused by a quick razor job. To prevent severe cuts or ingrown hairs, change your razor as soon as you see signs of rust or dull blades. Apply deodorants that are formulized for sensitive skin or fragrance-free. Wearing loose clothing will prevent chafing, especially in the pits. Most importantly, wash your clothes regularly with sensitive skin detergent to rid them of odor-causing bacteria.

7. Don’t Sweat It
It’s no mystery that sweating naturally cools the body. However, excessive sweating – hyperhidrosis – can contribute to body odor, not to mention embarrassing sweat stains. If regular antiperspirants aren’t doing their job, a doctor may recommend a prescription strength deodorant or pills to reduce sweating. Another solution to treating sweaty pits is Botox injections, which reduce the active muscles and overactive glands. For severe cases of excessive sweating, your doctor might suggest surgery to remove the sweat glands or nerves that stimulate them.

8. Don’t Scratch the Itch
If you’re constantly itching your pits or suffer from redness, soreness, swelling and scarring, it could be more serious than you think. A proper diagnosis will determine if your prickly armpits are due to an allergy, infection, heat rash or other dermatological diseases.

Candida Yeast Infection – This is a yeast commonly found within the body. But if your immune system is weak, the yeast can overgrow, particularly in moist areas such as the groin, armpit and mouth. As a result, the fungus may cause skin to peel, itch and cause a rash.

Miliaria Rubra – This is a heat rash caused by excessive exposure to hot and humid environments. The heat rash occurs when the sweat glands are blocked and cause itchy skin.

Inverse Psoriasis – This is a skin condition that causes skin cells to overgrow. Symptoms such as thick or scaly skin, dry or red patches, pain or itching can occur.