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THE DERMATOLOGIST-APPROVED DARK INNER THIGH TREATMENT

MARCH 2023 | 5 MINUTE READ

I distinctly recall when I was developing brightening products for my company, which include a kojic acid soap, and a nurse had told me dark inner thighs was a common issue with medical workers because the rough cotton of their scrubs rubs against their thighs causing friction which later turns into dark pigmentation. 

Upon further research, I found that this was a very common problem, specifically for women of color, and/or women who had thighs that tend to rub together (most common in plus size women, but can also happen regardless of size as it depends on the shape of the thighs and hips).  

Dark inner thighs specifically happen when the skin overproduces melanin from inflammation and irritation of the skin, resulting in hyperpigmentation (this is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).  

Though frustrating, there is hope and a brighter future ahead. Dark inner thighs can not only be lightened but also prevented if you implement these simple guidelines into your daily routine.  

 

Dark Inner Thighs: Legs of All Skintones

WHAT CAUSES DARK INNER THIGHS?

There are numerous reasons why you may be experiencing dark inner thighs, so we’ll break them down one by one. 

Dark Inner Thighs: Skinny Jeans

CHAFING AND FRICTION

The number one culprit for this hyperpigmentation condition is chafing. When your skin chafes, it can become thin, itchy and discolored. If your thighs are prone to rubbing together when you walk or exercise, that could cause darkening of the skin. Tight clothing can also contribute to friction in this area, causing hyperpigmentation from irritation. 

Dark Inner Thighs: Sun exposure on thighs

HORMONAL IMBALANCES

Though harder to control, hormonal imbalances could cause hyperpigmentation issues not just on the inner thighs but also on other areas of the body. Women in particular can be more prone to hyperpigmentation-causing hormonal imbalances during pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstruation or due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Some hormonal contraceptives can also contribute to this.  

SUN EXPOSURE

A recurring theme when looking at causes of hyperpigmentation is always sun exposure. UV rays from sun exposure trigger the skin to produce more melanin and darken.  

shaving

Shaving causes irritation and can be one of the unexpected causes of hyperpigmentation on the inner thighs and even the underarm area. 

HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT DARK INNER THIGHS

When it comes to hyperpigmentation, addressing the root cause is the first course of action as prevention should be top of mind. If you are prone to experiencing darkness in the inner thigh, it may not be possible to prevent it entirely, but there are steps to take to reduce the chances of dark inner thighs and treat the discoloration if you have it. 

LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO PREVENT DARK INNER THIGHS

Oftentimes daily habits can unknowingly contribute to skin conditions such as dark inner thighs. Here are some things you can begin to incorporate into your life to prevent it from happening:  

  • Prevent excess sweat and friction by wearing loose, breathable clothing.   
  • Wearing bamboo shorts or stockings under dresses to reduce chafing.  
  • Avoid shaving or waxing the area too frequently to prevent irritation.  
  • Using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when the area is exposed to the sun  
  • Avoiding unnecessary scratching and rubbing in the the area  

DERMATOLOGIST-APPROVED INGREDIENTS THAT TREAT DARK INNER THIGHS

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends kojic acid as an ingredient that can help lighten skin.  

Research has shown that niacinamide can help fade hyperpigmentation and has soothing and calming properties, making it ideal for sensitive skin areas such as the inner thigh.  

When combined together these two can make a real impact. 

USE KOJIC ACID SOAP DAILY

Kojic acid has been used in Asia for centuries to remedy hyperpigmentation issues. It is highly effective, and when combined with daily use of a niacinamide it will speed up brightening results. 

BE CAUTIOUS WHEN CHOOSING A KOJIC ACID SOAP

Be warned that many kojic acid soaps are highly irritating as they are formulated with hydroquinone and may not be safe for everyone to use. Additionally, though it is harder to find, dermatologists recommend looking for “kojic dipalmitate” in the ingredient list. Kojic dipalmitate is a superior form of kojic acid that is more stable, less irritating and just as effective at brightening.  

I formulated an all-natural kojic acid (dipalmitate) soap that combines this tried and true ingredient with licorice root extract for maximum brightening results with no irritation. 

USE A DEODORANT WITH NIACINAMIDE TO PREVENT CHAFING

A great trick I like to share is that creating a barrier on the skin by using a natural deodorant on the inner thighs will greatly reduce hyperpigmentation in the area. I recommend my niacinamide brightening deodorant as it not only prevents chafing but is formulated with niacinamide which will soothe irritation, and alpha arbutin, a highly effective but gentle brightening ingredient.   

Using this brightening deodorant will help prevent and treat dark inner thighs. 

STEPS TO BRIGHTENING DARK INNER THIGHS

This is a two-step system to help lighten dark inner thighs while helping to prevent inner thigh chafing. It can also be used on the underarms if you struggle with discoloration there too. 

THE TWO-STEP SYSTEM TO LIGHTEN DARK INNER THIGHS

  1. Start each day with the kojic acid soap in the shower. Lather for 30 seconds into the inner thigh area and rinse.  
  2. Follow with the niacinamide brightening deodorant, applied to clean, dry skin on the inner thighs. Reapply as needed throughout the day to help with chafing.

If you find you are in an environment that is making you sweat a lot, you can also use my sweat powder to help absorb moisture while preventing chafing 

Don’t forget to apply (and reapply) SPF if the area will be exposed to the sun  

If you want to give this system a try, it comes in a set, which has both the niacinamide brightening deodorant and kojic acid soap.  

the takeaway

Dark inner thighs are common and completely normal, but if they bother you, they do not have to hold you back from feeling comfortable in your skin. With the right lifestyle changes that help prevent the problem and incorporating a two-step system into your routine, your dark inner thighs will be a thing of the past.  

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side profile of founder Mary Futher with short hair and round glasses

Written by Madame Sweat

Clean beauty industry maven and product developer Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. She now shares weekly modern hygiene etiquette advice and solutions for “unsexy” body taboos, with her social media followers and readers.

All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

@madamesweat

Clean beauty industry maven and product developer Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals after spending 20 yearsworking for global beauty companies. She now shares advice on modern hygiene etiquette for grooming, hosting, home and travel on Instagram, TikTok and her popular blog called The House of Hygiene.

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