Hyperpigmentation has been the topic of discussion for quite some time now, and I’ve actually talked about it on the blog quite a bit before. But something that I never addressed is that hyperpigmentation can be found almost anywhere on your body, and one area that not many like to discuss is the “v-zone.”
So if you have noticed that you have darker skin on your bikini area, groin, or inner thighs, this article is for you.
REST ASSURED, YOU’RE NOT IMAGINING IT
The topic of darker skin around the bikini line came up when I was talking to one of the girls here at kaia naturals. We were talking about underarm hyperpigmentation, and she ‘awkwardly’ mentioned that she experienced darker skin patches on her bikini line, slightly extending to the thighs and groin area as well. She seemed almost…ashamed, or embarrassed, thinking she was the only one. That’s when a few other girls on our zoom call jumped up and said “ME TOO”…
It’s a problem that’s more common than you think, and even if you’ve never experienced it in the past, it’s possible for your bikini line to get darker or even spotty over time.
RAZOR BUMPS, EXFOLIATION, AND GENETICS ALL PLAY A ROLE
There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing darkening of the skin in your nether region. It occurs when the skin in your inner thighs and bikini line produce excess melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin its color. Today, I am only going to focus on 3 of the most likely culprits for discoloration down there.
Shaving is by far the number one culprit behind hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation and ingrown hairs are the two biggest bikini-line banes, and they are interrelated; they are both a result of hair removal, simply because removing hair from your body causes irritation.
Hair was not meant to be removed, and so when it is (regardless of the method), your body will experience some kind of trauma. And with every trauma, there is an innate response built into your body to help overcome it.
Hence, according to certified dermatologist Dr. Gohara, when it comes to hair removal, your body will react by inflating each hair follicle, creating a bubble to try to protect the hair. This causes irritation, inflation, red bumps, and – you guessed it – hyperpigmentation.
Tip: Stop shaving. If you can’t, then ensure you are using a shaving cream. Never ever shave dry, and always use some sort of barrier to protect the skin.
The second common cause for hyperpigmentation in the area is chafing, especially if you notice that the dark skin extends onto your thighs. Chafing occurs as a result of friction when your inner thighs rub against each other. This causes damage to the skin, and as your skin begins to heal, it may start to form darker spots. And contrary to popular belief, chafing can occur with absolutely anyone regardless of size or weight.
Actually, chafing has more to do with the shape of your thighs than anything else. And, the more moisture and sweat there is in the area, the more you are at risk for chafing.
Tip: Though there are many treatments for chafing, you can try to prevent it by using a barrier cream and wearing natural fibers for breathability while working out.
Yes, hormones can cause discoloration, particularly in women who are pregnant or breast feeding. It normally occurs when the female sex hormone estrogen and progesterone stimulate an overproduction of melanin, which in turn can result in hyperpigmentation.
Tip: If you suspect hormones may be the cause of your hyperpigmentation, consult your dermatologist for optimal treatment.