This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
Dark spots on the inner thighs are a common skin condition that can happen to anyone, regardless of skin color. If your inner thighs are darker than the rest of your skin, you might wonder about the underlying causes. There can be several reasons why darker skin on the inner thighs occurs. Some possible reasons include hyperpigmentation, skin irritation, ingrown hairs, acne scars, aging, certain health conditions, medications, hormonal changes, and genetics.
What are the causes of darker skin on the inner thighs?
- Hyperpigmentation - is a skin condition that causes patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding skin due to increases in melanin production. Hyperpigmentation can result from many factors, including medical conditions like diabetes, particular medication (chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and anti-seizure meds), or exposure to UV rays.
- Genetics/Hereditary - is another reason for darker inner thighs. Some people are genetically predisposed to darker inner thighs or darker areas than the rest of their skin. This is more common in people with darker skin tones.
- Hormonal changes - affect melanin production and can cause darker inner thighs as one experiences hormone changes during menstruation, pregnancy, puberty, or menopause. Birth control can also cause hormonal changes that lead to changes in skin pigmentation in the inner thighs.
- Aging - as people age, the skin loses elasticity and can appear darker to the thinning of their skin. Also, aging can lead to hyperpigmentation and the development of age spots.
- Friction & Chafing - can cause the inner thighs to become darker due to tight clothing, frequent exercising (i.e., cycling, running), or skin rubbing against itself. Athletes or overweight people are more likely to chafe as the skin rubs against itself regularly. Skin friction can lead to irritation and inflammation, making the inner thighs darker.
Sun exposure - can lead to melanin production as the body uses its natural defense against harmful UV rays. Sun exposure can result in several types of hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and melasma. Bikinis, short skirts, or shorts expose the inner thigh to the sun for a prolonged time which can cause this area to become darker because of hyperpigmentation.
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How to prevent dark inner thighs
- Wear loose clothing - because tight clothes cause friction and chafing in the inner thigh, leading to skin darkening and irritation. By wearing loose clothing with natural fibers like cotton or linen, your skin gets to breathe and reduces the likelihood of friction.
- Moisturize daily - using a sensitive moisturizer like shea, cocoa butter, or the Kushae protective skin balm on the inner thighs can prevent darkening due to skin irritation and dryness.
- Maintain a healthy weight - People who are obese are more likely to have darker inner thighs and hyperpigmentation in other areas of their bodies. Obesity is known as the leading cause of inner thigh darkening because of skin friction caused by the thighs rubbing together. Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent the development of dark inner thighs and dark spots.
- Use sunscreen - if exposure to UV rays is causing your inner thighs to darken, applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 can prevent it.
Good hygiene habits - moisture can lead to inflammation and skin irritation, which causes dark spots in the inner thighs. Daily showering and thorough drying can help prevent inner thigh darkening. For your inner thighs, use a mild, unscented soap (or our Kushae Gentle Foaming Wash) to cleanse your inner thighs and pat them dry with a towel. Our other recommendations would be to consult your physician if your inner thighs are darker because of certain medical conditions like diabetes, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Ways to treat/lighten dark inner thighs
Hyperpigmentation (dark spots/areas) – on skin of any color – is normal and can be caused by ingrown hairs, razor bumps, acne, chafing, rashes, inflammation, scarring, sun exposure, or hormones. You treat it by
- Using our Premiere Lightening Cream - hyperpigmentation does not stand a chance against our natural Kojic Acid and White Tea formula created by our own OB/GYN and co-founder, Dr. Barb. This safe, natural, fast-acting Kojic Acid Cream with White Tea Extract lightens dark spots and evens skin color on all skin tones.
- Exfoliating - baking soda and water paste or scrubs such as sugar or oatmeal can remove dead skin cells causing dark inner thighs, and help develop new cell growth. These scrubs and the paste can lighten dark inner thighs. Be careful with using baking soda, as it may cause irritation.
- Moisturizing - with coconut oil and lemon juice, can improve skin texture and appearance. The vitamin c in the lemon juice can treat hyperpigmentation, and the coconut oil is a moisturizer that helps soften the skin.
- Using natural remedies - aloe vera, turmeric paste, or cucumber juice can lighten dark inner thighs and soothe chafed and irritated skin.
Hyperpigmentation of the inner thighs is normal and can happen to anyone. There are many natural ways to prevent it from occurring and lighten the darker spots on the skin. We advise avoiding tight clothing, keeping the inner thigh clean and dry, staying hydrated, and reducing sun exposure. If you are worried about dark inner thighs, consult your doctor or a dermatologist for advice and treatment options.