Why does the skin on our necks and under our arms get darker?

No, they're not just sweat stains. If you're noticed with random patches of dark skin around your neck and under your arms, you could be struggling with a skin condition.

At first, you might think that these patches are due to poor hygiene, but that's far from the truth. In most cases these patchs are quite harmless, but you should get it checked out by your doctor because it is treatable!

What is this condition?

This skin condition is known as acanthosis nigricans. It is basically a dry and dark skin patches that form mainly around your neck, under your arms and even on the groin. Though absolutely healthy people can also contract this condition, it's often associated with obesity and glucose intolerance.

This is due to a problem related to insulin production. Your body’s cells aren’t absorbing all the insulin that your pancreas is secreting, which causes the organ to secrete more and more of it as a result, and the consequences then become visible as these darker patches form on your skin.

This problem is normally due to hereditary factors, although it can also be because of endocrine disorders such as diabetes,Cushing’s disease or also problems with obesity or your digestive system.

Conditions, like thyroid and polycystic ovary syndrome, that affect your hormones can also result in the formation of these dark patches.


When it comes to acanthosis nigricans,identifying and treating the cause will probably be the best way forward. If you're overweight, the only solution will be to shed some stones. You may be given medication to regulate your hormones, or balance out your insulin levels—it all depends on the root of your problem.

To deal with the dark patches, you might want to visit a dermatologist who will be able to help you fade out the darkness.

As soon as you notice these dark patches, head straight to a a medical professional, preferably an endocrinologist.

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