Why do our nipples and privates darken?

Our breasts/nipples and genital areas can darken with age and irritation (rubbing of garments or breastfeeding), but the main cause is hormonal changes. This explains why it darkens a lot during puberty and also with pregnancy.

This is similar to pigmentation on the face, which hormonal changes is a huge factor for many Asian women. Other types of pigmentary changes found during pregnancy include darkening of underarms, development of a dark line called linea nigra down the middle of the tummy, as well as the worsening of existing pigmentation such as freckles and birthmarks.

While these changes may fade gradually after pregnancy, they usually never revert completely to a pre-pregnancy state. Many ladies look to lighten these private areas to reverse the effects of pregnancy and to regain that nubile attractiveness.

Examples of pigmentary changes in a women’s body:

  • Nipple darkening
  • Underarm darkening
  • Linea nigra – this dark vertical line down the centre of the tummy can sometimes be an early sign of your pregnancy!
  • Genital darkening – genitals normally have more pigmented cells than other body areas, and this melanosis is increased with hormonal changes during and after pregnancy. It is not a disease or anything to be stigmatised against, but some individuals prefer a lighter genital area, just as some people want a bikini hair removal.

Various Evidence Based Options

Never start pigmentation treatment without a proper medical examination to rule out dangerous or cancerous skin disease. Treatment with good skincare, topical/oral medication and medical peels are all age-old proven therapies for many types of pigmentation. More recently, lasers are proving to be the mainstay of pigmentation treatment based on the direct targeting of diseased pigmentation cells with various lasers. Various lasers help target different types of pigmentation more effectively.

Various lasers with various depths and targets.

The Veritas Method

Nipple and private area whitening treatment is one of the hardest pigmentary conditions to manage, since the pigmentary conditions are complex and the areas affected are delicate. There are very few treatment centres that treat this condition routinely, because run of the mill treatments will yield poor results but have disastrous side effects.

Some possible side effects in these areas include skin irritation, worsening of pigmentation and patchy overlightening. It is important not to use medical creams that can cause irritation in this area, so even the topicals need to be specially selected. A popular medical ingredient used in many illegal overseas retailers (which cannot be well regulated by HSA) include hydroquinone, which has been banned in some Europe countries due to the possibility of side effects with its long term usage. While we still use hydroquinone for certain pigmentary conditions, we do not recommend it for body whitening because of its potential for irritation and other side effects.

Body and private whitening is more complex because of the deeper layers of pigmentation involved, as well as the poorer healing capability of body skin as compared to facial skin. This is why it requires proper equipment (only a combination works) and proper expertise to optimally treat this condition.

A common mistake when it comes to pigmentation treatment is to rely on a single (often very hyped in the media) device which can miraculously treat pigmentation. The latest trend is Pico lasers for pigmentation treatment. Please take note that this is suboptimal because these picolasers are only 1 part of our treatment protocol for pigmentary conditions – they normally target 1 layer very well, and need to be combined with other devices for optimal results. Single device treatment usually results in unsatisfactory results and high side effects. This clinical paper showed how a very useful laser caused multiple side effects when used alone excessively: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695430/

Contact Us

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13 Stamford Rd, #B2-35 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178905
ask@veritas.com.sg
+65 6283 3885

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