Dark inner thighs may develop when the skin releases melanin, an extra pigmentation. This disorder can be called hyperpigmentation by a health care provider.
Anyone, whatever their skin tone, can experience dark inner thighs.
We discuss the treatments in the following sections and home remedies a person with dark inner thighs may seek to help reduce the appearance of dark patches. We also evaluate the various causes and when to see a doctor.
Treatments and home remedies
Dark inner thighs aren’t usually harmful themselves, so they may not necessarily require treatment. Some people may however want to minimize or remove darker skin areas.
It is often best for a dermatologist to determine the cause of dark patches in a human. The dark areas may persist or recur, unless a person has an accurate diagnosis and can begin appropriate treatment.
A person can try several possible treatment options, including home remedies, over-the-counter ( OTC) medications and creams, and medical treatments.
Some potential methods that a person can try to reduce or eliminate the appearance of dark inner thighs are as follows.
Colloidal oatmeal and yogurt
Other research has suggested that the yogurt micro-organisms can also promote healthy skin.
Combine equal parts yogurt and colloidal oatmeal to make an oatmeal and yogurt cream. Then apply the cream to the area affected and leave for around 15 minutes. Last, wash and dry out the area.
People frequently use aloe vera to treat chafed skin because it can help to soothe the area.
Research in this area is limited but some studies suggest that aloe vera may also help to reduce dark areas on the skin.
For use, rub aloe vera cream or gel directly onto the skin area affected. It is not necessary for a person to rinse off aloe vera after application.
Rub potatoes on the skin
There are many people who think that rubbing potato slices on the skin will help to reduce dark areas. Scientific research is however limited to support this claim.
In an old 1991 study , researchers found that an enzyme called cathepsin D in potatoes helped heal the skin of wounded rats when it was applied by the team externally.
Though not effective, a person may try to cut a potato into slices and rub a slice over the affected area for about 10 minutes. Clean and dry the area, after applying the potato slice to the skin.
If someone has an allergy to potatoes, they shouldn’t try this home remedy.u
OTC creams and ointments
There are numerous OTC products that can help reduce the appearance of dark skin, including on the inner thighs, in the form of creams, rubs, and ointments.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, certain newer ingredients to look for in effective skin-lightening products for dark tones include:
- ellagic acid, a natural substance that occurs in some fruits
- lignin peroxidase, an enzyme that comes from a fungus
- niacinamide, a form of vitamin B-3
- soy, which may be an ingredient in some moisturizers
Prescription or OTC retinoids
The products based on retinoids help to regulate skin growth. Also, they can help with hyperpigmentation.
OTC and the prescription-strength retinoids are available. If a person after using an OTC retinoid does not see any results, they may wish to discuss prescription-strength products with their healthcare provider.
However, retinoids are not delivering immediate results. It may take several months to use it before a person can see any difference in the appearance of dark skin patches.
Hydroquinone is a part that illuminates dark spots on the skin.
Doctors might use hydroquinone cream to help treat skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. They also remember it can take up to 4 weeks for tests to be seen.
Hydroquinone can also be responsible for side effects such as dry skin. Use hydroquinone with a strong sunscreen is recommended by The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
There are multiple possible causes of dark inner thighs. Many potential causes are benign, and the thigh color changes will likely resolve once a person addresses the cause.
Some potential causes of dark inner thighs include:
- dry skin
- too much sun exposure
- chafing from the thighs rubbing together while walking or exercising
- skin pigment conditions, such as acanthosis nigricans
- use of certain medications
Because some of the potential causes of dark inner thighs are conditions requiring treatment, if they are unsure what the cause is, a person should talk to a doctor.
The development of dark inner thighs may not always be entirely preventable. A person can however reduce their chances of experiencing this by:
- maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise
- not shaving the area too often
- establishing a good skin care routine
- wearing loose fitting clothing and reducing friction in the area
- wearing bicycle shorts or stockings under dresses
- using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher
- avoiding scratching and rubbing the area
When to see a doctor
If they have tried several home remedies and OTC solutions, and still have dark inner thighs, a person may want to talk to their healthcare provider.
Additional medication or treatments can be recommended by a health care provider to help reduce the presence of dark areas.
Also, if an underlying health condition results in dark inner thighs, the health care provider will be able to make a diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment.
Generally dark inner thighs aren’t harmful. However, if people are concerned, there are several home remedies and OTC treatments that they can try to diminish the appearance of darker skin areas.
It is therefore best to discuss it with a dermatologist before attempting some new home remedy.
Because some possible causes of dark inner thighs may require further investigation, if they are unsure what the cause is a person should talk to their health care provider.
By maintaining a healthy weight, reducing chafing, avoiding excess sun exposure and establishing a good skin care routine, a person can reduce their chances of developing dark inner thighs.