Darkening of the intimate areas in women is a fairly common occurrence. In most cases, it is benign, which means it does not indicate any pathological consequences. However, it can cause concern and even psychological distress, due to the aesthetic implications, and for your sexual life.
In this blog post, we want to address lightening of the female intimate areas, explaining how it can be done and why the skin darkens in the first place. Let's also take a look at effective creams which can be used topically, and which can be combined with professional treatments.
Why does skin get darker?
The phenomenon of darkening of the skin is generally known as melanin hyperpigmentation, and it is caused by the overproduction of melanin pigmentation by the melanocytes which are found on the skin.
One of these types includes small spots which are relatively well defined, such as melasma, age spots or freckles. We also see generalised hyperpigmentation which can be seen in extensive areas of the body, often where there are folds of skin, such as the armpits, or where there is increased sun exposure, such as the shoulders, as well as the intimate areas.
Generalised melanin hyperpigmentation in intimate areas:This term refers to the widespread darkening across an extensive area which often includes the vulva, the perineum, the perianal area, the groin, the inner thighs and the mound of Venus.
Causes of genital hyperpigmentation
The science of aesthetic gynaecology, which takes care of the health, well-being and appearance of women's intimate areas, has identified many possible causes behind the darkening of the areas. In each individual case, we find one or more causes that contribute to hyperpigmentation in the area.
The first explanatory factor, and one which is key, is hormonal. Many of the changes we are seeing (not only pigmentation, but other aesthetic and functional changes too) are related to changes in oestrogen levels. This can be caused by events such as pregnancy and post-partum, contraceptives, and menopause.
On the other hand, there are many other factors that can cause or contribute to genital hyperpigmentation. Included amongst these are:
- Various diseases and conditions, such as excess iron in the body.
- Exposure to heavy metals and certain medication, whether directly or indirectly (some can cause photosensitivity, for example).
It is also important to talk about certain habits and behaviours which, beyond their connection to other gynaecological conditions, may have played a role in the darkening of these intimate areas:
- Some hair-removal techniques (such as hot wax or laser).
- Constant rubbing or chafing from tight-fitting clothing.
And last of all, bear in mind that certain skin types have a greater disposition than others to this type of darkening of the area, in particular darker phototypes.
How can the skin in the intimate area be lightened?
As we might expect when dealing with a problem like this, there are countless traditional cures and old wives' tales. It is not advised to follow these ineffective tips to lighten the area as they are not verified for use on the delicate vaginal epithelium. Our experience is based upon research and innovation, and we consider that the best solution is the use of professional medical-aesthetic treatments.
dermamelan® intimate by mesoestetic® is a professional at-home treatment designed to regulate the pigmentation in the intimate areas and minimise its reappearance, making it more convenient than other methods which use lasers or exfoliation and are solely focused on removing the discolouration.
This two-phase treatment (an in-clinic session followed by at-home treatments) also improves the condition and appearance of female external genital tissue. Longer term, it can be combined with other treatments focusing on hydration and regeneration of the tissue, such as mesofiller® sensitive.
Using creams at home to lighten the external intimate area
We advise using this lightening cream for intimate areas alongside a hydrating cream which is specifically designed for the genital areas, due to its keratolytic effect. The best option is hydragel intimate, as its active ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and retinol, work to moisturise and firm the tissue.