Naturally, with age, many things change in our bodies. But one thing you would have expected to change but have been disappointed to see is the color of the skin around your genitals (testicles, penis, anus, and vaginal area). Although changes happen here too, like in other parts, this change usually does not happen overnight. Instead, it is gradual and so gradual that you may not actually notice it right away. Or you may feel that there has been no change at all.
Is It Normal For The Skin Around The Genitals To Become Darker?
Yes, it's completely normal. It's perfectly normal for the skin in your vaginal area, the labia, scrotum, and anus, to be darker than the rest of your body. It is normal for your vagina, scrotum, and anus to darken, and this darkening is called hyperpigmentation.
According to Dr. Hadley King, a renowned dermatologist based in New York (USA), in most people after puberty (after adolescence), the skin in the genital area starts getting darker as compared to other skin areas of the body. However, it may differ from person to person (man or woman). In some, it may be excessive blackness and in some, it is a little less. Although it also depends on your body color to a great extent.
The natural color of a human being will differ from person to person. There is no normal color, especially in the genital area, but it tends to be darker than other areas of your body, and this is normal.
How dark or black this area gets can vary from person to person, rather than the natural skin color of your entire body. And the color of your skin plays an important role in this. The difference may be subtle if you have fair skin, or a subtle difference in hyperpigmentation color if you have dark skin. However, there is no fixed scale for this.
If you are a person with a darker skin tone, this actual darkening of the skin can usually be darker.
Why Is The Skin Of The Genital Area Darker?
Darkening of the skin of the genital area usually can be due to several reasons. Experts believe that this is due to the changes happening in your body along with the activities of your daily life and other reasons.
Darkening of the skin of the genital area may result from one or more of the following factors:
Your body secretes several hormones that trigger the formation of cells that play a role in changing the color of your skin, one of them being melanocytes. There are cells called melanocytes, located in your skin, that make melanin. And those melanocytes in your genital area are especially sensitive to hormones, which cause certain changes and build-up that make your skin darker, or darker.
Over time your genital area gradually becomes darker due to hormonal changes in your body. It usually begins after adolescence and may occur during normal aging with puberty, pregnancy, or other causes.
For example; A hormone called estrogen is one of those hormones that can result in an increase in pigment in certain areas such as the labia. It can also darken the skin on or around the nipple, areola, vagina, and anus above your breast. Estrogen levels get significantly higher during puberty and pregnancy, which results in increased pigmentation of your genitals or other sensitive areas leading to darkening. It is also important for you to know that most of the time if this happens, it is permanent and does not go away. Rather say that it can be even deeper.
Skin Rash And Swelling
Your genital area is located in a place where there is constant friction, and increased friction can significantly increase the activation of melanocytes, which leads to darker skin. In other words, friction can cause those cells to produce more melanin, leading to an increase in pigmentation.
- Walking, running, or sex and everything that comes with it bring about elevated friction in this area which leads to a change in skin color. Usually, both vaginal and anal sex can cause this type of friction.
- The skin folds in the labia majora (outer labia) and upper thigh area, especially in your groin area, can also be caused by excessive rubbing or birth trauma.
- With constant rubbing or trauma from walking, sex, or other activities, the skin undergoes a process called keratinization, which causes cells to mature toward the outermost layer of the skin, which causes darkening.
- These cells contain melanin, so this process results in thicker and darker skin in those areas, which also makes the skin appear darker.
- Shaving and hair removal products can also darken the skin. Shaving or hair remover uses chemicals that normally darken the skin.
- Excessive friction can also lead to inflammation of the skin which can then lead to hyperpigmentation. And then the color of the skin starts getting darker.
Due To Aging
Darkening of your genital area usually occurs with age as well. This is because your skin has experienced repeated trauma over a long period, or has gone through a long period with more hormonal changes.
Sweating A Factor
Generally, there is more sweating around your private parts due to which bacteria or other bacteria grow on the skin, due to which the skin of your genital area becomes darker or black.
Apart from the above yeast infections, ingrown hairs, and folliculitis can also cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or other skin infections that increase the darkening of your skin.
Can This Blackness Also Occur In Other Parts Of The Body?
Yes, this darkening can also occur in other areas of the body in general. In general, darkening of the skin is possible in many places on your body.
- Various hormonal changes during pregnancy can darken your nipples, areola, anus, vagina, and moles. It can also cause a dark line (known as the linea nigra) down the center of your lower abdomen, below your belly button (navel).
- Skin contact can cause hyperpigmentation on your face, chest, back, elbows, and arms. But usually, it appears in the form of sun spots or freckles.
- You can experience blackness anywhere on your body. This can be common, especially where your skin has more folds. For example; Your elbows, knees, underarms, knuckles, etc.
- In addition, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, such as after a pimple, acne, or rash, can occur anywhere on your body.
How To Prevent Darkening Of The Skin (Skin Of The Genital Area)?
- It is not that this blackness cannot be removed or cannot be reduced. Certain triggers can help you reduce darkness (darkening of the skin). Hyperpigmentation is somewhat difficult to prevent and tends to increase spontaneously due to hormonal changes and aging. But you can take some measures to reduce friction. Do whatever you can to help limit friction. If you prevent friction, you can get rid of this problem to a great extent.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing and underwear. Especially avoid thick fabrics or terry-like fabrics. If possible, wear light cotton clothes.
- It would also be good to keep the skin moisturized. If you use a skin-friendly natural moisturizer regularly, you can see the benefits to a great extent.
- Proper hair removal or trimming. Hair removal methods like waxing or shaving can lead to folliculitis and inflammation which makes your skin dark.
- Avoid wearing sweaty clothes.
If you think the darkening or darkening of the skin is due to inflammation, keep an eye on the areas regularly to make sure they are not infected. Try to keep those areas clean and dry.
If you notice a sudden change in skin color, see a doctor without delay. Sudden skin changes can always lead to expected results if addressed promptly. There are many systemic infections or disorders that can be responsible for a sudden change in the appearance of the skin.
If a deep area of skin is itchy, it can usually be a sign of inflammation caused by an infection, malignancy, or an allergic reaction to a product you use.
If your skin turns dark and looks sick or rough it could be a sign of a specific condition known as acanthosis nigricans. If so, then you should visit a specialist or doctor without delay.
You should also know that the same type of velvety-looking dark skin can also occur on the neck and under the arms. This is often associated with high blood sugar (diabetes) levels. You should see your doctor if you experience this on your skin. They can examine you and give you the correct diagnosis.
In many cases, the skin appears worse. For example, if the darkening of the skin appears suddenly and appears more patchy, bumpy, or scaly, it may also be a sexually transmitted or other serious infection, such as genital warts, or others.
Therefore, if you notice or suspect anything out of the ordinary, you should make an appointment to see a specialist without delay.
How Can We Understand That This Is Normal
You should remember that darkening or darkening of the skin in your genital area is completely normal, especially as you move past adolescence. You don't need to be discouraged or disheartened by this and you should note that you are not the only one going through this, every adult is going through it.
You have to understand that it is very rare to find someone who does not have some degree of variation in their skin. Many get confused and the reason behind this is the pictures they have on the internet or in adult magazines. Don't be fooled by the photoshopped images you see online or in magazines. You have to understand the reality and accept that the darkness of your skin is completely normal. Provided there is no further infection.
How To Remove The Darkness Or Blackness Of The Skin?
However, these are pointless talks. And you should note that your body is your own, and you decide what to do, what is right and what is wrong. If you really don't like the darkness, there are various cosmetic treatments available, including chemical peels or laser treatments.
- A certified dermatologist can go over the possible options with you, and safely give you reasonable advice on what might be better for you and what you can do.
- If you choose to have cosmetic treatment, you must see someone (a specialist) who can help you solve and treat your problems regularly. So take time with patience and do thorough research, only then proceed under the supervision of experts.
- You also have to keep in mind that sometimes you create another problem by treating or fixing one problem, or you make the original problem worse. And this is especially common in cosmetic surgery.
Be Sure To Talk To A Certified Specialist And Seek Treatment
It is a process or subject that looks from the front, and therefore you should know in advance about its possible advantages and disadvantages of it. Improper skin bleaching techniques and using the wrong or poor-quality products can lead to infection, skin damage, or permanent discoloration. Also, the skin there can be tougher.
If you have any doubts or concerns about your skin (the skin of the genital area) then you need to get a proper assessment done. You may be worried without any reason because the darkening of the skin of the private part is natural and normal. If you have any doubts or questions about your skin darkening, you should feel free to talk to a healthcare provider. And if you have any confusion or queries regarding how to reduce skin darkening or blackness or possible cosmetic treatments, it is always best to discuss and consult with a concerned professional. This can give you the best results. Depending on your concerns and problems, your healthcare provider will also need to know about your medical history, because they need to know every aspect of your concerns for proper treatment or diagnosis. So that they can best diagnose your root cause or problem and give you personalized advice on possible next steps.