We may often be confused and wonder why the intimate areas of both men and women are darker in color than the rest of the body. This often makes us a little embarrassed and worried about whether this is normal or not.
The answer is that this is perfectly normal. Darker colored, sometimes almost black, genital areas, are normal. This is because there is a higher tendency for certain things to occur in that area that doesn’t happen in other parts of the skin. Changes in the color of our intimate area doesn’t just happen overnight, these changes will occur gradually during puberty.
In addition, the genital area is darker due to hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation itself is a skin problem, where melanocytes produce melanin in large quantities, resulting in patches of skin that are darker in color than other areas of the body. So it’s completely normal, if the anus, scrotum, and labia have a darker color than the rest of the body.
There are several other reasons that cause the intimate area to darken. Which includes:
The first factor that can cause a darker intimate area is your hormones. That's because human skin has several types of cells called melanocytes. These melanocytes are in charge of producing melanin. And in the intimate area, these melanocytes tend to be more sensitive to hormones.
The color change occurs gradually. And usually occurs during puberty, pregnancy, or aging in general. That's because, at puberty, there is a sudden increase in estrogen levels, which causes darkening of the intimate area. Meanwhile, estrogen levels can also decrease during the age of 40, when women approach perimenopause.
Friction is the most common cause of dark genital areas. This friction can be caused by underwear that is too tight, causing a lack of air circulation in the area.
Friction can also be caused by daily activities, such as walking, sexual activities, sports, and many others. And if you rub the vulva area often during cleaning, it can also cause darkening of the area.
As previously explained ,aging can also affect the color of the intimate area. As with age, the color of the intimate area will also darken. This is because the skin has been subjected to repetitive trauma such as friction or has gone through many hormonal changes.
Discoloration in the intimate area can be caused by infection. We know that the vagina is a very sensitive area and is prone to infections. There are also certain conditions that can cause dark patches to appear in the area.
Shaving pubic hair too often can also cause the intimate area to darken. This is because irritation occurs and the hair roots are pulled during the shaving process, affecting the blood vessels underneath the skin.
These are some of the factors that can cause the intimate area to darken. You don't have to worry about discoloration and darkening because this is normal and natural. However, if you notice sudden color changes accompanied by itching or infection, immediately consult a doctor.