Do you have dark inner thighs, in your singit?
It may be a symptom of an underlying health problem, but a lot of women consider this a beauty concern.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) learned more about singit whitening in an interview with Dr. Liz Clarus-Mangondaya, a dermatologist, during the recent Happy New You event of Watsons.
According to the beauty doctor, the most common cause of skin darkening in the "inguinal area" is "friction" or the rubbing of the skin.
It gets worse when you wear tight-fitting jeans and skin-tight panties.
In jest, Dr. Liz said, "Kaya if you don't want them to darken, then don't wear panty."
Other causes: Hormonal imbalance, obesity (due to "no thigh gap"), medications and drugs, to name a few.
TREATMENTS. She cautioned those who buy over-the-counter whitening products.
"Based on what's been tried and tested, I cannot really vouch for them on whether they're effective or not.
"Ang problem din diyan is sometimes when we buy, hindi natin ma-check if hiyang ang skin natin.
"Kasi hiyangan din minsan, e."
The sure way to do it involves two steps: peeling and whitening.
Dr. Liz resumed, "We do chemical peeling.
"Kasi hindi papasok ang whitening ingredients without peeling the skin.
"There's an accumulation of dead skin there, so peeling muna."
Dead skin is usually peeled off through mechanical or chemical peeling.
Mechanical peeling includes diamond peel, crystal peel, or hydra peel.
Chemical peeling uses a chemical solution.
Dr. Liz elaborated, "It depends on how thick the dead skin is, how dark the skin is, and it will depend on the percentage of the chemical peel put on your skin.
"So we put the chemical peel, add the neutralizer. It will be burning only the dead skin cells lang.
"After that, we'll wait. There's a waiting process, three to five days. 'Tapos magbabakbak talaga siya, magpi-peel.
"...we advice patients not to scratch it, and just let the dead skin fall off."
The peeling, she said, usually lasts for one to two weeks.
"So ganun siya katagal na nagpi-peel. Una muna, mga maliliit then malalaki, and hanggang yung maliliit na naman."
Your skin is ready for the next step once the skin's texture is smoother.
She noted, "'Pag nag-peel na siya, we'll look at it, if totally nag-heal na yung skin.
"Kasi ang bare skin, may konting abrasion.
"So we'll check the skin if ready na for whitening."
WHITENING. Your "new" skin will now be able to completely absorb the whitening ingredients.
Dr. Liz further explained, "When the skin is ready, the skin is new, it's the best time to introduce whitening.
"Kasi the new skin will accept the product one hundred percent, especially since restored ang collagen."
Dermatologists usually give their patients an option to do the whitening process on their own or through their treatments.
The dermatologist said, "It will take usually three months namin na pinapa-apply. It could be a take-home or sa clinic.
"Sa clinic kasi, we use a higher-percentage ng whitening cream so it's chemical-based din.
"Pag pinapauwi naman namin, yun yung mga organic or those na non-harmful creams."
Whitening creams with Hydroquinone are clinically proven to be effective.
However, Dr. Liz warned that these products aren't recommended for long-term use.
She told PEP.ph, "Meron mga available over the counter but it's still really important to consult an expert kasi using the Hydroquinone for a long time, though it's a very good whitening product, but it's not good for long term.
"Good for like one month, then we change to something organic."
Dr. Liz further noted that your inguinal area may darken again unless friction is prevented.
She explained, "It's not permanent. Pero kung babalik man siya, you already know how to control, mas lesser na siya 'cause you already have maintenance.
"Let's say maputi na talaga siya, wala na yung dead skin cells, it's very soft na, pareho na siya ng kulay ng legs mo and then, of course, you'll still wear tight-fitting jeans, you'll walk then the skin on your thighs, may friction sa iyong inguinal area, so it will turn dark din.
"So that's when the maintenance whitening will set in so yun yung mga organics—Kojic, Arbutin, Bearberry—in forms of lotion or cream."
How much does the treatment cost?
The price for chemical peel ranges from PHP2,000 to PHP5,000, depending on your choice of clinic.
It usually takes ten sessions to complete the whitening process, with the price ranging from PHP1,000 to PHP1,500 per session.
In a nutshell, it will take around four to five months to achieve a whiter singit.
OTHER POSSIBLE TREATMENTS. Do home remedies such as lemon and calamansi work?
She replied, "One of the additives na nilalagay sa mga whitening, but then the problem is, when you say calamansi, others, they put it raw, yung pinipiga.
"It's not skin processed so since it's an acid that you put directly on your skin and wala siyang neutralizer, ibig sabihin [yung] nagba-balance ng acidity niya, it causes irritation.
"So when you put it on your underarm or onto your skin, the problem is it will burn your skin."
Some also consider glutathione as an option to whiten dark, hidden areas.
This might work to some people, but in general, Dr. Liz said that glutathione whitening is done to achieve over-all whitening, and doesn't really target a specific area.
She added, "Glutathione per se is not for whitening. It's an antioxidant. Ang whitening is side effect niya lang.
"Hindi siya nagwo-work to all people...it's different for every individual."