Have you ever wondered why your private part is darker than the rest of your body. This is your chance to find out the reason.
Ever wondered why the skin covering your genitals is darker than the skin in other parts of your body? Here’s why…
• Consultant gynaecologist, Dr. Olanrewaju Ekujumi, says it’s due to hormones.
• He also says friction plays a role in the darkening of those body parts.
• For people who are s3xually active, friction contributes more.
• A dermatologist, Dr. Lindsey Bordone, says at puberty, sex hormones tend to increase in the body, and in the process, the melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair colour, would also be produced.
• Melanin production alongside the sex hormone — oestrogen for women and testosterone for men — makes the penis and labia to darken.
• Also, a clinical dermatologist, Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, says hormones could influence the colouring of the skin at puberty, saying the sex hormones — oestrogen and testosterone — regulate the melanocyte that produces melanin cells.
• Hormones regulate the way melanocytes produce their pigment, which can influence the way the skin in those areas pigments.
• Rokhsar says external factors such as friction could also influence the colouring of the skin after puberty, saying when the skin experiences friction, it naturally thickens to protect itself, which is partly reflected in the colour.
• He says the darker colour of the genitals would be more intense in men who wear tight pants, shave their genitals regularly or have itches that could result in scratching or rubbing.
• Athletes and people who are obese are more likely to experience same because of friction.
• Again, when the colour of a body part gets darkened excessively, experts say it could be a symptom of excess sugar.
• Bordone says your skin can darken in certain areas if your sugar is very high, and you are developing diabetes.
• If you notice darkening in some areas, get checked out, especially if it is in your neck or armpits, because it can be a sign of diabetes.
• If you gain weight, you can experience acanthosis nigricans — a skin condition that leads to velvety discolorations in the groin and other areas.