Possible Causes Of Itchy Underarm Rash And Effective Treatments

Under normal conditions, underarms should not itch. However, under certain conditions, underarms can become itchy which gives both men and women an uncomfortable feeling any time of the day or night. It also increases embarrassment when individuals have to feel the need to scratch in inappropriate times and places.

Underarm itch can be associated primarily with inappropriate hygiene practices; however there are some other factors that may be associated with itchy underarms,

  • Women’s need to remove unwanted underarm hair is often.
     This can result in irritation of the underarm skin, which can result in excessive itching. Excessive use of deodorants or perfume can result in itchy armpits. Often allergic reaction to chemicals present in the deodorants or perfumes can cause severe itching in the underarms.
  • Individuals suffering from chronic disease conditions like diabetes are also at a higher risk of itchy underarms. This is often associated with formation of boils or carbuncles in the armpits.
  • Excessive perspiration can also result in itchy underarms. Excessive perspiration increases the risk of secondary infections.

Itchy Underarm Rash Causes

The possible causes behind itchy armpits or rash include:

  • Improper hygiene – non-regular washing of the underarms can cause sweat and dirt to accumulate in the underarms that can also harbor bacteria causing irritation and itching.
  • Excessive sweating – bacteria thrive in moist areas of the body.
  • Candida infection – an overgrowth of the yeast, candida albicans, can cause irritation and itching.
  • Hidradentis Suppurativa – inflammation and clogging of the apocrine glands that can form cysts and become infected.
  • Fox-Fordyce Disease – a condition similar to Hidradentis Suppurativa.
  • Lymph Nodes that are enlarged – enlarged lymph nodes may cause itching of the armpits.

Treatment For Itchy Underarm Rash

Treatment may vary depending on the cause of the itch. Treatment can include:

  • Avoid deodorants especially when itchiness becomes a nuisance or a problem. There may be substances in the deodorant causing or aggravating the itch.
  • Avoid shaving the underarms. If you have to shave avoid shaving the skin too closely. If shaving, change the razor regularly. Dull and rusty razors can cause irritation to the skin. Use gentle shaving creams or shaving foams when shaving the underarms.
  • Use only hypoallergenic products on the underarms and on objects that come in contact with the underarms such as laundry detergents, lotion, type of razor, or fabric softener.
  • Switch brands of deodorants. Some people can develop allergies to products that they weren’t allergic to before.
  • Keep the underarm dry at all times when possible. Dabbing the underarms with tissue paper can help.
  • Wear comfortable, airy, and light clothing.
  • Avoid wearing fitted clothing.
  • Observe proper hygiene and underarm care.
  • Bathing regularly is a effective solution and use mild antimicrobial soap. Local application of tea tree oil is also beneficial in the management of infections in the underarms.
  • Apply talcum or baby powder to keep the armpits dry.
  • Use baking soda on the underarms to keep it dry.

4 thoughts on “Possible Causes Of Itchy Underarm Rash And Effective Treatments

  • March 13, 2012 at 5:33 am

    In most cases fungus infection is the common cause for itchy underarms. Use of antifungal lotion or ointment is effective in such patients. Decrease the intake of sugar. In summer when there is excessive perspiration in underarms, sprinkle antifungal powder in that area. It helps to curtail fungus growth in underarms. When there is excessive itching, apply cold rose water to the area.

  • December 13, 2012 at 4:36 am

    I have dermatitis and I get rashes repeatedly on my elbows. Can dermatitis cause itchy armpits? I have also been using different kinds of perfumes recently and I do shave my armpits, but I have never experienced this type of itchy armpits before. Is there any home remedy for it?

    • December 15, 2012 at 5:38 am

      Elbows, knees are common site for skin lesions such as dermatitis and other skin manifestations, such as psoriasis. Perhaps deodorant may an irritant to your skin. Avoid using perfumes. Dermatitis can also occur in underarms. If you are having itching in your arms, avoid shaving hair in this region. Aloe vera is one of the time tested remedy for alleviating itching. It is also a remedy for dermatitis. Rub chamomile tea on the rashes with a cotton ball. It relieves itching and also reduces dermatitis skin lesions. Rubbing dry corn starch also reduces itching in armpit.


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