How to Get Rid of Itchy Armpits

Our armpits are a prime spot for irritation.

In some cases, a rash comes immediately, but in some cases, we experience itchy armpits no rash condition.

Whatever the case is, itchy armpits can be unbearable in most cases.

Rashes that appear due to itching are usually bumpy, scaly, white, or red.

There are a number of causes of itchiness, and determining the cause is the number one priority in order to find relief.

Rashes and itchiness can last from few hours, up to few months.

Home remedies can be used to treat itchiness in armpits, but you can also try over the counter treatments.

Before you reach for any remedy or treatment, make sure to determine the cause, so that you can easily treat it, but also prevent future rashes.

One example is rashes and itchiness caused by hot weather, which disappear quickly.

However, rashes caused by skin conditions last longer.

Is itchy armpits a sign of breast cancer?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions among women that experience itchiness.

Swelling in or around your breast, collarbone or armpit can be caused by breast cancer.

The cancer then spreads to lymph nodes in those areas, and the swelling sometimes occurs even before you can feel a lump in the breast.

Breast swelling is sometimes a result of inflammatory breast cancer, which is an aggressive form of the disease.

If you have the symptom, and you suspect breast cancer, schedule an appointment with your physician.

Causes of itchy underarms

With that in mind, breast cancer is just one of the causes.

And it is not as common as other causes of itchy armpits.

There are more than 20 different reasons why you might experience itchiness in your underarms.

Some of them are harmless, and some require medical attention.

Let’s take a look at the more common ones.

Lack of hygiene

Probably the number one cause for itchiness is lack of hygiene 1.

Your underarms sweat, and if you do not practice proper hygiene, they become a breeding ground for bacteria causing itchiness and irritation.

Make sure to wash your underarms especially after excessive sweating to reduce itching and prevent it.

Laundry detergent

In the same way we might be sensitive to some foods, our skin can be sensitive to ingredients in laundry detergents.

The result is itchiness in armpits.

If this is the cause, you have to switch your laundry detergent, and look for a product with fewer chemicals.

Improper shaving

You will be surprised how many everyday activities can cause itchiness.

For example, using a dull razor for shaving, practicing dry-shaving, or shaving too often can result in itchy armpits.

Make sure to use a shaving cream at all times, as well as a sharp razor that will not require going over the area multiple times.

Intertrigo

The rash can occur anywhere where there are skin folds.

Your armpit may become red and itchy, while your skin will be cracked.

Intertrigo can develop into fungal or bacterial infection 2.

Some of the risk factors for intertrigo are diabetes, obesity, and poor hygiene.

Miliaria rubra

This condition is quite common, and is often seen individuals on bed rest or those exposed to hot and humid climate 3.

The condition is caused by a heat rash.

Miliraria rubra occurs due to blocked sweat glands with trapped-in sweat.

Axillary dermatitis

Dermatitis is a condition that happens when allergens come into contact with the skin 4 .

Your skin reacts, and the result is rash.

Axillary folliculitis

Similar as axillary dermatitis, folliculitis happens when a hair follicle in the underarm becomes infected by bacteria 5.

The condition usually heals on its own.

However, in some cases, a medical attention and intervention is needed.

Psoriasis

An autoimmune disorder, psoriasis causes the skin to become flaky, red, and itchy 6.

Psoriasis can develop in almost any part of your body.

When it occurs in the underarm region, it will lead to itchiness.

Treatment tips

Get rid of itchy armpits

Before you even think about treatment, find the irritant.

Stop using it immediately.

Even stopping using the irritant can help you soothe and solve the rash problem.

Avoid scratching the irritated area, as scratching will only make matters worse.

Scratching makes your skin more vulnerable to infections and may turn a simple rash into a larger problem.

You can use over the counter medications as your itchy armpits treatment.

During the day, take nonsedating antihistamines, while at night, you can use a sedating antihistamine.

Home remedies for armpit rash

The good news is that you can use ingredients that you already have at home to stop and treat itchy armpits, or any other rash and itchiness on your body 7.

For example, you can try and place ice cubes against the rash.

Ice will help relieve itching, and soothe the area.

Another option is taking a warm, but not hot bath with colloidal oatmeal.

Soak in the warm bath for 15 minutes to loosen scales and reduce itching and inflammation.

Additionally, oatmeal helps soothe and moisturize your skin.

Practice relaxation techniques to fight off the rash.

Yes, even stress can cause itchiness, or aggravate forms of dermatitis.

Relaxation techniques and meditation will help you resist scratching, but also reduce stress 8.

A good home remedy for itchiness in armpits is to cut open a lemon, and then slide it across your armpit skin.

The acid in the lemon will kill off bacteria in the armpit.

Bonus, lemons work as a DIY deodorant, adding pleasant smell to your body.

Last, but not least, you can try using essential oils that help with rash.

Some good options include tea tree oil, lavender, and frankincense.

Mix few drops of essential oils and carrier oil (coconut and olive oil preferred), and then spread the mixture on your rash using a cotton swab.

Tea tree oil can also be diluted in water.

How to prevent armpit rashes?

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Shower regularly
  • Use air-dry when possible after a shower
  • Stop using deodorants and skin products that cause rash on your body
  • See an allergist if you cannot find the specific cause of the rash
  • Stop wearing tight clothing made of synthetic materials
  • Wear loose and cotton clothing that allows your armpit to breathe and sweat can escape
  • Use talcum powder in your armpit when the weather is hot and wet to prevent heat rash

References

  1. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l~ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l-ch3~ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l-ch3.2
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertrigo
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miliaria
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18279156
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/folliculitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20361634
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921739/
  7. http://www.open.edu/openlearncreate/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=125&printable=1
  8. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~healthed/relax/

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