How to Treat an Armpit Rash

An armpit rash can be a painful and embarrassing condition to have. There are quite a few things that can cause a rash to form under your armpits. In order to be sure that you are using the correct treatment you need to confirm the cause behind your armpit rash. Below is a list of the most likely culprits behind an underarm rash and how each of these maladies can be treated.

Razor Burn

Razor burn is a condition that most of us have or will experience in our lives. For some, it can be caused by using a bad razor; for others it is a condition that results when there is not enough lubrication between the skin and the razor. For certain areas of the body, like the armpit, razor burn occurs when the skin is exposed to too much friction shortly after being shaved. If you shave too roughly, too quickly, or put too much pressure on your skin with the razor, you can actually damage the skin and the hair follicles, making them very sensitive to irritants. When the skin of the underarm rubs against itself it can chaff and become irritated as a result of the friction and limited airflow to the area. The same can occur when clothing rubs against the armpit area, especially if you wear tops that are fitted around the armpit.

Razor burn will usually clear up within a day as long as the skin is allowed to heal properly. If you are suffering from an armpit rash caused by razor burn then your best option would be to wear a loose fitting top and to avoid doing activities that make you sweat. Sweat and heat can cause your skin to become even more irritated which also prolongs the healing process. Keeping your skin cool and dry is also important.

Skin Allergy

Another possible explanation for your armpit rash is a skin allergy. Have you tried using a new deodorant or body spray? Sensitivity to things that come into contact with your skin can cause a rash known as contact dermatitis. It is basically a condition in which the skin detects something that it perceives as an allergen or potential “threat” to the body. Its response is triggered by the immune system which typically results in the formation of redness at the site of irritation. The rash may be accompanied by itching or burning sensations.

If you believe that you have a skin allergy then the first treatment, provided the armpit rash is not severe, will be to think of what might have caused this type of reaction. Exposure to irritating substances like chemicals or poison ivy are common causes of contact dermatitis, as are changes in body wash, laundry soap, fabric softener, body lotion, etc. An allergic reaction of the skin usually goes away on its own within a few hours to a few days, depending on how severe the reaction is. In order for your skin to go back to normal you will have to remove the allergen so that your skin doesn’t keep lapsing into dermatitis.

Fungal Infection

Your armpit rash could also be caused by a fungal infection. Just like other warm, moist places on the body, such as the groin and mouth, the armpit area is a prime location for fungi to settle and thrive. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that this is actually a pretty common occurrence, especially in individuals who have recently taken antibiotics or who regularly use harsh body wash. A treatment of antibiotics can sometimes be followed by a fungal infection because the antibiotics kill off all of the body’s bacteria—both good and bad—and without the good bacteria there to keep fungus numbers in check, fungi is able to reproduce easier. Before you know it you have a fungal infection on your hands…or under your armpits.

Fungal infections can sometimes be treated by over the counter antifungal creams. If you try this with no results then you will probably need to see your doctor. By figuring out what kind of fungal infection you have, your doctor can offer you prescription strength antifungal medication specifically designed to treat the type of fungus that has settled in your armpit(s).

Blocked Sweat Duct

If razor burn, a skin allergy, and a fungal infection are not the cause for your armpit rash then you might have a blocked sweat duct. There are sweat ducts all over the body and a particular amount that can be found in the armpit area. If a sweat duct is not allowed to release sweat as it should, it can become back-filled with sweat and even bacteria. This cause redness and swelling of the skin, irritation, and a stinging or burning sensation. The skin may also feel hotter here than the rest of the body. Sweat ducts in the armpits can easily become blocked by deodorant and dead skin cells. Tight fitting clothing is another cause behind this condition and can cause sweat ducts to become blocked in other parts of the body where heat and sweat joint together to irritate blocked sweat glands.

To clear up a blocked sweat gland, allow the skin to “breath” by wearing loose clothing that will promote airflow and keep the skin dry. If the armpit rash developed when you were outside or in a very warm environment, then the best thing you can do is move indoors or into a room where your skin will be allowed to cool. This will reduce your body’s need to sweat which will make you much more comfortable.