Rash On Armpit: What Causes It And How To Get Rid Of It

What causes a rash on armpit? It may be caused by an allergy or could be a symptom of an underlying condition. Read on to learn more.

Woman with rash on armpit

Armpit Rash: A General Overview

Rash on armpit may feel or look uncomfortable. In the majority of cases, a rash is a symptom that is temporary and can be treated using over-the-counter (OTC) medications or other home remedies. However, there are some rashes, such as those that are severe, returning, or long-lasting. These may be an indication of a medical condition that is underlying, which will require medical treatment and attention.

For this article, we look at the possible causes of a rash on the armpit and look at how to possibly get rid of the said medical condition.

Possible Causes of Rashes on the Armpit

Several different factors can lead to the development of armpit rashes. Below are some of them: 

1. Chafing

When the skin is rubbing hard against clothing for extended periods or against itself, the occurrence of rashes can be likely. The skin areas in the body where folds on the skin frequently get rubbed on itself (e.g. the armpit) may have an increased risk of chafing. Rashes caused by chafing will usually be crusted (for those severe), bleeding, cracked, and swollen, form formations that are streak with a center streak that is lighter, burning, stinging, raw with the skin’s top layer rubbed off, and red. A lot of individuals may also experience chafing of the underarms while wearing clothes that are not properly fitted and while exercising. A lot of individuals may also have chafing during the months of summer and spring because they tend to have more sweat and skin that is moist can get irritated much quicker.

2. Heat Rash

Heat can combine with skin sweat and lead to a rash caused by irritation referred to as heat rash. In the majority of cases, heat rash can lead to bumps of itchy patches which can be described as slightly raised, red, prickly, and tiny. A lof people will be affected by armpit rash during months that are warmer or while in climates that are hot due to the numerous sweat glands found in the armpits.

3. Contact Dermatitis

This condition happens when the body or the skin is exposed to an irritant or an allergen resulting in a response from the immune system. The said reaction of the skin can happen within several hours of being exposed to irritants and allergens. Rashes caused by contact dermatitis will commonly be dry, blistered, red, and itchy. Contact dermatitis can also be caused by several different reasons such as insect bites or stings, medicines, allergens and food from the environment, and personal care products and cleaning detergents found in chemicals.

4. Hair removal processes

A lot of individuals can develop bumps that are painful, red, and patches that are tiny after having the underarms shaved. The said bumps are commonly present around and in the follicles of the hair.

5. Eczema

This skin condition is chronic and non-contagious and is characterized by the inflammation of the skin. This can happen commonly in the portions of the body where there are skin folds. An estimated 30% of Americans, mostly those who are adolescents or young children, have eczema. Patches caused by eczema will be prone to the excretion of clear fluid that is clear once scratched, cracked, dry, itchy, and red. Rashes caused by eczema will commonly last for greater than seven (7) days. A rash in the armpit can also happen together with other body areas such as the neck, back of the knees, and the elbows. Individuals suffering from eczema may encounter some flare-ups during specific periods of the year or when they are under a lot of stress or illness.

6. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a form of eczema that can develop around oil-producing glands. It can also lead to symptoms that are not similar to eczema. This kind of condition can have rashes that can be described as burning and itchy, swollen, greasy-looking, and red. The skin can also lead to flakes that yellow or white.

7. Candida

This form of yeast referred to as Candida can lead to infections caused by fungus. Candida usually leads to the development of rashes that are red, scaly, swollen, and itchy.

8. Ringworm

This kind of worm is a type of infection caused by a fungus that can lead to a rash that has a silver or red color. Rashes caused by ringworm can also lead to rashes that are itchy, scaly, dry, swollen, scabbed, and blistered.

Armpit Rashes: Some Possible Home Remedies

Most of these rashes that appear due to some form of allergy or general irritation of the skin may respond quite well when home remedies are applied to address them. Individuals with the said rashes may opt for the following home treatments:

  • Avoid long baths or showers
  • Apply glycerol-based and unscented moisturizers multiple times a day.
  • Enjoy a lukewarm bath with baking soda, salt, vinegar, and oatmeal
  • Avoid scratching
  • Avoid sun exposure and keep away from humid environments
  • Keeping the area dry and cool and using clothing that is loose or enjoying lukewarm showers.

Other supplements and therapies may also aid in the reduction of underarm or armpit rashes it should be noted that evidence backed by science is still needed to have their use supported.

Other home remedies to try out for armpit rash treatment are the following:

  • Massage 
  • acupressure or the application of pressure to certain body points
  • Meditation
  • Hypnosis
  • Biofeedback
  • Cardiospernum
  • Sunflower oil
  • Topical vitamin B-12
  • Coconut oil

In addition to the said home treatments, people can also go for remedies that are available OTC such as creams, antihistamine, lotions, or antifungal sprays, gels, and creams.

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