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Causes and Treatments of Armpit Rash

Updated on December 9, 2019
Enoch Kane profile image

Enoch Kane is a qualified medical consultant and has been providing consulting services on health-related issues for over 6 years.

Definition and Symptoms of Armpit Rash

Armpit rash is a skin disorder that is very painful at times, embarrassing, itchy and causes a lot of discomfort to an individual. Armpit rash can also be called an underarm rash, it occurs in or around the armpit area and can really be itchy especially when you sweat a lot. It can affect anybody; it affects children and adults of both sexes.

We would be looking at what an armpit rash is, the symptoms, the causes and some possible treatment options for this skin disorder.

Definition of Armpit Rash

An armpit rash can be defined as a skin disorder that causes the skin around the underarm area to change in color, appearance or texture. It can be very painful and can cause the skin around the underarm area to swell, itch and change color.

Symptoms of Armpit Rash

The symptoms of armpit or underarm rash usually vary a little from one individual to another, thus, what it means is that not all the symptoms may be evident in one particular individual. However, below are common symptoms of this skin disorder;

  1. Itch around the underarm; one of the symptoms that suggest that an individual is having an armpit rash is an itch, which occurs around the underarm area.
  2. Swellings around the armpit area; another symptom to look out for when considering the disease are visible swellings around the underarm area.
  3. Change in color of the underarm area; the underarm area usually changes its normal color when an individual has an armpit rash. The usual color for the armpit area becomes reddish or sometimes pink in appearance.
  4. Spots around the underarm area; There are visible spots that are scaly or sometimes filled with pus.

What Causes Armpit Rash?

You have understood what an armpit rash is and the part of the body where it occurs, we have also looked at some possible symptoms that suggest underarm rash. Now let us look at what causes this type of skin disorder. Well, according to research, there are several reasons for a rash to appear on an individual’s armpit, but there are famous reasons for this illness, and these reasons are stated below;

  1. Contact Dermatitis; this is also referred to as skin inflammation, were your skin, thus the armpit area reacts to contacts, which may be in the form of chemicals. These chemicals can be found in the detergent you used in washing your clothes, the perfume you applied, deodorant used or the bathing soap you use.
  2. Shaving; sometimes depending on the type and nature of the razor that you use in shaving your armpit, the area could get infected from an ingrown hair or it could get irritated, due to its tender and delicate nature.
  3. Sweat; one common cause of an underarm rash is sweat. We all do sweat, which is a normal thing, however, sometimes our sweat can get blocked in the duct (a tube in the body where fluid passes) trapping some fluid beneath the skin. This process can lead to a rash.
  4. Yeast Infection; there are some occasions where yeast infections are responsible for causing an underarm rash. Yeast infection is also known as Candida and they often affect parts of the skin where two skin areas touch each other. The area around the armpit is a vulnerable place for yeast infection, due to its nature and because infections by Candida germinate in parts of the body which is usually warm and moist (sweaty).
  5. Lactating Women; women who are breastfeeding their babies also have a chance of developing armpit rashes, with many women reporting cases of underarm rash.
  6. Seborrheic dermatitis; is a kind of rash that results from overproduction of the oils of the skin, and takes the form of whitish or yellowish scales or flakes in oil patches. The most common places on the human skin where Seborrheic dermatitis tends to occur include; the armpit, faces, ears, and scalp.

  7. Atopic dermatitis; another cause of underarm rash is atopic dermatitis, which usually occurs from childhood. This type of rash shows symptoms of red and itchy swellings beneath the armpit area. This rash can sometimes burst open and emit clear fluids.

Treatment of Armpit Rash

The available treatment for this disease depends on the severity and its cause. We have identified some possible measures that can be used to treat the disease, based on the causative factors the following treatment measures can be applied;

Avoid scratching; even though it is quite difficult to resist scratching, you should try as much as possible to avoid scratching areas affected by rash, as this will only worsen your situation. Over the counter medications like; Allegra or Claritin can help relieve itching during the day, and during the night you can Benadryl is very effective in relieving itchiness.

Identify causes of your allergies; when it comes to rashes caused by contact dermatitis, it is best to treat them by identifying the cause of the irritant or allergies and stop them (irritant or allergies) by discontinuing the usage of products that lead to your allergies.

Home remedies for treating armpit rash; you can also apply items at home to help in treating your armpit rash. For instance, you can try any of the following treatment options at home:

  • Boosting your immune system by taking in more Vitamin C. You get a lot of Vitamins C by eating fresh oranges, broccoli, tomatoes,
  • Applying fresh lemon on the affected area. Cut open a fresh lemon and apply it to the armpit area. This also helps deodorize your armpit as well.
  • Use ice cubes to help reduce itching.
  • You can also apply some essential oils like, mixing lavender and coconut oil together and then apply to the affected area. This will help in reducing irritations.
  • Try applying a mixture of warm water and tea tree oil onto the affected area, as this will help reduce itchiness and kill fungus in the armpit area.

Relaxation; sometimes you just need a little rest to reduce the level of stress and fatigue, which according to research, stress can sometimes aggravate the rash in your armpit area. Take some time to relax.


Armpit rash is a skin disorder that leads to itchy or sometimes not itchy swells around the armpit area. It is also called an underarm rash. Some of the causes of armpit rash include sweat, heat and yeast infections. Please visit your doctor to seek medical attention when the symptoms become very severe.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2016 Enoch Kane


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