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Armpit Rashes - Causes, Complications, Home Remedies, Treatment and Prevention

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The armpit is the prime spot for the rashes to occur, and they can be easily treated. To know more, read the article below.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Suvina Attavar

Published At March 30, 2022
Reviewed AtDecember 30, 2022

What Is an Armpit Rash?

Rashes may appear anywhere in the body. The area where the rashes occur may have an unusual appearance, and the person may feel uncomfortable for a few hours to a few days. The prime area for rashes to occur is the armpits. Armpit rashes appear red or scaly white, and long-lasting, recurring, or severe rashes might be a sign of any underlying health condition. Armpit rashes do not appear suddenly, and they begin with irritation and itchiness, which are unbearable in some cases.

There are many treatments to address armpit rashes but determining the cause for the rash helps decide the best treatment. Most rashes are treated easily with over-the-counter (OTC) medications or home remedies. However, before starting with the treatment and preventive measures for future rashes, it is important to know what causes the rash. It is said that the rashes that have been developed due to hot weather disappear quickly, but rashes caused by lifestyle changes and certain skin diseases last longer and require specific treatments.

What Are the Causes of Armpit Rashes?

Among the many different causes of armpit rashes, the following are the most common ones.

1) Atopic Dermatitis:

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, typically begins in childhood. It is a chronic, non-contagious condition characterized by skin inflammation. It most commonly occurs on the fold areas of the body, such as:

  • Armpits.

  • Insides of the elbows.

  • Backs of the knees.

At certain times of the year, most people with this condition experience flare-ups. Atopic dermatitis is usually:

  • Red.

  • Dry.

  • Itchy.

  • Cracked.

  • Crust over.

On intense itching and continuous scratching, eczema rashes bleed or release clear fluid. Sometimes, eczema rashes ooze out the clear fluid.

2) Seborrheic Dermatitis:

It is a type of eczema which causes skin irritation due to the overproduction of sebum from the oil-producing glands. Seborrheic dermatitis appears as:

  • Red, oily patches of flakes.

  • Due to excess oil production, the flakes may be white or yellow.

  • They have a greasy look.

  • They are swollen.

  • They cause itching and give a burning sensation.

In infants, seborrheic dermatitis occurs as white or yellow scales on the baby's scalp due to excess oil production surrounding the hair follicles. This is known as a cradle cap. This condition also shows up on the face, ears, and armpits.

3) Contact Dermatitis:

When the body or skin comes into contact with an allergen or irritant, contact dermatitis occurs. Contact dermatitis exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Reddish appearance of skin.

  • Formation of blisters and dry and tiny painful bumps.

  • Itchiness.

It develops within a few hours of exposure to allergens. Some common causes of contact dermatitis are:

  • Deodorant or lotion applied to the underarm.

  • Cleaning detergents.

  • Medicines.

  • Environmental or food allergens.

  • Insect stings.

  • Removal of the hair from the underarms.

4) Candida:

Candidiasis or Candida is a fungal or yeast infection. It mostly occurs on the moist surfaces of the skin, such as the underarms. Candida infection might trigger the rash that is already:

  • Red.

  • Swollen.

  • Scaly.

  • Itchy.

Candida infections become worse with:

  • Hot weather.

  • Tight clothing.

  • Poor hygiene.

An antifungal cream best treats candida rashes, and steroid creams can worsen fungal infections.

What Are the Complications of Armpit Rashes?

Armpit rashes can lead to serious bacterial and fungal infections when left untreated. These infections may result in pustules (fluid-filled red bumps) on the skin. Pustules leave behind scars on scratching as they cause severe itching and are often inflamed. The additional symptoms of bacterial and fungal infections are,

  • Warmth.

  • Swelling.

  • Tenderness.

  • Redness.

Other complications might occur if the rashes occur due to any underlying cause. Consult a doctor about your rash if they do not disappear with treatments, and in such cases, a skin biopsy or prescription treatment might be necessary.

How Are Armpit Rashes Treated?

Many conditions cause armpit rashes by the substances that come in contact with the skin. The following are the treatment measures for armpit rashes.

  • Identify irritants causing armpit rashes and stop using them immediately.

  • Armpit rashes can be healed by taking a warm bath with colloidal oatmeal.

  • Use over-the-counter anti-itching creams.

  • Give a cool compress.

  • Apply unscented moisturizers in case of eczema and dry skin.

  • Itchiness can be avoided by taking anti-allergic medications. This avoids scratching and might prevent further infections.

  • Practice relaxation techniques as stress might alleviate dermatitis.

  • Hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion help with irritated and inflamed armpit rash.

  • In case of a candida rash, over-the-counter antifungal treatments such as Clotrimazole, Nystatin, or Ketoconazole might be effective.

  • Anti-chafing powders help reduce the pain and irritation caused by skin rubbing against the armpit rash.

What Are the Home Remedies for Armpit Rashes?

Home remedies for armpit rashSome home ingredients might help manage many armpit rashes. They are:

  • Placing ice cubes against the rash helps with itching.

  • Eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C as they may fight against skin issues caused by infections.

  • When lemon drops are placed on the armpit, they kill the bacteria under the arms and work as a DIY (Do-it-yourself) deodorant.

  • Essential oils such as lavender, coconut, or tea tree oils may also help treat an armpit rash.

  • When the lavender and coconut oils are mixed and applied to the armpit, it helps soothe the irritation.

  • Excessive itching can be avoided by applying a mixture of tea tree oil with water.

Although these home remedies are of help with armpit rashes, it is advisable to not stick to them blindly. Instead, reaching out to a healthcare provider only can help identify the cause and obtain a appropriate treatment.

How Are Armpit Rashes Prevented?

The essential way to avoid armpit rash is to practice good body hygiene. The other common preventive measures to be followed are:

  • Bathing regularly with lukewarm water.

  • After a regular bath, air-dry the body instead of using a towel.

  • If deodorants or other skin products cause rashes, avoid using them.

  • Consult an allergist to identify the allergens causing rashes.

  • Wear loose or breathable clothing and undergarments. Avoid tight clothes so that the sweat does not pool in the armpit, which may cause armpit rashes.

  • Wash the clothes and towels frequently.

  • Avoid sharing personal things such as towels, combs, or clothes with others.

  • Make sure pet and farm animals have had their recommended vaccinations.

  • Mostly armpit rashes might be a simple heat rash. Talcum powder helps prevent heat rash from occurring, so when the weather is hot or wet, use talcum powder every day after a bath.

  • Avoid hot weather and stay in cool and air-conditioned places.

  • Wear loose clothes made of natural fibers during warm weather.

Conclusion:

Armpit rashes are to be considered serious and should not be left untreated if they last longer. Consult a doctor if it has not subsided and is accompanied by fever, blisters, pus, and dizziness. It is a treatable condition, and in mild cases, they are cured with over-the-counter medicines and home remedies such as practicing good hygiene, wearing breathable clothes, and using talcum powder.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Causes Armpit Rashes?

Armpit rashes can be caused due to the irritants in deodorants and clothes detergents, and this condition is called allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis. Also, armpit rashes can result from eczema, heat rash, or chafing. Chafing is a common problem in body regions where skin folds occur and rub against themselves, causing constant friction that may lead to a rash. This is more common in armpits.

2.

How to Cure an Armpit Rash?

The following are some of the remedies to cure an armpit rash:
- Eliminate any deodorant or detergent if known to be the culprit causing armpit rash.
- Take a warm water bath (not too hot).
- Use moisturizers that are perfume-free if the rash is caused due to extreme dryness.
- Use over-the-counter anti-itch creams.
- Start using cold compresses to soothe the irritated skin.

3.

Are Skin Rashes a Common Symptom of COVID-19?

Certain researchers found that some patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are known to develop skin rashes in different forms, such as patchy red rashes, chicken-pox-like blisters, or hives.

4.

When Should I See a Doctor Regarding My Armpit Rash?

If armpit rashes do not heal with home remedies and care, and if it stays for too long without treatments, the rashes can turn into a bacterial or fungal infection that can lead to pus-filled bumps that are usually itchy. These bumps can leave a scar. Therefore, armpit rashes that last for more than a few weeks should be brought to a doctor’s attention.

5.

How to Know if My Armpit Rash Is Fungal or Bacterial?

Fungal rashes usually appear as red bumps or scaly lesions that are itchy, whereas bacterial skin rashes appear as pus-filled pustules that are painful and itchy. However, culture tests can only confirm the diagnosis.

6.

How to Get Rid of Shaving Rash in My Armpit?

Following are some of the home remedies that can soothe and cure a shaving rash:
- Aloe vera helps in soothing irritated skin.
- Colloidal oatmeal bath.
- Coconut oil.
- Almond oil.
- Cold and warm compresses.

7.

Why Do I Get Rashes After Shaving My Armpits?

Using a blunt razor or shaving the wrong way can cause armpit rashes. Also, using shaving creams that contain perfume and alcohol can irritate the skin of the armpit, which can lead to armpit rashes.

8.

How to Cure My Baby’s Armpit Rash?

The following remedies can clear armpit rashes in babies and children:
Take a warm oatmeal bath.
Apply over-the-counter anti-itch creams to the site of the rash.
- Aloe vera.
- Virgin coconut oil.
- Virgin almond oil.
- Cold compresses.

9.

Why Is My Armpit Red and Burning?

Eczema can cause the armpit to become red and cause a burning sensation in the skin.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Suvina Attavar

Dr. Suvina Attavar

Dermatology

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