Your armpit is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. They are prone to trapping moisture, which ultimately becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Add hair into the mixture, and you’ve got the perfect combination for itchy underarms to exist. Or, you may wake up one day and find the skin on your underarms to be really red, irritated, and worst of all, itchy. You’ve done everything right- showering, wearing deodorant, and putting on fresh clothes each morning, but can’t seem to figure out why you’re breaking out in a rash. It can be an extremely frustrating thing to have to deal with and just makes life all the more complicated than it already can be.
So, why does your armpit itch? Even more so, what can you do to stop the itching and prevent more rashes on your skin? Keep on reading to find out the most common causes of an itchy armpit and underarm rashes, as well as our top solutions that are easy to use that, will not only stop your skin from itching but will prevent new outbreaks in the future.
The Most Common Causes of Underarm Rashes and Itchiness
There are many different things that can cause underarm rashes, underarm itchiness, and underarm irritation. We’ll take a look at some of the most common underarm skin conditions that may be causing your discomfort.
Please, note: This guide is provided to you in order to give you overall knowledge about different skin conditions and the symptoms they exhibit. We recommend making an appointment with a dermatologist to find out which condition you may have with 100% certainty.
Eczema is a skin condition where your skin becomes inflamed. It can cause itchiness, rashes, dry skin, scaly patches of skin, and, in the worst cases, can even cause blisters or skin infections. There are many different types of eczema, the most common type being atopic dermatitis (which we will talk about later as well). Eczema does not happen more or less with age- The National Eczema Association describes the timeframe for eczema occurring at really any age, ranging from newborn babies to older adults and senior citizens. The way eczema presents itself is usually in the form of a flare-up, where people experience one or more symptoms of eczema for a period of time lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Causes of Eczema
Eczema can be caused by many different factors, including the strength of your immune system, your genetic makeup, the environment in which you live, and your stress levels. Let’s take a look at why each of these can play a role in exhibiting eczema symptoms:
- Strength of your immune system: If you have a lot of seasonal, food, or other types of allergies, you may be more prone to contracting eczema, especially if your allergies cause skin itchiness, irritation, or dryness.
- Your genetic makeup: If you have a history of skin conditions in your family, you may be more likely to develop eczema at some point in your life.
- The environment where you live: If the environment you live in contains a lot of allergens or skin irritants, you may be more likely to contract eczema. This includes things such as the quality of air where you live, the types of clothing you wear, and even the type of soap you use.
- Your stress levels: The worse your stress becomes, the more likely you may be to develop eczema. This can present itself in a number of ways, including both physical and mental stresses.
Contact Dermatitis is a fancy way of describing an itchy and red rash that’s caused by contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to that substance. Other symptoms of contact dermatitis include dry or scaly skin, bumps that may be crusting or oozing, burning, tenderness, or swelling of an area.
Causes of Contact Dermatitis
There are many irritants that may cause a breakout of contact dermatitis to occur. These things include (but aren’t limited to):
- Poison ivy, sumac, or oak
- Hair dyes
- Jewelry with certain metals in them
- Certain foods
- Different fragrances in soaps, shampoos, lotions, cosmetics, etc.
- Certain medications
If you notice a rash breakout after ingesting a certain food or using a certain product, we recommend you stop eating and using that product to see if the rash and itchiness go away.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is also known as eczema and is a skin condition that can cause itchy spots on the skin that also manifests in the form of dry, scaly rashes. It can develop on any part of your body, including the underarm area, and can develop at any stage of life, ranging from infancy to over 65 years of age. For adults aged 18 and older, AD usually presents itself in these common forms:
- Easily irritated skin
- Very dry skin
- Eczema that especially appears on the hands
- Certain eye problems (itchy eyelids or cataracts)
Scabies is another skin condition that can be a reason for your itchy underarms. However, it is an infestation more than it is an infection. There are little mites that are called sarcoptes scabiei, and they burrow underneath the outer layers of our skin. Here are some of the most common scabies symptoms that can present:
- A rash that looks like patches of pimples
- Scales or blisters on the skin
- Sores that are caused by scratching
- Intense itchiness, especially at night
Scabies can happen anywhere on the body, but especially in crevices and other cracks in the skin that aren’t exposed to the elements as much. The itching that occurs with scabies occurs most commonly in infants and seniors. It should be noted that scabies can look like many other skin conditions; one big sign that you may have scabies is little burrow marks underneath your skin. If you believe you have scabies, we recommend that you see a dermatologist immediately so it can be treated.
According to The Mayo Clinic, seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition primarily affecting the scalp, with other possible infection areas including the chest, underarms, and face. There are many symptoms that may be present with seborrheic dermatitis including:
- Flaky skin on the affected area
- Patches of oily or greasy skin that is combined with yellow or white flakes
- Red skin
- Itchy skin
There aren’t many specific known causes of seborrheic dermatitis, but doctors believe it may be related to a specific yeast present on the skin or irregular immune system response. There are many factors that put certain populations at a higher risk of getting seborrheic dermatitis, one population of which includes the elderly (as they generally have weaker immune systems).
Folliculitis is a skin condition that is largely caused by hair follicles that become inflamed in one way or another. These swollen follicles can quickly become infected and spread to other areas. Folliculitis occurs in areas that have a lot of hair, one place including the armpit. Folliculitis can even be caused by an ingrown hair that is picked at improperly. Here are some of the symptoms that can be present with this skin condition:
- Clusters of red/white bumps that appear around the affected hair follicles
- Pus-filled blisters that may burst over time
- Itchy or burning skin
- Painful skin
According to the Cleveland Clinic, intertrigo is a skin condition that occurs as a result of skin folds rubbing together for long periods of time. This happens especially in areas that aren’t well ventilated or are prone to moisture, especially in the underarm or groin area. If the friction persists and is not cleaned properly, intertrigo may develop into a bacterial or fungal infection, which would need to be treated by a doctor. There are many indicators that you may be developing or have intertrigo, including:
- Feeling prolonged itching, burning, or redness in the affected area
- Having cracks or oozing on the affected area
- Having the affected area smell (which is a sign of infection)
- Feeling like your skin is rubbed raw or seeing pus-filled blisters
Although not contagious, intertrigo can quickly spread to other portions of your skin if left untreated. If you have prolonged symptoms of intertrigo that only seem to get worse with time, we recommend seeing a dermatologist or primary care physician for proper treatment.
Choosing The Right Product For You
It’s imperative that you choose the right underarm topical product for your specific symptoms or condition, so you get the most benefit out of it. Here are some of our tips in order to be able to choose the best underarm product for you:
Take Note of Your Symptoms
Different products will be meant for different symptoms. It is wise to make a list of all your symptoms before making your purchase, so you know you’re selecting the right product for your needs.
Contact a Dermatologist
Contact a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis for specific conditions. If your skin condition is serious enough, we recommend getting a proper diagnosis from a dermatologist or your primary care physician prior to making a purchase. This will help you narrow down the products you can purchase- most all products have labels describing the recommended usages for them.
Check the Ingredients
Read the ingredient label on the products you’re considering. Topical medicines that are meant to relieve skin conditions will have a list of active ingredients as well as inactive ingredients on the label. Reading these may provide you with some insight as to what specific functions or conditions that specific medicine treats. Additionally, ingredient labels may even say what not to use the specific medication for – which is just as important to your health. The last thing you want to do is purchase a product to get relief and end up having an adverse reaction instead.
Consider the Usage
Read the recommended usage of the products you’re considering. Labels on topical medicines are very useful and are meant for your convenience. Although it may be a bit tedious to read each label of the medicine you’re considering, it may help dial in specifically which skin conditions or symptoms it treats. Additionally in the recommended usage section of the label will be instructions on how much of the medicine to use. You’ll want to make sure you’re using enough medicine so you can exhibit maximum relief!
Easy-To-Use Topical Products For Underarm Itchiness and Rashes
You’ve done everything to try and stop the itching from happening. You’ve changed up all the laundry and skin care products you’re using, and you still get the same itchiness and redness as before. Or, maybe you’re just looking at solutions to prevent your discomfort in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the highest recommended products out there to help your armpits heal for good.
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion For Itch Relief
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion For Itch relief is one of our top picks to help relieve you of your underarm itchiness. It provides relief in as little as 2 minutes and lasts up to 8 hours, so you won’t have to constantly apply the lotion to enjoy your daily activities. This lotion specifically is meant for people who have eczema and other sensitive skin conditions and is even certified by the National Eczema Association. You can get this 8-ounce bottle of lotion for $12.82 on Amazon.
CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream
CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream includes 1% hydrocortisone for maximum relief possible due to rashes and itchiness. Not only does this product relieve itchiness because of skin conditions such as eczema, but it also contains hyaluronic acid, which retains your skin’s natural moisture. CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream is also fragrance-free, so you won’t have to worry about your skin becoming irritated due to unnecessary perfumes. This cream works by applying a drop-sized amount to the affected area and rubbing it in until it is evenly distributed. It comes in a 1 ounce bottle for $8.16 on Amazon.
Manuka Relief Cream For Eczema and Psoriasis
The Manuka Relief Cream for Eczema and Psoriasis is another one of our top picks. Its all natural formula includes 8 of the highest quality and fastest working ingredients that provides long lasting and instant relief to your skin. This cream relieves itching due to rash or severe skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, shingles, acne, and even rosacea. You won’t need a lot of this cream to work, just enough to properly cover the affected area. You can grab this container of natural cream for $26.96 on Amazon.
Monistat Care Instant Itch Relief Cream
Monistat Care Instant Itch Relief Cream provides long-lasting and fast relief to skin conditions that are contained in the vaginal area. When trying to seek relief for a skin condition that is in or around your vagina, you have to be careful of the ingredients used or where you put it, as you don’t want to have a chemical reaction. However, this Monistat Cream is meant specifically for vaginal skin conditions. It’s also fragrance-free, so you won’t have to worry about any irritants going near your sensitive areas. You can find this 1-ounce tube on Amazon for a low price of $4.55. Now, that’s a steal!
Benadryl Extra Strength Anti-Itch Gel
Benadryl Extra Strength Anti-Itch Gel is meant to relieve itching caused by outdoor irritants such as insect bites, poisonous plants, mosquito bites, sunburn, and small cuts/scrapes. It provides instant relief and blocks your body from producing histamine, so you won’t experience any further irritation. This is especially important for underarm itchiness, as many factors can quickly increase the seriousness of an underarm skin condition. This 3.5-ounce bottle can be found on Amazon for $4.89.
Vanicream Anti-Perspirant Deodorant For Sensitive Skin
Vanicream Anti-Perspirant Deodorant is meant specifically for your armpits. It is an unscented deodorant that is perfect for sensitive skin. With this product, you won’t have to worry about chemical irritation due to any perfumes. Its anti-perspirant properties also block your armpits from becoming too wet, which is the start of many itchy underarm skin conditions. This deodorant works by applying it liberally to your underarms. You’ll only need to apply this deodorant once per day, as it provides 24 hours of protection against underarm moisture. You can find one stick of this deodorant on Amazon for $9.49.
Underarm itchiness can be a difficult thing to overcome. It can also be confusing and embarrassing, especially if your irritation is visible. However, this guide provides you with many different underarm skin conditions that can be the cause of your underarm rash, itchiness, or redness. We also give you tips for choosing the perfect product for you so that you can finally experience long-lasting relief all the while enjoying all of the activities life has to offer.