An armpit rash refers to an itchy and irritating condition in the underarm. When experiencing this problem, you may notice change of skin color and small dots erupting in the armpit leading to texture change on the affected area.
Armpit rash is caused by bacteria, fungi or contact dermatitis. This infection can be experienced by all persons despite their ages. The symptoms differ from one person to the other depending on the source of the rash.
What can cause a rash under the armpit?
There are many causes of armpit rashes. Determining the source of the condition makes it easier to know which measures to take. These are as discussed below;
Deodorants such as old spice
Often, you apply deodorants so as to conceal the unpleasant smell from your body which, in most cases, is caused by sweating. This works by obstructing the sweat gland pores thereby preventing much sweating.
You may realize that sometimes the deodorant can affect your skin causing some red, itchy and pimple like rashes. Deodorants make the skin sticky which leads to increased friction in the skin folds of the armpit.
Moreover, the elements or the ingredients used in the manufacture of old spice deodorants may cause skin rashes. The reason being components of the deodorants may be allergic causing reaction against your skin. Rashes in the armpits, (which are as a result of deodorants) are itchy, bumpy and red.
You are advised to use deodorants such as Crystal Stick Body Deodorant for the hyper reactive skin. These contain little or no allergens. Changing the type of deodorant used can prevent more infection or worsening of the situation.
Contact dermatitis, also known as eczema, refers to a situation which occurs when the chemicals you come into contact with lead to a reaction against your skin leading to tissue inflammation. Most of these reactions are mild and they cause itching which goes away after some time.
Generally, most cosmetics, detergents and dyes cause an allergic reaction to your skin. If your skin is hypersensitive, you are likely to experience this condition. Dermatitis is passed through the genes of individuals hence making it common among members of the same family.
When your underarm skin comes into contact with these items you are allergic to, you develop the small rashes. You are advised to minimize the use of such items so as to minimize the occurrence of armpit rashes.
Underarm shaving rash.
Hair in your underarm requires shaving so as to reduce the chances of bacteria breeding in such regions. However, shaving may sometimes cause infections such as armpit rash. This occurs when you use an old or dull razor blade.
Often, the razor irritates and breaks the skin, cause small red spots and damage of the ingrown hair. Shaving of the armpit eventually leads to infections which cause rashes in the underarm.
Additionally, hair plucking may lead to armpit rashes. It is recommended that you use wax and shaving creams so as to minimize skin damage during shaving.
Axillary lymphadenopathy refers to a condition in which your lymph nodes which are positioned under the armpits increase in size. This is usually as a result of benign disease which causes growth of uncontrollable white blood cells.
If you are experiencing axillary lymphadenopathy, you are likely to have mild itchiness with little symptoms. You are therefore recommended to seek medication which may include removal of the enlarged lymph nodes.
Poor personal hygiene.
Normally, you will require proper hygiene so as to get rid of dirt which occurs as a result of sweating. When you sweat, dirt accumulates on the body surface and especially in regions with skin folds like the armpits.
If you fail to shower or take a bath the dirt may accumulate on the skin causing itching and growth of spots that look like pimples. This may also lead to rash development in the underarms.
Axillary Folliculitis refers to a condition in which your hair follicle in the underarm is infected by a bacterium known as staphylococcus aureus. Often, this leads to development of small white spots which are scratchy. Severe infection may lead to scarring of the skin.
Tinea corporis is a fungal infection that occurs on the skin surface which is highly contagious. Generally, it is circular, scaly and sometimes red and itchy.
When this infection occurs in the armpit, it leads to development of itchy rashes on the skin surface. This may cause a lot of discomfort. If you are affected by ringworms, it is advised that you use antifungal creams such as Tinactin and Micatin.
A rash in you underarm can be as a result of contact with the poison ivy plant. Typically, this occurs when your skin surface comes into contact with urushiol, sticky oil found in the plant.
When in contact with any part of the plant, rashes develop on the skin surface including the skin folds in the underarm. You are encouraged to use coconut or tea tree oil for treatment.
Armpit Rash Symptoms
Generally, when infected with armpit rash you are likely to experience the following symptoms;
Itch, also known as pruritus is a feeling of unease irritation of the skin that makes you have the desire to scratch. Sometimes the itching is too intense causing a lot of discomfort.
Often, the armpit develops small, itchy rashes which change the appearance of the skin (as perceived by your eyes) as well as the texture. The spots vary in size and color from an individual to the other.
Despite the irritation, avoid scratching the affected region as this may worsen the condition by making the skin prone to infections. In such cases, use a cold compress to relief the itchiness.
The color of the affected region depends on your skin complexion. You will notice that the affected area looks blotchy and red if you have a light skin and black color if you have a dark skin color.
Occasionally, the skin will flake out or peel off. In this case, you will find out that the affected area has a rough and scaly texture.
Generally, you will develop blisters. In most cases, if you fail to seek medication on time, the rashes grow into blisters and eventually become filled with fluid. These fluid filled blisters may break open forming sores.
In severe situations, the infected underarms may develop cracks which in many cases cause pain. For this case, you are recommended to consult your doctor for treatment.
In addition to the above symptoms, the rash may be accompanied by other signs such as inflammation of the armpit, running nose, headaches, sore throat, joint pain and stiffness. If you experience these signs it is advised that you seek medical help immediately.
Armpit rash pictures
Below are pictures showing an underarm rash.
Candida (Fungal) armpit rash
Candida albicans is a type of yeast infection that lives in small amounts on your skin, mouth or the belly and has no harm to your body. However, under moist conditions and adequate temperature, it may cause harm to your health and immune systems
Furthermore, during season of hot weather, poor hygiene and wearing clothes that are tight-fitting provides a room for the growth, multiplying and spreading of the yeast.
In addition to this, Candida commonly affects regions with two skin contacts such as the armpit. When this happens, you notice some swelling, scaling and red rashes in your armpits.
Other symptoms may include cracked skin, flakes and small pimples filled with pus at the edges of the affected regions.
Expectant women, are prone to Candida infection. Moreover, persons who are obese, diabetes infected persons and those who have undergone antibiotic therapy have weak immune system hence increased chances of being affected with Candida leading to armpit rashes.
Heat rash armpit
Heat rash commonly referred as Miliaria is a condition that occurs frequently in both kids and adults who live in hot and humid places. In this situation, you develop rashes which block your sweat pores preventing sweat from escaping.
Often, this is as a result of friction that occurs on the skin surface when they rub against each other. There are three types of Miliaria and these are as discussed below;
In this type, you develop small clear or white spots containing fluid on your skin’s surface. These little pimples are as a result of sweat and they eventually break open forming sores.
Here, you experience no itchiness or pain. Miliaria crystallina is common in babies than in adults.
This type of heat rashes occurs deep in the epidermis of the skin. It is more common in adults than in young people and causes more unease as compared to Miliaria crystallina. When you are affected by Miliaria rubra, you realize that the affected region has no sweat and the whole skin is inflamed.
This is a type of heat rash that occurs in the dermis of the skin. In most cases, you only find this in the adults and is manifested by large, tough and colored spots.
HIV armpit rash + picture
Generally, during the early stages of HIV you experience rashes in various parts of the body including the armpits. Two months after being infected you realize flat rashes which have small red spots or black depending on your skin complexion.
Occasionally, if underarm rash is as a result of HIV, it will go away within three weeks and you will not feel itchy in the affected area. However, if the rash is itchy you are recommended to use hydrocortisone cream and get rid of hot showers or baths and direct sunlight.
Sweat rash armpit
Sweat rash refers to a fungal infection which is usually caused by the blockage of the sweat ducts. These ducts trap sweat under your skin preventing further ventilation.
Often, you will notice a red rash in your armpit. In many cases, this will be accompanied by a broken and burning skin, blisters and a bad odor.
According to Mayo Clinic, you will notice that signs may range from surface sores to deep, red swellings. This is believed to affect the babies in most occasions, though it can also occur in adults.
When you are experiencing sweat rashes, you need not to worry since they get away on their own. You are also urged to use calamine lotion to ease the situation and have a cool healing process.
Lymphoma armpit rash
Lymphoma refers to a type of cancer that affects your white blood cells, the lymphocytes. In this case, the cells increase in size and number so much such that they cannot be controlled. They also change in shape and structure.
This type of cancer causes scratchy feeling in the skin folds such as the underarms. In most cases, it is accompanied by inflamed lymph nodes especially the ones in the armpit.
What does it mean when;
Red rash under armpit especially in male.
A red rash under the armpit commonly in men depends on the cause of the rash. Generally, there are some infections that will cause this change in color. These include shaving using dull blades, fungal infection, Candida, HIV virus among others.
Moreover, red armpit rash is accompanied by a burning sensation, sores, bumps and sometimes pain. Despite being common in men, it also affects women and children.
Circular rash under armpit
When you realize that your armpit is affected by a circular rash, you need not to worry. This is usually as a result of ringworm, a fungal infection on your skin. Use of antifungal creams will help you get rid of such infections.
Painful rash under armpit
Sometimes, you may experience pain in the underarm as a result of the armpit rash. This may either be mild, severe or very sharp pain.
Painful rash is usually as a result of a staph infection, shingles which are extremely painful or eczema. You are advised to use home remedies such as cold compress so as to minimize the pain.
Additionally, topical creams can also help get rid of the hurt. Though it is recommended if the pain persists you seek medical attention.
Burning armpit rash
Burning sensation is a very common symptom of an armpit rash. A burning rash is an indication of heat or sweat rash. This condition may worsen during hot weather season.
When the rash under one or both armpits
Sometimes, you can be affected by rashes in both armpits. You need not to panic in such cases simply because this can be as a result of any of the discussed causes of the armpit rash.
However, Candida infection and fungus cause rashes on both armpits. In the case of yeast infection, the situation may worsen during hot seasons and to avoid this you are advised to seek medication during its early stages.
You can also prevent this by wearing loose clothes to provide room for aeration of the skin folds. Moreover, practicing good armpit hygiene will help you avoid armpit rash especially on both underarms.
Rash in armpits and groin
Typically, rashes can occur on any part of your body including the groin region. In some cases, rashes in the groin region percolate a discharge which is either clear or yellow. This may be a sign of yeast or bacterial infection.
Smelly armpit rash
Smelly armpit rash is often caused by fungal infections. This odor may be very disgusting and annoying especially in public places. You are recommended to see your doctor for health care provision.
Children, Babies & Toddlers
When dealing with kids, you may get so much worried especially when the armpit rash in them is accompanied by pain. In such a case, you are advised to establish the cause of the rash so as to seek medication.
Often, armpit rash in young persons is as a result of excess heat due to weather changes (especially in summer season), contact dermatitis or ringworms.
This can also be as a result of infection due to playing in the dirt. You are highly advised to see a pediatrician in case you identify an underarm rash in your kid.
How to get rid -Home remedies
Baking soda is a perfect remedy to for rashes especially when they are itchy. You can use it since it has bleaching properties therefore suitable for clearing fungi and bacteria dominions. In addition, being an alkaline substance, it balances the pH of your skin preventing the survival of microorganisms.
When your rashes are caused by dermatitis, baking soda is an excellent way of getting rid of them. It dries out the rashes making the healing process faster and easier.
For best results, you are advised to follow the following steps;
- Mix three tablespoons of baking soda with water to make a paste.
- Apply the made paste on the affected area.
- Let it dry naturally for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse with cold water and let the water dry up.
- Repeat this on daily basis until the rashes go away.
Hot or cold compress.
Generally, fungus cannot survive under hot temperatures and therefore, in case of fungal infection you are recommended to undertake a hot compress remedy. This reduces the flaking of the skin and inflammation in the affected region.
On the other hand, a cold compress relieves pain and irritation therefore reducing the itching effect as well as cleaning the armpit. Although cold compress doesn’t prevent the fungal and bacterial infection, it makes the rash condition better by cooling the rash.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties. Due to this, on application it inhibits the growth and survival of microorganisms.
Moreover, it reduces itching, pain and reduces the redness of the skin. You are advised to deep a piece of cotton in the oil then compress it over your underarms.
Lemon juice contains lactic acid which gets rid of the bacteria causing rashes in the underarm. You may feel stingy but this needs not to make you worried because the feeling will go away after a while.
Furthermore, lemon cleans the skin hence preventing infections caused by dirt. It also improves the odor of your body therefore acting as a deodorant. If your armpit rash is caused by eczema, use of lemon can help fasten the healing time.
Treatment Creams & Medical Cures
The treatment that your doctor recommends depends on the cause of your rash. These are as described below;
In most cases, antifungal creams are used when the cause of your rash is yeast or fungal. These ointments include all creams containing clotrimazole, nystatin or ketoconazole. You are recommended creams with these elements for Candida rash or ringworm.
Other good armpit rash creams
Other armpit creams that you can use include;
Hydrocortisone treatment which is a cream used to reduce irritation and swelling of the affected area. An example is calamine lotion.
Anti-chafing powder which on application to the rash reliefs the irritation and scratchy feeling. Despite that it doesn’t heal the rash; it makes you feel at ease during the healing duration.
How to treat armpit rash from deodorant?
If you realize that your rash is caused by deodorants, you are advised to stop using it. You can also try another type which is free from allergens that may work against your skin.
In addition, visiting your doctor for medication will help you get rid of the situation.
Besides treatment, you can prevent armpit rash by taking the following measures;
You are advised to practice good health hygiene. Take baths often and air dry your body when possible.
You are advised to wear loose cotton clothes especially during hot weather so as to allow escape of sweat from the armpit and aeration.
Sometimes, when it is too hot, apply talcum powder on your armpit so as to prevent the occurrence of heat rash.
If you realize your deodorants are the cause of your rash, then just stop using them. Instead look for other types with no allergens. It is also wise that you don’t keep changing your detergent such as bathing soaps and shampoos.