Armpit rash refers to the change in the underarm skin that affects its appearance, color or texture. When you have it, your armpit may turn to look red, swollen, bumpy, chapped, cracked, scaly, flaky, blistered, spotty, blotchy, pus filled, warm, painful or at times painless.
In addition you might have armpit rashes that do not go away, comes and goes away easily on their own even without administering any treatment to heal. The condition has the same prevalence in adults both male and female and the children. It is more common in those who engage so much in athletic activities, work in humid or hot conditions or have sensitive type of skin.
The armpit is a very critical part of your body. By the fact that it is a skin fold that contains hair, it is given that it is subject to certain conditions that do not necessarily affect other parts of the body that contain hair as well.
Conditions that include erythrasma and acanthosis nigrans are the most common ones which involve the darkening of the skin fold areas. They are very common in skin people who are obese or have conditions of diabetes.
There are more that include folliculitis which involve the infection of the hair follicles that may call for the use of antibiotics to deal with the situation or drainage of the in case an abscess occurs. The armpit is also a bed for the skin tags, which are small outgrowths of the skin that are harmless but at times not appealing to the person who has them.
Table of Contents
What causes underarm rash?
The causes of underarm rash are so many and may range from the following;
- those that are associated with the body health status
- while others are associated with the environment that you live in and the substances that you consume from time to time
- Hormonal changes in women can be a great contributing factor to this condition
The following are some of the common causes of rashes under the armpit:
Candida rash in armpit
Fungal infections are the most common culprits that lead to rashes on the skin and in this case in the armpit. A type of yeast known as candida is the most common offender of this disease condition. Candida related skin rashes are typically red, but white, scaly areas may also form.
The infection takes place when there is a break in the skin as may occur during hair removal from the armpits or when excessive scratching of the armpits takes place that may lead to tiny tears in the skin the surrounds the armpit. Chaffing may be the immediate predisposition to yeast infection as well as deodorant allergies that may cause dermatitis.
Candida albicans which is the most common species in the candida family normally resides on the surface of the skin as normal skin flora. This is the same one that leads to vaginal thrush or oral thrush. They lead to infections when the integrity of the skin is compromised. Sometimes, armpit rash may be an extension of sub mammary candidiasis (breast fungus)
The risk factors for the candida skin infections are;
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- antibiotic use
- chronic steroid use
Fungal skin infections can clear up very fast with the use of topical creams like ketoconazole.
Proper hygiene that involves keeping the area dry by sprinkling antifungal powder like nystatin under the armpit can help somehow. Removing damp clothing especially bras as soon as possible and drying the skin properly after a shower can help to prevent future and further infections.
HIV rash under armpit (STDs)
According to VC San Diego Healthcare Clinic report, nearly 90% of persons living with HIV have skin rashes as the common and early symptom of the infection. All the same, it is not always the case since it is easy to mistake it for other certain viral diseases whose symptoms are similar. Ensure you confirm from a health clinic before you draw up a conclusion.
During the third phase of HIV infection, there is appearance of the following;
- pinkish or red bumps/ rashes
- symptomatic of the viral STD found in the groin
Here are pictures of rash in armpits.
Itchy rash in armpit
In most cases, itchiness in the armpits is an indicator, a pointer or symptom of an underlying condition in the body. It could be a disease or an abnormal function of the body. The itchiness could also be brought about by either bacteria or even fungi.
According to reference.com, itchy armpits can be a result of allergic reactions, insect bites and ingrown hairs. Medical conditions like kidney diseases and eczema can also contribute to underarm itching. It very crucial that you consult with your doctor for proper attention if the itching is accompanied by breathing difficulties, swelling or vomiting.
Itchy rash is a result of mild inflammation of the clogged sweat ducts. When the sweat ducts are blocked, the sweat cannot come to the skin surface to be evaporated. The end result is that the sweat becomes trapped under the skin.
The rash is characterized by small, raised, evenly across small patches of the skin. The rash goes away on its own and resolves after some time.
Itchiness in the armpit could be an indicator of various conditions and one of them is intertrigo. This is where moist, warm skin becomes irritated and mildly infected. Redness and a burning sensation are among other common signs of the infection.
Armpit folliculitis has also been known to precipitate itchiness to some extent. It is brought about by the inflammation of the hair follicles caused by bacterial infection. Most folliculitis are mild and may go away without calling for any treatment.
In other cases, rash in the armpit could be a pointer to a condition known as Hidradenitis suppurativa. It is a long term condition that causes the red, tender bumps in the skin of the armpits or even the groin. The bumps often turn into abscesses and can cause scarring over time.
Boils in the armpits could also bring about itchiness. They also cause painful, red lump on the skin which may grow into an abscess.
Similarly, dermatophytes could also lead to some itch in the underarm. They break down the protein keratin and in the process, the metabolism by the enzymes produced by this fungus brings about an itching response in the skin.
Painful underarm rashes
There are so many conditions that are connected to the pain that you are likely to experience under your arm. You should also be aware that they are the bed of the lymph nodes and their enlargement. There are many factors that can bring about painful rash to that effect.
For instance, if bacteria invades the lymph nodes, it likely that the bacteria causes lymphadenitis, which is the inflammation of the nodes. The inflamed lymph nodes are located near the areas where the infection comes in. The other signs apart from pain that result include tenderness, swollen and hardened lymph nodes.
Red underarm rash
The presence of a red underarm rash could be linked to a bacterial infection that is caused by Corynebacteria minutissimum. DermaNet NZ has some reports that the infection leads to an expanding red rash in skin folds that may include itching.
The underarm and the groin are the key targets of the infection. The infection can also occur alongside a Candida albicans or even a Dermatophyte infection.
How to get rid of rash in your armpit
The first approach towards this is to ensure that you maintain high levels of hygiene. These are approaches that will help to keep the microorganisms that cause this condition at bay. Ensure that when you take a shower, you properly clean the armpit to limit sweat and chaff accumulation.
The next approach is to use the natural remedies and for this case, you try have coconut oil and tea tree oil. The combination is very effective as coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties while tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. The remedy helps to deal with redness on the skin and hinder bacteria from causing any infection to the underarm of your body. To do this effectively:
- Mix up to 4 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil with 6-8 drops of tea tree oil
- Using a cotton ball, apply the coconut oil and tea tree oil to the red patch of irritated skin in your armpit
- Repeat this after showering before going to bed and after you wash your underarm
The next one for you to try out is Aloe Vera. This is known for its good anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to help heal the skin against breakouts so it is not surprising that it can also help heal rashes found in the armpit area too. You may choose to use fresh Aloe Vera leaves or you may also want to make use of Aloe Vera extract. You follow the procedure to reap maximum benefits:
- Apply the gel of the Aloe Vera leaves on the rash,
- Leave on for a few minutes
- Wash it off with cold water.
Lemon is yet another very useful remedy. It is not only one of people’s favorite citrus fruits but it can also help in getting rid of the rash that you may have in your armpit because it can help kill the bacteria that you might have on your arms right now. The best thing about this is that you can also use it as a deodorant. To achieve this,
- You could choose to place a swipe of lemon on your armpits in order to get rid of your problems.
- You may also use lemon after you have shaved.
- You can do this every day if you want to benefit more
Vitamin E is yet another very viable alternative. The great thing about Vitamin E is it is known to be good for the skin. It also helps promote the production of new cells whenever old cells are removed. This can also help relieve the itch that you may be experiencing. The procedure is as follows:
- Place the Vitamin E oil directly on the skin using your fingers.
- After that, massage your Vitamin E oil so that it will be absorbed by the skin.
- Go ahead to do this twice a day until you get relief from the itch.
Potassium Alum contains astringent and antiseptic properties. This can help prevent the bacteria that may be causing the itch to take place. Do remember that this is very easy to use and easy to purchase too. The procedure of having this done entails:
- Placing directly under the armpits in powder form if you are uncomfortable in placing the stone underneath your armpit.
- You are usually recommended it to place it on your underarm after you have taken a bath.
Oatmeal is yet another very important treatment option. It has anti-inflammatory properties. It does not only soothe the skin, but also has antioxidant properties that cleanse and get rid of skin bacteria and other impurities.
Apart from that, it has anti-irritant effects that help to reduce the discomfort that is caused by itchy rash. Oatmeal also helps to treat eczema, contact dermatitis and other fungal skin infections. The procedure is as follows:
- Fill a bath tub with warm water and add 1 to 2 cups of rolled oats
- Swish the oats around the bathwater to help release the compounds from the oats
- You could add some drops of lavender oil as it has antibacterial and soothing effect on dry skin
- Take some handfuls of oatmeal and gently press it onto the underarm rash to reduce redness on the skin and get relief from the itchiness
- Rinse off in the shower with warm water and pat your skin dry
References and Sources