An armpit rash can be uncomfortable and unsightly but it is usually not extremely serious. It can have a number of causes and identifying the exact cause is always the first step in any effective treatment.
There are a number of home remedies you can try to alleviate symptoms or for more serious cases, you can see your dermatologist or other health practitioner and he may be able to prescribe a medication to help. No matter what the cause, there is no need to panic as this particular condition is more of an annoyance than anything else.
While it is relatively easy to treat, it is unfortunately hard to avoid developing an underarm rash. This is because the armpit is the perfect storm of rash producing conditions: dark, moist, containing folds of skin and full of hair follicles which can become blocked and irritated. These are the ideal conditions for fungus and bacteria to grow and it is these organisms that cause rashes and skin irritation.
The symptoms of armpit rash can vary according to the specific underlying cause but they generally include itching, redness, inflammation of the skin and swelling. While it provides a particularly good environment for fungus and bacteria, the skin of the underarm area is actually quite sensitive. As such it can be easy for any irritation to become severe, particularly if it is left untreated. In the most severe cases, the skin can become very swollen and even develop blisters or it may develop dark red or black patches. If you do a lot of scratching, it can lead to scarring and redness.
What causes armpit rash to occur?
There are many possible causes of underarm rash. These can include poor hygiene, excess sweat or heat rash. As mentioned above, rashes in this area can often be caused by yeast infection or bacterial infection. Also, allergic reactions or a skin condition such as dermatitis may be the cause of itching, redness and rash in the armpit. Again, it is important to determine the exact cause so that you treat the rash effectively.
Since fungus and bacteria thrive in dark, moist places it is extremely important to keep your underarm area dry and clean to avoid armpit rash. Keeping this area clean can also help to prevent the hair follicles from becoming blocked, which can cause outbreaks of blackheads. Blackheads can also be caused by overuse of deodorant, which may also block the follicles. Be careful to use a deodorant with a gentle formula and not to apply it too heavily.
An excess of heat can be a major cause of underarm rash as it can lead to both heat rash and excessive sweating. Wearing light colored, loose clothing in hot weather is a good way of allowing the armpits to breathe and avoid sweating. Unfortunately, some people have a natural tendency to sweat a lot even without hot weather as a stimulant. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to take extra steps to ensure that your underarm area stays clean and dry.
Treatment options for underarm rash
Treating armpit rash begins with practicing good hygiene. Taking a shower or bath regularly can help to keep all of your skin in good condition, but particularly the delicate areas like the armpits. If you have issues with skin irritation, you can use talcum powder after you bathe to help reduce excess moisture. Take particular care in choosing both deodorants and detergents, especially if you have particularly sensitive skin. You can get products that don’t contain extra perfumes or scents, which may be easier on sensitive skin.
Eating a balanced diet that contains plenty of Vitamin E and C rich vegetables and fruits can help to promote healthy skin. For itchy and irritated skin, hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion and antifungal ointment may all be used to ease symptoms.
For particularly irritated skin, you can apply ice cubes to the area in order to soothe the itching of underarm rash. If these self help steps don’t work, your doctor may be able to prescribe an antifungal medication, antibacterial soap, or even an oral antihistamine like Benadryl to curb symptoms.
Armpit rash is no laughing matter but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world either. If you are experiencing irritation and itching from a stubborn rash considering talking to your doctor and getting his recommendation for immediate and lasting relief.