Underarm Rashes

Underarm Rashes: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatments

Underarm rashes are like undercover agents causing suffering to the humans. The agents could be fungi or bacteria finding a warm and moist niche in the armpits. Underarm rashes cause itching and irritation apart from the change of skin color and texture.

Imagine a situation of scratching your underarm in a meeting. This awkward situation could be avoided by reading the article until the end.

Reasons of Worrying about Underarm Rashes:

The reasons for underarms could be many from heat to fungi but the problems because of it are the same. The red rashes could be even the indication of the contact with HIV at the initial stage.

Underarm rashes could also cause foul odor which is not only bearable for the persons suffering from it but also those near them. Some underarm rashes could form an oily liquid around the rashes and cause even dressing a problem.

Sweat glands and hair follicles of the skin form the main part in forming the underarm rashes. Even shaving without proper care could immediately cause underarm rashes.

The change in atmosphere or being exposed to unhygienic conditions or using the wrong soaps and body sprays could cause underarm rashes.

But since there is no reason for an underlying ailment for underarm rashes except in cases of HIV it is easily treated by self and with simple home remedies.

Relaxing with the acceptance of the issues of underarm rashes could bring in normal stress-free life. This could pave the way for the proper treatment and further prevention of underarm rashes.

Proper knowledge of the cause and its prevention could be the only solution to stay away from these irritating and stressful underarm rashes.

Types of Underarm Rashes as per their Causes:

Understanding the problem is half solving it. This could be an old adage but promptly applies to underarm rashes. There are several types of rashes depending on their causes.

The causes could be simple and easily avoided to prevent re-occurrence and treatment. The reason for each may be different but the rashes are present.

Depending on their cause the underarm rashes have been classified into the following 8 types.

Heat rashes:

Heat rashes are the most common type of rashes and the reason as per the name is only heat. Exposed to overheat and sudden change of environment too hot demographical locations could cause heat rashes.

Even increased physical activities in hot and humid conditions get cause heat rashes. This is more in the case of those who have to strain out in the heat for a living.


  1. Eczema or Atopic dermatitis is a common condition starting from childhood. This occurs apart from armpits, in the folds of the body parts like inside of the elbows, neck, back of the knees and for some obese people in the folding of the excess muscles or fat of the body.
  2. Eczema when intense could seep clear liquid from the affected part. Sometimes even blood could flow from it because of over scratching. Nearly
  3. 30 % of population and mostly children are affected by eczema.
  4. Eczema is also known as Atopic dermatitis. Atopic means a collection of diseases involving the poor immune system, asthma, anemia, high fever, and others. Dermatitis is the inflammation of the skin.
  5. Eczema can be triggered by allergic foods or because of environmental change and its polluted nature.
  6. As of date, there is no proper treatment or cure for eczema but the symptoms and suffering could be controlled.

Because of the flow of liquid and blood, many fear it could be transmitted to close family members or others. Luckily Eczema is not a contagious disease. Hence there is no reason for such fear.

Seborrheic dermatitis:

  1. This kind of inflammation of the skin causing rashes mainly occurs on the scalp. Stress is the main cause diagnosed for this kind of rashes along with others.
  2. Seborrheic dermatitis is in the form of scaly oily patches in the armpits. This is caused by the excessive production of sebum an oily substance from the Sebaceous glands.
  3. Malassezia a yeast or fungus in the oil secreted by some parts of the body including the armpits could be the cause. Also, the poor immune system could cause Seborrheic dermatitis.

Chafing rashes:

  1. If you are obese or a fitness freak, chafing rashes could occur to you. Chafing is nothing but the rubbing of the bodily parts over each other.
  2. The obese people even while walking could cause chafing and thus result in the occurrence of chafing rashes. Exercising enthusiasts in the process of intense exercises have chafing rashes.
  3. This is more in summer and hot conditions and the rashes become severe at these times. The irritation and pain cause a lot of suffering to the physical and mental state of the body.
  4. Chafing could occur in many parts of the body. The main parts include
  • Underarms
  • Thighs
  • Groin
  • Breast nipples
  • Stomach part

The rubbing of clothing over the chafing rashes adds fuel to the fire. Hence proper dressing, staying dry, lubricating the rashes and avoiding activities which could cause chafing rashes is the only solution to it.

Contact Dermatitis:

Contact dermatitis is formed on the superficial regions of the human body like the armpits. This is caused by any contact with these regions to any kind of foreign substance which are allergic.

Inflammation of the tissues on the epidermis layer of the skin causes contact dermatitis. This allergic reaction happens within few hours on contact. The following are the allergic foreign substances which cause contact dermatitis.

  • Jewelry
  • Cosmetics
  • Soaps
  • Plants
  • Chemicals found in individual care items and cleaning cleansers
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nourishment of ecological allergens
  • Creepy crawly stings or nibbles
  • Perfumes, Antiperspirants, and Deodorants
  • Shaving creams and aftershave lotions
  • Some dress fabrics

This allergen could vary from person to person and should be identified and avoided to prevent and treat contact dermatitis.

Pregnancy underarm rashes:

Pregnancy could also be a reason for underarm rashes. The hormonal changes in the liver trigger skin aggravation and causes impetigo and skin inflammation.

Pregnant women are prone to yeast diseases which also causes underarm rashes.

Candida or Underarm rashes by fungal infection:

The Candida Albicans are the culprits to form candida or the fungal infection in the armpits and other parts of the body to cause rashes.

These fungi take refuge in the warm and moist niches like armpits and cause severe damage to the body.

The following are exposed to candida very frequently

  1. Working in wet conditions
  2. Living in an unhygienic environment
  3. Pregnant, obese and diabetic people
  4. Weakened immune system and inflammation prone people


Folliculitis rashes are caused by the infection and inflammation of the hair follicles. Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria is the culprit in forming this kind of rashes.

The hair follicle is the organ responsible for hair growth and consists of 20 different cells. Folliculitis is more common with a shaving of the armpits. There are two types of folliculitis:

Superficial Folliculitis:

This affects the part of the follicle and is less severe in condition.

Deep folliculitis:

This affects the full part of the follicle and is deep enough to create severe pain and suffering.

These two types of folliculitis have different forms according to the causes.

Superficial Folliculitis forms:

Pseudomonas Folliculitis:

Pseudomonas Folliculitis or hot tub folliculitis is caused by Pseudomonas bacteria. This kind of bacteria is mostly found in hot tubs among other places like heated pools which are not maintained properly with chlorine and without proper pH levels,

Bacterial Folliculitis:

Staph bacteria when infected live on the skin all the time. This is the most common form of Folliculitis. They enter the body through a cut or wound and cause rashes.

Barbers’ Itch:

The dark raised scars on the groin area are called barber’s itch. The other names of barber’s itch are Razor bumps and Pseudofolliculitis barbae.

The close shave of curly hair on the face, neck armpits and other parts cause these rashes. This is also caused by the bikini waxes applied on the skin in the groin area.

Pityrosporum folliculitis:

This type of rashes is formed by yeast infections. They produce chronic, red, itchy pustules on the chest, back and sometimes on the armpits, necks and other parts.

Forms of deep Folliculitis:

This severe folliculitis is in the following forms:

Gram-negative folliculitis:

If you are taking long-term antibiotic therapy for acne you are prone to this folliculitis.

Sycosis barbae:

This type affects people who have begun to shave their hairs in the body.

Carbuncles and boils:

When the staph bacteria infection is very deep and for a considerable period of time in the skin furuncles or boils and carbuncles appears on the skin in the form of painful pink or red bumps.

Eosinophilic Folliculitis:

This type of folliculitis mainly affects AIDS patients. The intense itching, pain and recurring patches are the features of these rashes.

Symptoms of Underarm Rashes:

Symptoms vary according to the causes and its types for underarm rashes. There is no reason of an underlying ailment for underarm rashes except the lone one of HIV disease.

Initial symptoms of underarm rashes:

  • Red rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Burning sensation
  • Circular rings
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Red or white bumps
  • Swelling of the armpit
  • Tenderness of the affected skin
  • Liquid discharge
  • Blood discharge if scratched heavily

If the underarm rashes are untreated for a prolonged time or living with it in unhygienic conditions could cause secondary infections and could have the following symptoms which need medical attention immediately.

  • Body pains
  • A runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • A sore throat
  • Body pains and Severe headache
  • Fainting spells
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Swelling of the face and tongue

Treatments of Underarm Rashes

The treatment of underarm rashes depends on the cause of it. Once the cause is identified treatment can be given without any delay. Since the suffering and discomfort is more than any severe life-threatening diseases the treatment is very simple and fast.

The treatment could start from home and only on severe conditions doctor should be consulted for avoiding secondary infections and for underlying ailment check.

Common treatments for underarm rashes:

Move to a cooler place:

For any kind of rash heat is the first enemy and for heat rash, it is the cause of it. Hence moving to a cooler place or living under air-conditioned rooms or under the circulation of air by a fan is important.

Frequent cleaning of the affected area:

  • Cleaning by water and soap gives a soothing effect to the rashes and also helps in curing. This is more appropriate in the case of rashes by fungi and bacteria.
  • The cleaning process decreases the chances of spreading of the microorganisms to spread to wider areas and cause more suffering. The cleaning should be continued until the complete cure of the rashes.

Avoid scratching:

  • This is said easier than done. But scratching should be totally avoided to not aggravate the rashes. Focus on other important tasks to avoid the thinking of scratching.
  • Also scratching in some kind of rashes could cause bleeding which could cause more pain and suffering. This may also lead to secondary infections and complicate issues.

A cool compress of rashes:

The effect of ice cubes on the rashes could bring in the feeling of being in heaven. Only those who have experienced it could understand the meaning.

The cool compress effect is more useful for heat rashes and for lichen planus. The lichen-like rashes are formed on all parts of the body. This is a chronic inflammation of the skin.

This cool compress is done in the following manner:

  • Place an ice pack on the rashes
  • Some ice cubes in a plastic bag can also be used.
  • Wet towels could be pressed against the wound for the soothing effect
  • The cool compress should be done for a maximum of 20 minutes
  • This could be repeated for any number of times as per the availability of time and ice.
  • The cool compress not only gives a soothing effect on the rashes but also reduces the inflammation and pain.

Keep the body hydrated:

  • It is very important to keep the body hydrated at all times for curing rashes. Drinking water and cool tea are the best way to be hydrated.
  • Coffee, energy drinks and other diuretics should be avoided because they could lead to dehydration of the body.

Avoiding excess and intense physical activity:

Exercises are good for a healthy body. But rashes could be a sign of overdoing it. Hence exercises which could cause a lot of sweat in the armpits should be totally avoided.

Relaxing mind and body:

Meditation, deep breathing (Pranayama) and other mind relaxing activities should be performed. This could differ from person to person but everyone affected by rashes should relax both mind and body.

Avoiding allergic foods:

Food which is good for one person could be allergic to another. This is not because of the food but the response of the human body to it. This awareness will reduce a lot of ailments and especially for controlling and preventing rashes.

The ingredients of certain foods will cause rashes and increase the annoying itching.

Some common allergic food:
  • Conventional dairy food
  • Eggs
  • Fish & shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Nuts, legumes & soya

Avoiding allergens in day to day life:

A lot of things we use for day to day life could be allergic to some people. The ingredients in the things or the thing itself could cause allergic reactions. These allergic reactions lead to rashes and its increased density of itching and inflammation.

Allergens to underarm rashes:`

Leafy plants like poison oak, poison ivy or poison sumac:

Any allergic reactions and immediate rashes should be treated within 72 hours or could be dangerous and life-threatening in some cases.

Soaps and detergents;

Some soaps and detergents we use could be harmful and increase the rashes. The ingredients in them may be allergic and hence should be totally avoided.

Applying talcum or baby powder in the armpit:

It is safe and essential and that too in the moist and warm area like the underarm. Applying talcum or baby powder daily even without rashes is advisable.

Wearing loose-fitting & natural dresses:

Avoiding tight-fitting dresses and that too in hot weather is important. Choosing the right fabric which is of made of natural fabric is also good for avoiding crashes. It is better to wear a dress that causes chafing.

Medical treatment of underarm rashes:

Consulting a doctor when the rashes are more severe is important. Before that OTC medicines and other supplements rich in certain vital ingredients is very important to keep the body safe from rashes.

Some medicinal treatments for underarm rashes:

OTC medicines or the over the counter medicines are available around the world to cure rashes. They are in the form of creams and lotions.

  • Applying unscented glycerol-based moisturizers for scaly rashes
  • Medications should be only taken on the advice of the doctor and stopped also with his consultation only.
  • Calamine lotions
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamine
  • Ibuprofen or Aspirin
  • Topical Vitamin B-12
  • Acupressure
  • Hypnosis
  • Topical steroid creams
  • Topical PED4 and Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Phototherapy or using ultraviolet rays for Vitamin D

Home Remedies for underarm rashes:

Some home remedies which are easy and readily available is good for the treatment and prevention of the heat rashes. This could be useful for the whole family not only for underarm rashes but also for general health.

Vitamin C:

Eating vitamin C rich foods is the basis for keeping an healthy skin. Oranges, gooseberries and many natural fruits which contain vitamin c should be taken on a daily basis to avoid underarm rashes.

Vitamin E:

Eating and applying vitamin E oil products is very essential. Aloe vera, tea tree oil. Also, the polysaccharides found in aloe vera are equal to that of hydrocortisone.

Oatmeal bath:

Oats are not only good for health but applying them to the underarm rashes could treat them well and fast. Applying wet finely grounded oats on the affected area for 20 minutes several times a day could treat underarm rashes fast and easy.

Apple cider vinegar & Baking soda:

The diluted apple cider vinegar and baking soda maintain the pH level of the skin. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar also control underarm rashes.

Oils of Olive, coconut, tea tree and even Neem, Lemon, and many other home remedies are good for treating underarm rashes.

Prevention of Underarm Rashes

Understanding what causes underarm rashes and being aware of it is the best way to prevent them. The awareness of our body is the basis for keeping good health and preventing a lot of diseases like underarm rashes.

All the treatment for the underarm rashes except for medical treatment is the preventive measures for underarm rashes.

Underarm rashes are common complications of the body condition which could be easily treated and prevented in daily life.

But underarm rashes caused by allergies if you have other symptoms besides your rashes. They are swelling of the face and throat or having difficulty in breathing could be serious.

Underarm rashes are a mess in social and professional life. It could cause not only discomfort but also an embarrassment. This apart from bodily suffering could also cause stress which could affect normal life.

Hence to keep the body and mind in a sound condition is the best way to keep underarm rashes away.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *