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Imagine you are standing in a crowd but your armpit is constantly itching. Or you are attending an important meeting, but your underarm causes a great deal of distress through its incessant itching. Isn’t it a little bit embarrassing to feel compelled to scratch your armpits constantly in front of other people, especially if you are at some special event?

It is quite normal to experience itching in the underarms every once in a while, but constant itching indicates there is a problem that likely won't go away on its own. The most important thing to know about armpit rashes that itch is to see a doctor, treat the condition as soon as it appears, not to delay treatment.

Itching, excessive sweating and redness in the armpits are the most obvious signs of an underarm rash. Swelling and the outbreak of tiny dry bumps may also appear in people with this condition.

Causes of underarm rash

An itchy armpit rash is most likely to be a result of various fungal infections, often Candida albicans. The fungi thrive in warm and moist environments with lots of skin folds, and the underarms are among the most suitable places for their overgrowth. A fungal infection in the armpits is easily spread to other parts of the body by means of your nails as you scratch the itch, so it is necessary to keep the armpits dry and clean. Yeast infections of the skin can be treated with antifungal ointments, many of which are available over the counter.

Underarm rashes have been observed to appear mainly in the summer, because the temperature in the armpits is significantly higher than in the winter. A rash in your armpits may be a consequence of humid climate conditions as well. In these kinds of conditions, excessive sweating can block the sweat ducts, causing irritation and a rash. This is called heat rash, also informally referred to as prickly heat. Good personal hygiene, bathing every day and wearing loose cloths should relieve the symptoms and prevent the aggravation of the rash. Some people will use baby powder or even corn flour to help keep their skin dry. Others find that bathing with baking soda helps alleviate a heat rash.

Shaving is also among the common culprits for the occurrence of underarm itching combined with a rash, since many people regularly shave their armpit hair. If one does it excessively, or if he/she does it in the wrong way, it may lead to a rash. Therefore, the razor bumps may break out frequently and when they appear, the affected person should stop shaving for a while and try some other way to remove the underarm hair.

Chemical dermatitis in the armpits caused by using deodorants or sprays is also a potential cause for the incidence of the uncomfortable underarm itching. In this case, the solution would be to discontinue the product and try a more natural deodorant with fewer potentially irritating ingredients.

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