Guide to Getting Rid of Underarm Rash

Do you suffer from painful or itchy underarm rash? The need to scratch your armpit can be embarrassing to say the least, especially in public places where your scratching may be misinterpreted as poor hygiene or manners. Dealing with an unsightly and uncomfortable underarm rash can feel a bit hopeless, as if you simply have to let the rash run its course. In reality, rashes of this variety can usually be treated quite effectively and timely so that you don’t have to spend weeks suffering with splotchy and sore skin.

Symptoms of an Underarm Rash

A rash in the armpit region is typically characterized by red bumps that congregate in one area or spread out in a mass of pimple-like dots. The affected area may be raised or it might just be a discolored and sensitive patch of skin. Rashes in this area may also be flaky or have a similar appearance to excessively dry, irritated skin. Pain and discomfort can vary depending on how sever the outbreak is and what is causing the rash. Eczema outbreaks are usually accompanied by severe itching that, if scratched, can lead to weeping, burning and painfulness of the skin, which is followed by crusting or scabbing as the area heals.

Causes of Underarm Rash

Underarm rash can be caused by a number of things. Some of the main causes behind this condition are heat and friction, especially when the affliction appears to be chronic or recurring. Warm, humid days can make this already-dark and warm area excessively warm; and when the underarm get too warm the pores expand and become clogged by sweat, skin cells, and even deodorant. If bacteria happens to be trapped in the pores when they become blocked then inflammation can quickly set in. This is characterized by redness, swelling, and soreness or irritation.

Friction can also cause a type of rash most commonly referred to as “friction burn” or “chafing.”  This is an affliction that occurs when the skin is subjected to repetitive scratching or rubbing against clothing, other skin, or a surface like crutches. This type of rash is the result of physical irritation of the skin.

If you have a rash and you’ve recently started using a new body wash, deodorant, or antiperspirant, then your underarm rash may be a symptom of a condition called contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that occurs when a part of the body is exposed to something that the immune system sees as a threat—also known as an allergy. In most cases where the underarm is subject to a dermatitis outbreak, the cause is usually due to chemicals or perfumes in deodorant. If the rash is occurring all over the body then it may be due to a new body wash or body spray.

Treating Underarm Rash

The treatment method used to cure armpit rash mostly depends on what is causing the rash in the first place. Treating the underlying problem is the best way to get fast results and can also give you an idea of how you can prevent this type of rash from popping up in the future. If you believe that the rash has occurred due to excessive heat then there are a few steps that you can take to aid in treating the area. First you should attempt to stay in a cool environment, such as an air conditioned room or in front of a fan. This will help bring down the actual temperature of your armpit. It is also important to allow airflow of the area. If you are able, try lying back with your arm behind your head. Try to do this as often as you can to enable the skin to “breathe” and prevent moisture from gathering there. Try to avoid letting the area rub against nearby skin, such as the arm or trunk. Sometimes it can help to put a piece of cloth over the skin. Ice packs wrapped in a tea towel can be applied to the area for 20 minutes with an hour of rest in between applications, but do this no longer than three times. Ice will help bring down the temperature of the skin and reduce inflammation (swelling and redness). It also helps to numb the area to give you a break from the discomfort of the heat rash.

Friction burn or chafing can be treated in a similar way to a heat rash. Try to keep the area dry and if rubbing cannot be prevented then put a little baby powder or talc powder on the skin to keep it dry and to keep the area from “catching” on nearby skin. If the area is severely broken out and the rash is very uncomfortable, very swollen, weeping, or bleeding, then consider using a lubricant such as petroleum jelly. Avoid tight clothing and allow the area to heal with as little irritation as possible.

A rash that has cropped up due to an irritant usually goes away once you stop exposing the skin to the allergen. The healing process can sometimes be sped up by using hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching, irritation, and redness.