When you get a rash or a breakout in your armpit, the most common causes are shaving or a skin infection. It can create immense pain, burning, and itching. Sometimes the condition can get so bad that you have to hold your arm extended to keep the armpit open because putting it down is too painful.
You may not be able to spot an underarm rash immediately, but when it starts to itch and burn you’ll be able to see it. It can be bumpy, red, scaly and white.
Ít is important to nurture the skin, hydrate it in order to create a functional skin barrier that will protect from further rashes, skin breakdown, and irritation. Avoiding harsh products and hot water is recommended when treating the skin. It’s also important not to shave while the skin is red and bumpy because it can cause further irritation and can also cause a skin infection.
Finding out the underlying cause of your armpit rash is important. It will be easier to find a remedy that works and early diagnosis of any serious skin condition is always best.
If the rash doesn’t resolve in a couple of weeks, visit your dermatologist to rule out any specific skin disorders that may need a prescription to help treat the condition.
- Causes of an Armpit Rash
- Signs and Symptoms of an Armpit Rash
- Prevention of an Armpit Rash
- Method 1: Baby Powder
- Method 2: Coconut Oil
- Method 3: Shea Butter
- Method 4: Vaseline
- Method 5: Aloe Vera
- Method 6: Tea Tree Oil
- Method 7: Potassium Alum
- Method 8: Cold Compress
- Method 9: Oatmeal
- Method 10: Indian Lilac
- Tips to get relief from an armpit rash
Causes of an Armpit Rash
The most common cause of an armpit rash is irritation due to shaving the hair under the arms. Other causes include:
- Fungal infection and chronic skin conditions like contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. This condition may be hard to treat and is typically a reaction to the yeast that is present on the skin.
- Extremely hot and humid temperatures causing red inflammation.
- Using chemicals, deodorants, and perfumes that either irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
Signs and Symptoms of an Armpit Rash
- Itchiness and burning sensations.
- Red or white bumps.
- Discharge and strange odor.
- Pain, discomfort, and tenderness.
- Circular rings or armpit swelling.
Prevention of an Armpit Rash
- Maintain proper hygiene by paying close attention to the underarms while showering.
- Dry the hidden areas of your body thoroughly, as they tend to remain moist and are more prone to infection.
- Wear loosely fitting and breathable clothes while in hot and humid temperatures.
- If you shave your underarms regularly, apply aloe vera gel afterward.
We bring you some home remedies to get relief from an itchy armpit rash itch. With any of these remedies, wash and dry your underarms before and after use. Be sure not to leave the skin moist, which invites problems.
Method 1: Baby Powder
Baby products are usually manufactured keeping in mind the sensitive skin of a baby. If your armpit rash is due to an allergic reaction to a new product like deodorant, perfume or soap, then the baby powder is one product that you can use to keep your armpit dry and promote quick healing. This can help create a barrier to prevent moisture and reduce skin irritation. If you have a history of eczema then it is important to use a fragrance-free powder or zinc oxide.
Single-Step Treatment: Dust some baby powder on your armpit
- Apply some baby powder on your armpits right after a shower.
- Dry the armpit completely before applying the talc.
Repeat 2 or 3 times every day.
Method 2: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help keep bacteria proliferation in check. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the itching and reduces the friction that may cause burning.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply coconut oil on the affected area
- Scoop a handful of extra-virgin coconut oil and apply it directly to the infected area.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
- Pat your underarm dry using a clean towel.
Do use this remedy twice a day until your rash clears out.
Method 3: Shea Butter
Shea butter has antioxidants and antifungal properties that help clear out any infection-causing bacteria and fungi. It is also an anti-inflammatory that helps soothe and calm the inflammation and irritation. It has powerful healing properties that promote quick healing.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply Shea butter on the armpit rash
- Scoop out some unrefined Shea butter and apply it on the infected area with your index finger.
Reapply it 5 times a day to see quick healing.
Method 4: Vaseline
Vaseline is a petroleum jelly made of various mineral oils and waxes which has great healing properties. When applied on a rash, it forms a protective barrier against further infection and soothes the burning sensation. It also helps repair and heals the dry skin.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply Vaseline on the rash
- Scoop out Vaseline with your index finger and spread on the infected area.
Reapply it 5 times a day to get relief from an itchy armpit rash.
Method 5: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has many minerals and fatty acids that can help treat many skin condition such as an itchy rash. It has great healing properties that promote faster recovery of an underarm rash.
It also aids the skin in absorbing anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone. Together they can further calm the itch and help resolve a rash that is similar to eczema. It is also an antimicrobial and antifungal agent which kills the microbes causing an infection. Studies have shown that aloe vera gel could be active against P. aeruginosa in wound infections at various concentrations too. (1)
Single-Step Treatment: Apply aloe vera gel on the underarm rash
- Extract fresh aloe vera gel out of an aloe vera leaf.
- Dab a cotton pad in the gel and spread it on the underarm rash.
- Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Rinse it off with cold water and pat it dry.
Do this once daily to soothe your skin.
Method 6: Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is the go-to remedy for most skin conditions, such as psoriasis, ringworm, and eczema. Tea tree oil possesses strong antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties that prevent the growth of infection-causing microbes and heal the rash completely.
Things you’ll need:
- Tea tree oil – 5 or 6 drops
- Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Treatment: Apply a tea tree and olive oil mix on the rash
- Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 5 or 6 drops of tea tree oil.
- Cover the infected area with the oil blend.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
- Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
Repeat 2 or 3 times a day until you see the rash receding.
Method 7: Potassium Alum
Potassium alum is a mineral that possesses sterilizing and astringent properties. As an astringent, it dries the skin, reducing the moisture and thereby killing the bacteria.
Single-Step Treatment: Soak potassium alum in water & rub it on the rash
- Soak a piece of potassium alum in water and gently rub it on the rash, covering the entire infected area.
Method 8: Cold Compress
To get instant relief from tingling and itching sensations on the rash, use a cold compress. It will soothe the inflammation and calm the itching, relieving the desire to scratch the rash that would only make it worse.
Single-Step Treatment: Treat the underarm rash using a cold compress
- Put about 10 to 15 ice cubes in a bowl of water.
- Dip a clean towel into the ice water and dab it on the infected area.
- Apply the cloth to the affected area for about 2-3 minutes until it is cold, then pat dry.
Repeat when you feel itching and burning sensations under your arms.
Method 9: Oatmeal
Oatmeal possesses antioxidants that slow down bacterial growth and promote quick healing. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin, reducing the itching and burning sensations. It is an extraordinary ingredient that helps with various chronic skin diseases, such as eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.
Single-Step Treatment: Soak yourself in an oatmeal bath
- Fill your bathtub with warm water and put 1 to 2 cups of rolled oats in it.
- Swish the oatmeal around, so it gets mixed into the water.
- Sink into the tub and soak for 20 minutes.
- Pat yourself dry thoroughly when you get out.
Optionally, you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bathwater. The lavender essential oil is known to promote faster healing.
Method 10: Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, or margosa, has been used as an antiseptic and antibacterial since antiquity to fight chicken pox in the Indian subcontinent. Indian lilac has anti-irritant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which expedite healing and reduce inflammation, pain and burning sensation caused by an underarm rash. You can use both lilac leaves and lilac oil to treat the rash.
Things you’ll need:
- Lilac Leaves - a handful
- Water - 4 cups
Step 1. Boil the lilac leaves in water
- Pour 2 to 4 cups of water into a pan.
- Add the leaves to water and bring to boil.
- Leave on simmer for about 20 minutes.
Step 2. Use lilac water to rinse the infected area
- Strain the lilac-infused water through a sieve.
- Allow the water to cool down.
- Use the lilac water to wash and rinse your underarm rash.
Wash your underarm with the lilac water 2 or 3 times a day.
Tips to get relief from an armpit rash
- You can also use cornstarch if you don’t have a baby powder at home.
- Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy, as it is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic ingredient. It soothes skin irritation and relieves pain. Mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar. Soak a cotton ball in it and gently dab it on the infected area. Leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
- Lemon is another option for fighting the infection-causing bacteria. Mix equal parts of lemon and water, and apply the mixture on the infected area using a cotton ball. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
- If the rash seems to be aggravated, consult your doctor. It might be a sign of an underlying skin condition.
1. Goudarzi, Mehdi, Fazeli, et al. Aloe vera Gel: Effective Therapeutic Agent against Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolates Recovered from Burn Wound Infections. Advances in Decision Sciences. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cherp/2015/639806/. Published July 22, 2015.