One of the most common things I hear about is itchy armpits. So today I thought I would shed some light on a list of possible reasons. First, you should know that armpits are ideal hosts for bacteria since they are dark and moist environments so infections are likely to occur in the armpit region.
Possible reasons your underarms itch
- Not showering after a workout: Sweat deposits residue that can cause rashes if not removed from the skin. I know there are many of us out there who live busy lives and try to fit a workout in during lunch. Since you have to return to the office or run to a next appointment, you don’t have time to do a deep clean. The best thing to do in this situation is to at least wipe your underarms and anywhere that there is sweat to remove wetness that can turn into bacteria-caused irritation.
- Clogging your pores: Hair follicles can be easily clogged with anything that you are using, but antiperspirant tends to be the main culprit. Since antiperspirants are made with aluminum salts that prevent sweating, these products are formulated to work it’s way into your pores and form a plug. Sometimes this can lead to infections if your hair follicle is clogged. Seek natural deodorants as an alternative that do not have pore clogging ingredients.
- Using a product with high levels of fragrance: This could range from a laundry detergent, or an antiperspirant or deodorant with high levels of fragrance. Lightly scented products should be fine because the levels will be low, but avoiding synthetic fragrance will lessen your chances of irritation.
- Wearing clothes made with synthetic fibers: A common but unobvious reason is your choice of clothing. Clothes are often made with manmade fibers that do not allow your skin to breathe due to its weave. Irritation occurs as the fibers rub against your skin, which is why it is best to purchase clothes made from natural fibers like bamboo, cotton, silk, or linen or wool.
- Using products with baking soda: If you have sensitive skin or have suddenly developed an intolerance, it’s time to look at the ingredients label on your product. Although natural, baking soda is very alkaline and gritty, so is hard to tolerate and often causes rashes.
- Applying deodorant on broken skin: Shaving actually micro cuts your armpits and can be very irritating if you apply product immediately after shaving. If you are sensitive or have darker skin it it best to shave at night so your underarms have time to calm down after. Darker skin tones may also hyperpigment if they get irritated.
Photo by Jon Tyson
Rashes and Itching
Sometimes underarm rashes cause the itching. Some reasons include:
- Heat Rash: This isn’t serious, but they occur during hot and humid weather. They develop when blocked pores trap perspiration under your skin. You often notice them in the form of superficial blisters or deep, red lumps. They often clear on their own, but the best way to relieve symptoms is to cool your skin and prevent sweating.
- Bacterial Infection: Ensure your underarms are dry after you shower and before applying deodorant since wet skin application encourages bacterial growth. Applying some extra powder (like arrowroot or cornstarch) on top of your deodorant can also help grab moisture from the skin if are a heavy sweater.
It is important to resist the urge to scratch since it will break the skin and the bacteria will spread.
Solutions that will help relieve itching temporarily
- Apply an ice compress
- Apply aloe vera
- Try applying calamine lotion onto your skin
- Wear loose clothes that give your armpits breathing space
This is certainly not a complete list, but outlines some of the most common causes of armpit itching that we come across at kaia naturals. Using this list as a process of elimination, you may have a better understanding of what the cause is and what to do about it.
Please note: This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.
If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment.
Feature image by Freestocks