The skin in your armpit area is particularly sensitive and it can get irritated very easily. Therefore, it’s a common spot for a rash, which may burn, be itchy or painful. It may not only cause discomfort, but it’s also embarrassing. Fortunately, in most cases you can quickly treat it with home remedies. The most important is to identify the cause of the problem, though.
What Are the Types of Armpit Rashes
There are four main types of armpit rashes, which are caused by different factors. An armpit rash may develop because of what we have eaten, very often it’s some detergent or perfume to blame, and sometimes the stress is the culprit.
One of the most common skin problems is known as atopic dermatitis or eczema. It usually appears in the folds of our body, for example in the back of your knees, inside your elbows and in the armpits.
It’s a very troublesome skin condition, which often begins in early childhood. The eczema rash is often red, itchy and crusts over. It’s difficult to resist scratching and when you do it continuously, the rash starts to seep fluid.
The most problematic aspect of atopic dermatitis is that it’s difficult to state what exactly causes it. People often suffer from bouts of the condition, which are followed by the periods when the skin looks healthy.
Seborrheic dermatitis is another skin condition, which causes skin irritation and rashes. This type of dermatitis, however, appears when too much of sebum is produced and the skin is oily. It’s not so much a rash as more like oily, white or yellow patches of flakes or scales. The skin areas which are affected are usually ears, face, scalp, and armpits.
Contact dermatitis is probably the easiest to detect as it appears when your skin comes into contact with some allergen or irritant. When it occurs on your armpits, you should have a closer look to your deodorants and lotions. Sometimes, however, even a new washing powder or the fabric of your clothes can be the culprit of contact dermatitis.
A rash under your armpits can also be caused by a fungus or yeast infection known as candida or candidiasis. It usually appears on the armpits and is red, itchy, can scale or even swell. It gets worse as a result of poor hygiene, when you wear tight clothes, or when it’s hot outside. Some antifungal creams may cure the condition.
Top 15 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Armpit Rash Fast
In most cases armpit rashes aren’t serious and can be cured at home. Of course, the best would be identify what causes the skin irritation, but if it’s not possible, start with natural remedies, which may appear to be very successful. If the rash still doesn’t soothe, consult the problem with your doctor.
The rash on the armpits is often our fault as when only a small irritation appears, we start to scratch it and then it gets much worse. That’s why something as simple as ice may appear very effective. It will cool the affected area of your skin and soothe the rash and swelling.
Just wrap a few ice cubes in a piece of cloth and gently place it on the rash. Stay like that for a few minutes and you will feel immediate relief from itching and pain. Follow the procedure a few times a day as it may turn out that once you stop scratching the skin, the rash will go away on its own.
2. Hot Compress
Hot compresses may turn out to be as effective as the cold ones. It will drain the affected area of your skin and that may soothe the itch, which causes great discomfort. Remember, though, that if you want this method to work, you need to keep the compress on the affected area for a long period of time or often change it.
You can warm up a cotton cloth in a microwave or hot water, but make sure that it’s not too hot before you put it on your skin. It’s also a good idea to alternate a hot compress with a cold one.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is widely known for its powerful qualities. It includes seventy five active compounds, such as vitamins, minerals, or enzymes. Aloe Vera is a natural lotion, which will quickly soothe the irritated area of the skin, moisturize it and relieve the pain. It’s easy to use as you can choose the gel from a fresh leaf of Aloe Vera or you may go for a ready extract.
All you need to do is apply a small amount of gel on the rash. If you use a fresh leaf, you must only cut it to obtain the gel. Leave it on the skin for a few minutes and wash it off with cool water. Follow the method three times a day until the rash disappears.
Turmeric is a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which can successfully eliminate the bacteria or viruses which cause the armpit rashes. The magical ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, which will even the texture of your skin and stop the itching.
To use it just mix the turmeric with a small amount of water to get a thick paste. Apply it on the affected skin area and leave it for a few minutes. Rinse it thoroughly with warm, but not hot water. You may have to repeat it a few times as turmeric can leave yellow marks on the skin, which are hard to clean.
5. Baking Soda
It’s probably one of the cheapest methods that will help you reduce the rash on your armpits. It will soothe the skin and relieve the itch due to its wonderful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It will stop the inflammation, reduce the itching, and swelling.
You can mix a little amount of it with water to obtain a thick paste and apply it directly on your skin. Massage the rash gently and after a few minutes wash the mixture off. You can also add a few tablespoons of baking soda to your bath water.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
This common kitchen ingredient may also be an effective solution to your armpit rash. It has the PH level that can kill all the bacteria and viruses, but it’s safe for our skin.
Mix some of the apple cider vinegar with water. Soak a cotton pad or a cotton ball in it and apply it on the skin area with a rash. Massage the skin gently for a few minutes and clean it with warm water. Follow the procedure twice a day until the rash disappears.
7. Lemon Juice
Juice squeezed from a fresh lemon is a very powerful, antibacterial type of fruit. It will not only kill the bacteria which cause the rash, but it’s also a natural deodorant with fresh smell.
Just massage the affected area of your skin with the lemon juice. Don’t wash it off, but let the skin absorb it. Don’t use it, though, when your skin is very irritated or directly after shaving as it may cause smartness.
8. Vitamin E Oil
You have probably heard that vitamin E is essential if we want to have beautiful, young-looking skin without wrinkles. It’s so beneficial because it stimulates the production of new cells every time the old ones are removed. Thus, it can help you soothe the irritated skin on your armpits and reduce the embarrassing itch.
You just need to buy the vitamin E oil at your pharmacy and apply it directly on your skin with your fingers. Massage it gently until your skin fully absorbs it. Don’t wash it off and use it twice a day.
9. Vitamin C
Vitamin E is not they only compound which may help you get rid of the armpit rash. Vitamin C have similar qualities and it has an antibacterial and antiviral properties too.
Just mix the vitamin C with a little amount of water to get a thick paste and place it on the irritated skin area. If you do it at least twice a day, you should eliminate the armpit rash after a few days.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a widely known solution for various skin problems. It has great moisturizing and anti-inflammatory qualities so it will help you eliminate, or at least reduce the annoying armpit rash.
Warm the coconut oil a little bit so that it has a more liquid form and gently massage it into your skin. Try to do it on wet skin as the oil absorbs better then. You can also mix the coconut oil with baking soda and apply the obtained mixture on your rash, but wash it off after about five minutes.
11. Potassium Alum
You may not have heard about potassium alum before, but it’s actually a great substance with wonderful antiseptic and astringent qualities. You will easily get it at your pharmacist’s in the form of a stone.
Potassium alum is very easy to use. After taking a bath, put it in the powder form on the dry skin which is affected with the rash. You should see the difference after a few days of regular use.
12. Tea Tree Oil
It happens very often that the main reason of an armpit rash is fungus. In this case tea tree oil might be very effective as it’s known for its amazing antifungal properties. It will stop the itchiness, reduce swelling or redness.
Mix the tea tree oil with a little amount of water first. Prepare a cotton ball or a cotton pad and dip it in the mixture. Apply it on the irritated area of the skin and massage it gently for a few minutes so that the skin absorbs it well.
Honey is a powerful combination of sugar, enzymes, and water. It’s also rich in humectants, which can effectively eliminate inflammation of the skin. It’s very gentle for the skin and it reduces the armpit rashes really quickly.
Mix it with freshly squeezed lemon juice to make it even more powerful. Apply the mixture to your skin twice a day for a few minutes and then wash it off with warm water. It will not only soothe the redness and the itching, but it will also cool the skin.
Cinnamon powder is rich in chemicals known as Polyphenols, which have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Apply it on the armpit rash and you will quickly see that the itching, redness, and irritation improved.
Just mix the cinnamon powder with some water to get a thick paste and place it on the skin for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water.
Garlic is known to be a natural and safe antibiotic. It’s most powerful ingredient is gingerols, which can naturally kill the infections. Thus, garlic can quickly eliminate the armpit rush which results from a microbial attack.
All you need to do is peel a garlic clove and gently massage the irritated skin area with it for a few minutes. Don’t do it in the morning, though, as it has very strong smell.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Armpit Rash Fast
Apart from the above mentioned solutions, there are also some more tips you should follow if you want to eliminate an armpit rash quickly.
First of all, you need to keep the irritated skin as clean as possible. However, wash it gently and only with the use of mild soap and then dry the skin with a soft, cotton towel. Do it at least twice a day. While taking a bath, use warm, but not hot water and add there some colloidal oatmeal.
It’s important to keep the armpit area dry so that your skin can breathe and the moisture won’t accumulate. To do it, avoid tight clothes and after you wash and dry your skin, apply on it some cornstarch as it will prevent your armpits from getting wet.
Most of the deodorants, antiperspirants, lotions, or body creams contain some fragrance, which unfortunately, may make the rash worse. Thus, stop using them during the time you’re trying to deal with the rash. Your skin will maintain dry and that speeds up the recovery. If you just can’t resist using some cream or deodorant, go for the unscented one.
If you experience a rash during hot and humid weather, try to stay in the air conditioned room as much as you can. When it’s not possible, wear a sleeveless T-shirt so that you skin can breathe. What’s more, you can also put a small, soft cloth on the skin with the rash so that your skin won’t stick together.
If natural, home remedies don’t work, try some over-the counter solutions. The most effective creams and lotions are the ones with hydrocortisone or calamine. They will fight the inflammation that causes the irritating rash on your armpits.
However, don’t use hydrocortisone creams or other steroid creams if your rash is caused by fungus, as it can worsen the skin irritation. In case of fungal infections, you need to buy a cream that includes clotrimazole, ketoconazole, or nystatin as these are the substances which have anti-fungal qualities.
Remember that it’s extremely important not to scratch the skin affected with the rash. When you scratch it, you skin becomes more vulnerable to infections so a minor rash can turn into something more serious. If your rash is so itchy that you simply can’t resist scratching, purchase some over-the counter antihistamine drugs, which contain fexofenadine, loratadine, or diphenhydramine as they will reduce the itching.
Last, but not least, try to relax. Various scientific studies have proved that stress in one of the main causes of skin problems, including armpit rashes.
How to Prevent Armpit Rashes
Good hygiene on everyday basis is probably the most important rule if you want to have rash-free armpits. Clean your skin regularly, but do it gently and with mild soap. Also, don’t rub it to harshly with a towel and let it air-dry from time to time.
The moment you notice that some deodorant, lotion, or other detergent causes the rash, don’t wait hoping that your skin will get used to it, but stop using it right away. Moreover, check if you aren’t using any new fabric softener or washing powder as they are common culprits of skin allergies.
It’s also important not to let sweat accumulate on your skin. Thus, you should avoid tight clothes made of synthetic fabrics. Instead, wear loose clothes, which are made of high-quality cotton as your skin can breathe then.
One of the most common armpit rashes is known as a heat rash. Therefore, on hot and humid days apply a thin layer of talcum powder as it will absorb the sweat and prevent developing a rash. Try to stay in air conditioned places as often as you can and keep your bedroom cool.
Be careful when you shave the skin under your arms. Don’t do it to closely to the skin and every time you want to try a new shaving cream or gel, test it on a small skin area first.
Include natural yogurts in your everyday diet as they are rich in active cultures that will help you prevent not only rashes, but also other fungal infections.
An Underarm Shaving Rash
A completely different type of rash on the armpits is the one that occurs because of shaving them. The skin under your arms is extremely sensitive and improper or too frequent shaving may easily irritate it. In consequence, an underarm shaving rash is one of the most common rashes that can affect your armpits.
Once this type of rash appears, stay natural for a few days and avoid shaving the irritated area of the skin. When the rash goes away and you decide to go back to shaving, always use a new razor and shave the hair in the direction it grows.
Remember that just after shaving your skin becomes more vulnerable to infections and irritations. Thus, wait at least 15 minutes before you apply any antiperspirant, lotion, or other underarm products. Instead of antiperspirants you may apply a thin layer of talc powder on your armpits as it will absorb the sweat and keep the skin dry.
If you want to use some antiperspirants, go for the ones which are created for sensitive skin. It’s also worth using skin products with a fragrance-free formula. The same rule applies to the soap you use to clean your underarm area. Choose the one which is mild and fragrance-free.
To prevent the irritation of the skin after shaving, buy an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and apply it just after shaving, even before you apply deodorant. It will soothe your skin and prevent redness or itching.
If the rash doesn’t clear up after a week, you should make an appointment to the doctor as it’s probable that an underarm shaving rash transformed into a more serious bacterial or fungal infection and it needs to be treated with a prescribed cream.
When to See a Doctor
You need to see a doctor if the armpit rash doesn’t want to go away despite the fact that you’ve been using home or over-the-counter remedies for a few days. Your doctor will prescribe you some stronger medications then.
If you suspect that your rash is a contact allergy, try to find the irritant. You may also make an appointment to an allergist who will run special allergy tests, which will tell what you are allergic to. You could check your nearest environment to see if you are close to or use any of the allergens.
Remember that the worst thing you can do is leave a rash on your armpits untreated as an insignificant problem may turn into a serious bacterial or fungal infection. A simple rash can develop into red bumps known as pustules. They are painful, itchy, and inflamed. When you start scratching them, pustules can leave ugly scars. Your skin can get red, warm, over-sensitive, and swollen.
In rare cases, when the rash doesn’t want to go away despite the treatment, a skin biopsy might be required to detect the underlying causes of the armpit rash.