July 22, 2010

Remedy for itchy, irritated & burning underarms

Underarm skin isn't all that tough; it can get raw, itchy and irritated sometimes.  The position of the armpits on the body is such that this part is often subjected to excessive sweating and humidity. Fungi or yeast prefer moist and warm places in and on our body, and an armpit area, that sweats excessively provides the perfect breeding ground for these nasty organisms. Yeast or Candida infections usually  start with a naturally occurring fungus in the  body. When the natural balance of bacteria, candida albicans and others in our body, get disturbed, candida numbers surge and a candida infection is under way. Typical symptoms of candida albican infection -- swollen tissue, an itchy feeling and redness in the affected area and this requires medical intervention.
woman raising her arm
              Troubled by irritated, itchy underarms?
razor shaving armpit
Dull razor nicking underarm skin can cause irritation.
However, most of the time itchy underarms is not a serious condition and not all types of underarm irritations result in fungal/bacterial infections. Sometimes the cause is as simple as shaving and scraping your skin with a low-quality, dirty, or dull razor.

woman applying deodorant
Chemical ingredients in deodorants can cause itchy underarms.
And in some other cases, usage of certain products could be to  blame. For instance, most deodorants, body sprays, antiperspirants,  shaving creams and after-shave lotions contain irritating chemical ingredients such as alcohol which excessively dries and irritates the skin as also fragrance, a big time allergen. Additionally, salts and acids present in antiperspirants can also upset skin, as can your own sweat and bacteria it breeds.  Sometimes itchy underarms can also be caused by friction due to excessive rubbing of the underarm skin against one’s clothes. This normally happens in persons who wear tight fitting shirts or tops. The cloth material, especially synthetic ones that constantly rub against the armpit skin can cause severe chaffing which results in burning or irritation.

For itchy, irritated and burning armpits, you can try these solutions:
* Poor underarm hygiene is one of the most commonest causes of itchy armpits. So you should keep your underarms scrupulously clean by washing it regularly with mild soap and water. Wipe it dry with a clean tissue.
* Apply Pure Aloe Gel to your armpit area.  Aloe vera is widely acclaimed for its hydrating, cooling and skin healing properties.
* Apply ice cold cold water compresses on your armpits or you could also also apply cold milk. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to these solutions for better results. Whiled cold compresses will soothe, cool  and moisturize the area, antibacterial turmeric will tackle bacteria and other offensive bugs.
* Drinking plenty of water will also ensure that your sweat is as diluted as possible since in the absence of water the concentration of chemicals is more prominent, which also results in foul body odour.
* If you aren't impressed with home-remedies, try applying an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream like this one for a few days, till the irritation subsides.
* Once the irritation subsides, keep skin in the clear by always using a good quality razor like this, this or this for shaving your underarms and always replace your razor blade every two weeks.
* Furthermore, try switching to alcohol and fragrance free products and products that have soothing natural ingredients like aloe, sandalwood etc. in them. Also wait 20 minutes after shaving before applying deodorants and antiperspirants.
* Also wear loose fitting, breathable cotton tops as much as possible to avoid friction with underarm skin.
* If the underarm area becomes red, inflamed and the problem persists for more than 5 days, see your dermatologist; it could be a bacterial or fungal infection.
(Guest Post by Smitha)

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  1. Amrita9:04 AM

    aloe vera
    it might sting at first but it really helps
    or pee on them

  2. Sanskar9:05 AM

    Goldbond Medicated lotion helps a lot

  3. Sanjana8:12 AM

    Another great post Aparna, Thank you!

  4. Anonymous11:51 PM

    Is it still ok to apply deodorant even though the armpit is irritated?

    1. No, first let it heal.

  5. Anonymous3:08 AM

    when i put lotion and aleo vera lotion on it it made it burn and sting so i took it off what do i do? i want the rash completeley gone

  6. Anonymous1:39 PM

    apply vaseline

  7. Anonymous4:25 AM

    My armpits itch and burn really bad and it feels uncomfortable to put my arms down or wear shirts I shower every day and I have changed deodorant many times I just don't know what's wrong please help


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