Itchy underarms. It’s a problem that doesn’t plague everyone, but when it does occur, it’s extremely annoying. While scratching one’s underarms may appear comical to those observing the behavior, there’s nothing funny to the person who suffers from itchy underarms. What causes itchy underarms, and how can this problem be dealt with effectively to stop the itching and avoid it’s recurrence?
There are some obvious causes to itchy underarms. First would be an allergy to the deodorant or antiperspirant used. Occasionally, it’s not the brand but the method of application. A spray can of deodorant might cause itching when the deodorant is sprayed in the underarm area, yet the same type and brand might be fine on one’s underarms applied in stick deodorant. Inactive ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants can vary depending on the application type, and it might be an allergy to those ingredients causing the itching. Other times, no matter how a certain brand is applied, one is allergic to the brand itself. In this case, switching to another brand makes sense. If you notice itching from all brands and types of deodorant or antiperspirants tried, baking soda makes an effective deodorant and generally does not cause an allergic reaction. One part baking soda to six parts cornstarch applied lightly to the underarm area can last two days. This acts effectively as both a deodorant and an antiperspirant. If itching is caused by an allergic reaction to a deodorant or antiperspirant, there’s often accompanying redness and other signs of irritation. Try simply using an antibacterial soap or deodorant soap instead. Antiperspirant irritation that causes itching occurs more often in cold months as both the product and the weather result in dryer than usual underarms.
At times it’s not the deodorant or antiperspirant causing the itching, but the application of it immediately after shaving the underarms. The underarms are a sensitive area, more so after shaving or using another hair removal technique. In this case, wait a bit before applying anything to your underarms. All deodorants and antiperspirant products will tell you not to apply to broken or irritated skin. In addition to allergies from deodorants and antiperspirants, allergies to laundry detergent or clothing material can also cause underarm itching and irritation.
Other causes of underarm itch include insect bites, infections – especially yeast infections – and trauma to the areas. Poor hygiene and excessive sweating also contribute to itchy underarms. A medical condition called ” Hidradentis Suppurativa” which is clogging and subsequent inflammation of the apocrine sweat glands also causes itching in the underarm area. Disorders that cause generalized itching will also affect the armpits, causing itching in that area, too. What steps can be taken to correct itchy underarms in addition to those already mentioned here?
For poor hygiene causes the obvious answer is proper cleansing away of bacteria under the arms. Anti-itch creams, with or without hydrocortisone, can be applied. Oral antifungal medications or topical creams can be used if a yeast infection is the cause of itchy underarms. For Hidradentis Suppurativa, antibiotics in combination with other doctor recommendations will work. Additional relief can be found through proper underarm shaving techniques and wearing clothing with looser sleeves to eliminate excessive sweating and allow air to reach the area. Scratching the affected area can lead to increased inflammation and create a never ending cycle of inflammation and itching, so try to avoid scratching. Remember, as with anything that affects your body, if the condition doesn’t clear up, see your health care practitioner.