Rash Under Armpit: Types, Cause, & Treatment!

Rash under armpit

Our armpits are sensitive and a prime spot for irritation. Therefore, we might not see a rash under armpit right away, but the itching and irritation might be noticeable and even start hurting after some time. Many things can cause underarm rashes, and the treatments are varied depending upon the type of rash.

The rash can be red and bumpy or white and scaly. Determining the type of rash makes it easier to lay out the path of treatments and medications if required. Depending upon the type, these rashes can last for a few hours or a few months. Most rash under armpit can be treated at home with home remedies or OTC (over-the-counter) medications.

Moreover, it’s also imperative to find out what is causing the rash and treat it accordingly. For example, rashes can be caused by hot weather, skin conditions, or lifestyle choices. These different causes will obviously require other treatments. But before that, let’s see a few types of rash under armpit to get a fair idea.

Types of Rashes Under Armpit

Different types of rashes can occur under armpits. Let’s have a look at a few of them and broaden our understanding of why we’re getting these rashes and what we should do to get rid of them.

Atopic Dermatitis

It is commonly known as eczema and starts during childhood. Eczema occurs in the body’s folds, like the back of the knees, the curve of our elbows, and armpits. It’s red, itchy, and crusty. It can start bleeding after continuous scratching. Many people with eczema experience sudden increases in rashes at a particular time of the year.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

It’s a type of skin irritation caused by the overproduction of sebum. Its appearance is the exact opposite of eczema, as eczema occurs as dry patches of flaky skin and seborrheic dermatitis occurs as oily patches of flakes and scales on the skin. The flakes may even appear yellow due to the sebum. These can appear as rash under armpit, on the scalp, ears, and face.

Contact Dermatitis

It occurs when our skin comes in contact with any type of allergen or irritant. A new fragrance in your deodorant, perfume, or lotion can come in contact with your skin and cause rash under armpit, or anywhere else on your body. A new type of detergent and the fabric of our shirt can also cause contact dermatitis.


It’s also called candidiasis and is a fungus or yeast infection. It occurs on the moist or wet parts of our skin, like our armpits, because it is prone to sweating and can cause swelling, itching, and red rashes. It worsens in hot and humid weather, tight clothes, and poor hygiene. Antifungal creams best treat it, and we should avoid steroid creams as it makes fungal infections worse.

Rash under armpit
Rash under armpit

Common Causes of Rash Under Armpit

Poor Hygiene

Dirt and grime will collect in places that are not cleaned. As your underarm collects more sweat than any other part of your body, keeping it clean and dry is a must to prevent itchiness and rashes.

Dull Razor

Shaving with a dull razor can without moisturizing first or using a shaving cream can result in your armpits getting irritated, constant itchiness, and dryness.


Some women have an allergic reaction to bras made of nickel, rubber, and latex.


It is a type of rash in the skin folds. And it can cause bacterial and fungal infections if not treated properly. Moreover, it is caused by high heat, humidity, poor hygiene, obesity, and diabetes.

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Rash Under Armpit Covid

There is a positive correlation between rashes and Covid 19. At the beginning of the pandemic, the symptoms which were usually focused on were cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Then the symptoms started increasing as Covid spread across the world. Moreover, the newest symptoms on this list were loss of smell and taste, diarrhea, and headaches. But the symptoms did not stop there. People started getting rashes on their skin.

These skin changes started appearing along with the other Covid 19 symptoms and continued to persist throughout the disease duration. Some rashes even appeared before any other Covid symptoms. Nothing is mentioned about specific rashes under the armpit. But rashes like eczema, rosacea, urticarial rash, oral rash, and papular and vesicular rashes have occurred as symptoms during Covid.

Heat Rash Under Armpit

Heat rash is one of the most common rashes, and it is also called miliaria. It affects children and adults in hot, humid weather. Heat rashes under armpits can develop when our pores become blocked, and sweat can’t escape.

Heat rashes are also caused by friction. Rubbing of body parts together, like on our inner thighs or under the arms, lead to heat rashes. Babies develop heat rashes on their necks and in other places like the armpits, elbows, and thighs.

Types of Heat Rashes

Check out the following:

Miliaria Crystallina

It is the most common and mild form of heat rash. It appears as small, clear, and white bumps filled with fluid on the skin’s surface. These bumps are bubbles of sweat and often burst. It’s not that painful and doesn’t itch. Moreover, it’s common amongst babies and adults. It doesn’t require any additional treatment and goes away on its own within a couple of days.

Miliaria Rubra

It’s alternatively called “prickly heat.” It’s more common in adults than children and babies. It causes more discomfort than miliaria Crystallina because it occurs deeper in the skin’s outer layer (epidermis).

It mostly occurs in hot and humid conditions and might cause:

  • itchiness and prickly sensations.
  • Red bumps on skin.
  • A lack of moisture in the affected area
  • Inflammation and soreness on the skin because the body can’t release sweat through the skin’s surface.

These bumps might sometimes get worse and fill with pus. The condition then becomes Miliaria Pustulosa.

Miliaria Profunda

It’s the least common of the heat rashes. It has a tendency to occur often and become chronic. Miliaria Profunda occurs in the dermis, which is a deeper layer of skin. It occurs in adults, especially physically active adults, because it produces more sweat.

Miliaria Profunda appears as large, tough, flesh-colored bumps. It can also lead to nausea and dizziness.

How to Prevent:

  • Avoid wearing tight clothes that do not allow the skin to breathe. Wear moisture-absorbing fabrics, as it helps prevent sweat buildup on your skin.
  • Don’t use the product on your skin that can clog your pores, like thick lotions and creams.
  • Try to avoid excessive sweating during the hot summer months. Keep yourself as cool and dry as possible.
  • Try to use fragrance-free products. Use a soap that isn’t drying and won’t leave your skin feeling stripped of moisture.

Heat rashes are not a big reason for concern. It disappears by itself in a few days, but if it’s persisting and you’re experiencing more discomfort than usual, seek out professional help and advice.

Armpit Rash Cancer

There is usually nothing serious to worry about when you have a rash under armpit. It might just be due to poor hygiene and excessive sweating in the hot summer months.

But in some cases, those rashes might be a sign of lymphoma or inflammatory breast cancer.


It is a cancer of the lymphatic system. It can cause swelling of our lymph nodes, mostly in our underarms, groin, or neck.

T cell and B cell skin lymphoma- These produce rashes accompanied by an itch.

Characteristics are dry patches of red skin that represent psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis, skin thickening and formation of plaques that may itch, and papules, which elevate from the skin and form nodules and tumors.

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Inflammatory Breast Cancer

It is a type of breast cancer that has symptoms of itching. If your breast is tender, swollen, red, or itchy, it will first get diagnosed as an infection, and antibiotic treatment will start. But if antibiotics don’t work, there is a possibility of it being breast cancer.

Symptoms like armpit itchiness are there, accompanied by other signs and characteristics.

Rash Under Armpit Treatment

Let’s check out the following:

Finding the Irritant

For rashes like contact dermatitis, find the irritant or the cause of the rash and remove it immediately. This may solve the rash entirely and get rid of eczema and seborrheic dermatitis flare-ups.

Other Methods

There are other simple methods of soothing armpit rashes, like taking a warm bath, using over-the-counter (OTC) itch creams, using an unscented moisturizer (helpful for people with eczema), and using a cool compress.

Avoiding Scratching

Avoid scratching your rash under armpit, or a rash anywhere else for that matter. Scratching makes the rash vulnerable to infections, and a simple rash can turn into a more serious issue. Let’s check out some medications which can help with the itching are:

During the Day

Allegra or Claritin might help. They are nonsedating antihistamines that are available for sale over the counter.

During the Night

A sedating antihistamine like Benadryl might help soothe the itch and help you fall asleep.

Remedies to Relieve Pain – Home Remedies

If your rash isn’t that serious, any useful item you can find in your home may be helpful in relieving the itch and pain. Some of these remedies are:

  1. Using ice cubes to soothe the pain and itching. However, don’t put the ice directly on the skin. Wrap it around a cloth and then rub it over the rash.
  2. Consuming more vitamin C can help fight against skin rashes and infections. Eat more broccoli, oranges, and tomatoes.
  3. Use lemon and slide it on your armpit. The lemon has citric acid and can kill bacteria in your armpits. It also works as a deodorant.
  4. Using essential oils like lavender, coconut, and tea tree oil might help with the rash under armpit as essential oils help with itchiness, irritations, and infections and may help provide relief to the pain. Use a small amount of lavender and coconut oil and mix it. Apply it to your rash to soothe the irritation and itchiness. Use tea tree oil mixed with water and apply it. It helps kill the fungus.

Over the Counter Remedies

  1. Hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotions are effective in treating rashes.
  2. Rashes like candida rashes and other fungal rashes require different treatments. Any creams with the ingredients clotrimazole, nystatin, or ketoconazole will help soothe inflammation under the armpit.
  3. You can also use any anti-chafing powders, which reduce the irritation caused by armpit rash and the pain caused by the skin rubbing together in your armpit. Moreover, it will not cure the inflammation itself, but it will help relieve the pain and irritation for some time.

Preventing Rash Under Armpit

To prevent rash under the armpit, practicing good hygiene is the most important. Showering is a must, and using towels that are not harsh on your skin is also vital.

If you notice that certain products that you use on your skin, like deodorants and lotions, are giving you a rash, stop using them immediately. So, if you can’t figure out the causes of your rashes, you must see an allergist as soon as you can because they will help you find the cause of your rash.

Wear loose cotton clothes which allow your armpits to breathe and sweat to escape—wearing clothes made out of material that does not let sweat escape might contribute to a rash.

If your rash under armpit is a heat rash, use talcum powder to prevent it. Try staying in places that are cool and airy and don’t make you sweat that much.

Final Thoughts

We have covered a lot of things about rash under armpits. We have covered the types, causes, and how to prevent it from happening. But at the end of the day, a rash is not a big reason, so you don’t need to worry about it.

It goes away on its own, so it’s futile to worry unless these rashes occur frequently. However, if it’s severe and is causing you a lot of discomforts, contacting a doctor is advisable. Otherwise, minor rashes keep happening, and it’s generally nothing serious.

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