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Underarm Rash

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

What is Underarm rash?

When you have underarm rash it is usually not conspicuous but it can be an annoying and discomforting condition, especially if it begins to itch and makes the area flaky and dry. It is a symptom more than a medical condition.


Symptoms

Because underarm rash is a symptom you may also experience other symptoms that depend on what is causing the underarm rash in the first place.

General symptoms

  • Skin that is red and blotchy
  • May have some swelling
  • Rash may cause bumps that are filled with pus, flaky, scaly, or have a bumpy feeling to them.
  • Itchiness
  • Pain or tenderness

Other symptoms

You may also see other symptoms that are related to other systems of your body such as:

  • Cough
  • Chills and fever
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Throat that is sore

Symptoms that may indicate a condition that is life threatening

  • Change in level of alertness or consciousness.
  • Chills or fever higher than one hundred one degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Purple rash
  • Breathing or respiratory problems.
  • A sudden swelling of your lips, tongue, or face.
  • Constriction or tightness in your throat.
  • Despite treatment the symptoms get worse.

Causes of Underarm rash

Underarm rash due to inflammatory or allergic causes

Developing underarm rash could be caused by contact dermatitis and some of the triggers that are common may include:

  • Detergents, cosmetics, deodorant, soaps, shaving creams, perfume, powder, or dyes.
  • Industrial chemicals like the ones that are found in rubber, latex, or elastic.
  • Metallic substances like copper, wire, or various other metals.
  • Poison oak or ivy
  • Having the skin disorder that causes blistering or scaly rashes that could be caused by an allergy called eczema.
  • Having an inflammation of your hair follicles that could happen after you shave called folliculitis.
  • After shaving having ingrown hairs.
  • Having an allergic reaction after an insect bite like a bee sting.
  • Fungal infections that come from not cleaning the sweat, dirt, and other stuff under your arm on a daily basis.

Having an allergic reaction to something is the most common cause of having an underarm rash.

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Underarm rash due to infectious causes

  • Shingles or chickenpox
  • Impetigo
  • Having an inflammatory bacterial disease that is caused by ticks called lyme disease.
  • Having mumps, roseola, rubella, scarlet fever, or measles.
  • Having an inflammation of the sac around your spinal cord and brain called meningitis.
  • Having a rash that resembles the shape of the pine tree called pityriasis rosea.
  • Having ringworm
  • Having a bacterial throat infection called strep throat.
  • Having Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Underarm rash due to autoimmune causes

  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Having a disorder in which your body attacks its own healthy tissues and cells called systemic lupus erythematosus.

Other causes of underarm rash

  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Some medications
  • Acne
  • Heat rash
  • Sweating excessively

Underarm rash Treatment

The treatment used for underarm rash depends on what the cause of the rash is. Some treatments that may be used include:

  • If the underarm rash is caused by an allergic reaction to soaps, shaving cream, detergents, deodorant, perfume, etc, change what you are using until you find one that does not cause underarm rash.
  • If it is due to folliculitis you will need to see your physician for a prescription of a topical cream to help reduce your discomfort and help calm down the inflamed follicle.
  • If it is due to a fungal infection you will need to apply antifungal creams to the area and also decrease the amount of milk-products and milk you are consuming. If over-the-counter fungal creams do not take care of the problem you will need to talk to your physician about a prescription for a stronger antifungal medication.
  • If you develop a heat rash you need to try and keep the area aired out, dry, and cool. You can also apply cool compresses to the area to help with the itching. Try not to scratch the area as this can only aggravate the situation and make it worse. You can also apply ice cubes to help cool down the heat rash.
  • If the cause is shaving, make sure that you are using a new blade or razor and try a shaving cream or gel for sensitive skin.
  • Do not wear tight clothing, especially in the heat, as this can cause friction under your arms. Try to wear light, loose fitting clothes.
  • Make sure that you are keeping your underarms dry and clean by washing under the area at least two times a day. You can also apply aloe Vera gel on the rash.
  • Before going to bed apply a light moisturizer under your arms.

If your underarm rash is caused by a medical condition talk to your physician to see which treatment would work best for your condition.

Underarm Rash Pictures

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