Itchy Armpits Causes – Symptoms & Treatment

What causes itchy armpits? Is a red itchy rash on my armpits a sign of breast cancer? What do I need to get rid of rash on my armpits during pregnancy? Having rash on your armpits causes a lot of discomfort, it could also be embarrassing given the urge to scratch the armpits in public or at night. This article provides you with some of the causes, the symptoms and treatment option for itchy armpits

Related article:

  1. How to Get Rid of Boils under Armpits

Itchy armpits meaning

What does it mean to have itchy armpits? Your armpits are prime spot for irritation. It is not able for you to see an armpit rash from the go, but the itch and irritation can be unbearable.  The most common reason for you to have itchy rash would bed as a result of a rash.

A rash also known as contact dermatitis or atopic eczema, is a type of inflammation of the skin. It usually results in itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin. Scratching the rash would worsen the symptoms and you risk having a skin infection. It is the rash that cause the armpits to itch most of the cases. Apart from the rash, other skin condition may contribute to the itching of the armpits.

Although the itching may not be that serious, it may be a good sign of an underlying health problem. You need to see your health care provider as soon as possible. Treating the underlying cause is the best way to getting rid of the itchiness in your armpits. Underarms rashes last from a few days to week depending on what is causing the rash.

Symptoms of Itchy Armpit – What Are They?

What are the symptoms associated with underarm that itches? You’re likely to experience any of the following signs and symptoms. However, that will depend on the underlying cause of your symptoms. They include:

  • Skin color changes under the arm becoming red
  • Bumps, swelling or rash in the armpits. Sometimes the itchy may have no rash
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Skin texture becomes rough, scaling, tenderness
  • Painful or sore itchy armpits
  • Crusting or flaking

As stated earlier, the symptoms may vary. This entirely depends on the underlying cause. Other signs include:

  • Cough, headache and runny nose,
  • Sore throat
  • Sweating, fever or chills
  • Stiffness of the joint and pain.

These symptoms mentioned above could imply a serious underlying health risk. They can be life – threatening. Seek immediate medical attention.

Itchy armpits rash picture

This page will provide you with images to give you visual aid to understand the cause of your symptoms. Below is a picture of itchy armpits for illustrative purpose.

Itchy armpits causes

As we have already establish, itchy armpits can be caused by a number of health condition. The following are some of the common cause of itchy underarms, for effective medication, you need to see your health care provider as soon as possible.  Treating the underlying cause of itchiness is the best way of getting rid of the pain and discomfort in your armpits.

1. Itchy armpits candida, fungus

Candida or candidiasis is a yeast infection that occurs most frequently in moist area of the skin, most commonly the underarm.  It causes swelling, itching, scaling and may result in red rashes which causes the armpits to itch.

Your skin acts as an effective barrier against infection, any cuts in the superficial layers of your skin allows fungus to cause infection. Candida thus becomes a pathogen (capable of causing a disease) when condition becomes favorable for the multiplication of the fungus.

What may cause the condition to worsen?

  • Excess sweeting
  • Poor hygiene
  • Wearing too tight clothing’s
  • Applying lot of deodorant and body lotion

2. Itchy armpits cancer of the breast?

Also called malignancy, cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. Breast cancer is thus the abnormal growth of the cells in breast. According to research, there are more than 100 types of cancer including skin, lung cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma and many others.

Symptoms vary depending on the causes of the cancer. Swelling can develop around your collarbone and armpits as a result of breast cancer. This is due to the spread of the cancer to the lymph glands in this area of the body.

For effective medication, you need to see your doctor as soon as you can. Treatment option will depend on the stage and extent of the breast cancer, the option include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

3. Celiac disease

Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in the inability of the body to absorb nutrients necessary for general body health.

Suffering from gluten-intolerance develops an intense burning and itching rash. This kind of rash is known as dermatitis herpetiforis.

There is no known cure for celiac disease, but the best possible way to ovoid the condition Is to have a gluten free diet life.

4. Hidradenitis suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa or HS is another disease associated with sweat glands. If you have this condition, it will trigger the inflammation of apocrine glands as a result of clogging and formation of cysts after an infection.

Apart from the underarms, other parts of your body most likely to be affected by the condition include the groin and under breast. The common symptom for the condition includes:

  • Itching
  • Enlarge bumps beneath the arms
  • Pain and tenderness I the skin underarms.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is treatable, if you have the condition, you could take same over the counter antibiotics or anti-inflammatory injections. Depending on the extent of the cyst formed, your doctor may prescribe draining or removing the cyst by surgery

5. Itchy armpits after shaving

Improper shaving techniques can make you develop rashes on your underarms. A poor shaving causes irritation due to damage of the skin, due to scratching or cut form the shaving razor. The small bumps formed after shaving can be aggravated by sweating and body sprays and deodorants.  The bumps formed are usually small in size and could cause slight itching which may last up to a few hours or days.

Continuous scratching can easily result in an infection. The hair follicles get more irritated and can lead to swelling or serous itching. You would use some home remedies to soothe the skin and reduce the irritation. Common plants such as aloe Vera can be helpful. If this does not help please see your doctor as soon as possible.

To avoid this kind of occurrence, you could apply new ways of getting rid of underarms hair, this would include methods such as waxing.

6. Eczema in armpits

Eczema is a general term that describe several different conditions in which skin is inflamed, red, scaly and itchy. The most common type is atopic dermatitis also called atopic eczema. It can occur in adults or children and it is not contagious. When your underarms are affected, this may result in itchiness due to the rash caused.

The cause of atopic eczema is not known, but the condition often affects people with a family history of allergies. Many individuals with eczema also have hay fever and/or asthma or have family members with those conditions.

7. Diabetes

Diabetics is a complex medical condition that can affect your entire body. When you have diabetics, the body can’t maintain healthy glucose level in the blood. Glucose is a form of sugar that is the main source of energy for your body. If your body has unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood, it can lead to long and short term health complication.

Diabetics can be managed well but the potential health complication for different type of diabetics. This could include complication such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and depression. Common symptoms for diabetics would include:

If you notice the symptoms persist, please visit your health care provider. The symptoms are:

  • Being more thirsty than usual.
  • More urine
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Itching kin infection
  • Weight loss
  • headaches

8. Itchy armpits ingrown hairs

Itchy armpits as a result of ingrown hair mostly occurs as a result of poor or improper shaving techniques. When the skin hair is growing, it may fail to break through the skin, it therefore grows sideways into the skin resulting into an ingrown hair. Though common in people with tight, curly hair an ingrown hair is more likely to because by hair removal.

As you shave the hair in your armpits, it grows back into the skin leading to inflammation and formation of rash in your armpits. Poor shaving is the main cause of ingrown hair, otherwise other causes such as waxing and having a dry or too much oil on your skin.

Although not harmful, consistent scratching the rash can lead cause an infection. Some over the counter anti-inflammatory and anti-itching creams will help soothe your skin and reduce the itching.

9. Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your body immune system attacks different healthy body tissues. The causes are unknown but it is believed to be caused by hormonal and genetic factors.

The lupus rash occurs symmetrically on the body. Your armpit are most likely to be attacked by lupus. When this happens, the affected area can be patched with a rush, the rash can be itchy and cause a lot of irritation.

Lupus has not treatment. Only management medications are given. Most of these include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that reduce the effect of the immune system on the affected tissue. Pain and fever that is associated with lupus may be treated using over-the-counter NSAIDS such as naproxen sodium [Source – Mayo Clinic]

10. Lymphoma

Lymphoma is cancer that starts from the lymph nodes spreading to other parts of your body tissues. When cancer breaks and spread from other part of your body, it travels through the bloodstream or through the lymphatic system. When the travel is through the lymph nodes, it can find its way to the lymph nodes causing them to swell and become enlarged. This condition is medically known as metastasis

If you notice the following symptom persist, you need to get yourself examined by a medically doctor for early medication in cases of cancer, the symptoms will include fever, weight loss and excessive sweating.

11. Mono

Medically known as infectious mononucleosis, mono refers to group of symptoms caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).  It mostly occurs in teenagers, but you could get it at any age. It is a contagious condition, and can be transmitted from one person to the other by sharing of clothing’s.

It symptoms will include high fever and swollen lymph nodes which could be irritating and cause the urge to scratch your armpits

Most cases of mono are mild and resolve easily with minimal treatment. Otherwise, if the infection fails to go away after two months, it is good you see your health care provider to check on you.

12. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition where cells grow at a faster rate than they can be shed, causing excess skin to build up and form scaly patches on the body. It is seen usually on the scalp and on joints and is characterized by an itchy, scaly red rash. When this happens beneath your armpits it causes the surface to itch gives the urge to scratch constantly.

Steroid creams or ointments (topical corticosteroids) are commonly used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis in most areas of the body. The treatment works by reducing inflammation. This slows the production of skin cells and reduces itching.

Itchy Armpits with Swollen Lymph Node

Having itchy armpits with swollen lymph nodes could be a clear symptom of mono, an infection caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This is most common in teenagers, but you are most likely to get it at any age. It is a contagious condition, and can be transmitted from one person to the other by sharing of clothing’s.

Most cases of mono are mild and resolve easily with minimal treatment. Otherwise, if the infection fails to go away after two months, it is good you see your health care provider to check on you. It is also good to avoid sharing clothes and maintain good general body hygiene.

Red Itchy Armpit Lump

What does a red itchy armpit lump mean? Could this be a sign of cancer? What do I need to do to get rid of a red itchy armpit? Anytime you notice a lump beneath your arm, it could be embarrassing and a cause for alarm.  As we have already established, this could be due to a number of reasons. It could be as a result of an ingrown hair due to poor shaving techniques, a rash due to an infection such as mono and candida fungus and many others.

You can also develop a lump in your armpit due to cancer, most specifically lymphoma which affects the lymph nodes in your armpits. Even though the lump may fail to be so serious, it is advisable you visit your health care provide for effective and immediate treatment to avoid the spread of infection to other body parts

Itchy Armpits and Groin No Rash

Is it possible to have itchy armpits and groin with no rash?  The answer is a definite yes, it is possible to have itchy armpits with no rash. When the rash is very mild, it is possible not to see the rash at all. The most common cause of such an occurrence would be a mild allergies to deodorants and antiperspirants and other hyperhidrosis.

Other cause of an itchy armpits with no rash would include:

  1. Excessive sweating in the armpits
  2. Lymphoma
  3. Dry skin
  4. Scabies

The treatment of itchy armpit with no rash will depend on what is causing the itchiness. Please read though to get the treatment options.

Itchy Armpits during Pregnancy

Is it common to have itchy armpits during pregnancy? Could this be a sign of cancer? How best can I get rid of the itchiness without affecting my baby? If the itching is not as a result of shaving, then you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. The itchiness could be as a result of an allergic reaction as a result of deodorants and other body lotions.

If on the other hand, the armpits are red and feel inflamed it could be as a result of yeast infection under your armpits due to hormones and sweating. According to DR. Morris Westfried, a dermatologist, “hormones changes in liver contribute to itching… several rashes are associated with pregnancy, popular pruritic pup, impetigo herpetiformis, as well as eczema which can worsen in pregnancy” ( To reduce the irritation, you can use anti-fungal power spry.  Again if this does not help, please visit your doctor.

Very Itchy Armpit Rash at Night

Do you have itchy armpits rash at night?  Could this be serious?  For those who sweat a lot during the night, it is more common for them to experience itchy armpits during the night due to sweating. It is also possible to have itchy underarms during the early stages of pregnancy. The other factor could be as a result of poor conditioned bedroom.

To avoid this, you need to have lifestyle changes and uphold high standards of both body and bedroom hygiene.

Itchy Armpits Treatments, Cure, How to Get Rid

The medication and treatment of itchy armpits start with treating the underlying cause of the rash. Depending on the cause, your doctor will prescribe the best medication for you. In cases of cancer, your doctor might prescribe:

  1. To stop itchy underarm after shaving, don’t shave armpits if they are already inflamed or itchy, use a moisturizer or a shaving gel. You could also change your shaving razors regularly and do not use deodorant immediately after shaving.
  2. Treatment of itchy armpits due to psoriasis include light therapy, oral medication or use of steroid creams. These treatment will help soothe the skin and relieve the various symptoms such as dry cracked skin, itching, irritated or inflamed underarms
  3. To treat an itchy armpit due to candida, use antifungal medications as well as OTC antifungal creams.  Keep your underarm dry using loose breathable clothing.
  4. For cancer caused itching, your doctor may prescribe:
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • radiotherapy

Itchy Armpits Natural Home Remedies

Before you visit your doctor, you could try the following simple home remedies that will help you easy and soothe your skin. Please note, that if the rash and itchiness does not go away you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. The remedies include:

Olive oil

Applying olive oil on the armpits on the parts with the rash. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, which help soothe your skin and reduce itching. You could also use a combination of olive oil and honey. Simply rub the mixture a few times daily until the rash heal completely.

Castor oil and coconut oil also help heal rashes naturally. A combination of vitamin E oil and liver oil is thus a good remedy.

Baking soda

You could also use baking soda, which help dry skin rashes. It also relieves the itching and inflammation associated with rashes. To do this;

  1. Add a 50 grams of baking soda to 150 milliliters of water.
  2. Apply the mixture on the affected area, leave it on for a few minutes before rising it off.
  3. Do this repeatedly for a few days. Note you can use coconut oil in place of water to make a paste that you can apply on the affected area. (You should not leave baking soda on your skin for long as this would cause further irritation).


Due to the soothing and anti-inflammatory properties of oatmeal, it’s good for alleviating skin irritation and inflammation. It’s thus excellent for rashes caused by eczema, sun burn, chicken pox and allergies. What you need to do is;

  • Grind oatmeal in a blender, combine one-half cup of oatmeal, a quarter cup of milk powder and two tea spoon of honey.
  • Put this mixture in a muslin cloth, tie and place it in a bath tab filled with warm water. Soak in the milky bath water for 20 minutes.
  • Pat dry and moisturize your skin, repeat daily for a few days.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory, emollient, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s excellent for treating number of skin ailments including rashes. Apart from healing, it also soothes the skin, relieves itching and reduce redness.

  1. Extract fresh Aloe Vera gel from an aloe leaf.
  2. Apply it on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes, and then rinse it off.
  4. Do this at least three times a day until the rash clears.

If you do not have fresh aloe Vera gel, you can buy aloe Vera gel or extract from any retail store near you.

Cold compress

A cold compress can be beneficial in reducing rashes, especially those caused by lupus, psoriasis, mono and shingles. It helps ease itching, swelling and inflammation, and can be particularly useful if a rash begins to develop into blisters.

Apple cider vinegar

Raw and organic apple cider vinegar is another excellent home remedy to treat skin rashes and calm the itching. Moreover, its acetic acid content helps fight skin infections that could be causing or aggravating the problem.

  1. Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it on the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for a few minutes, and then remove the cotton ball.
  3. Do this several times a day for a few days or until your rash clears.

Note: If apple cider vinegar causes irritation, try diluting it with water before applying it. If the irritation persists, then try another remedy.


  1. An impressive share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little bit analysis on this. And he in reality bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If doable, as you develop into experience, would you thoughts updating your weblog with more details? It’s extremely helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog put up!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here