Just like pain in right arm or left arm, itchy armpits are also a very common complaint among many people from all walks of life. Although I have not experienced having a serious itchy underarm problem before, I assume that the itchiness can be irresistible to scratch; otherwise, people will not scratch their armpits in public as though no one sees them. It’s gross! Since this problem affects anyone including musicians, I thought it would be good to have an in-depth look at the causes and remedies for itchy underarms.
An itching underarm is medically called pruritus. This irritating and discomforting problem can affect both men and women. The itchiness as well as other symptoms associated with it may vary depending on its underlying cause. In most cases, the itching comes with soreness, redness, swelling and even scarring. Scratching can only give temporary relief. A more permanent solution involves identifying the underlying cause and treating it.
- Lack of Personal Hygiene
Even if it is constantly covered, the armpit is still exposed to grease, dirt, sweat and other body secretions that must be cleaned and washed off. For people who do not bath regularly or at least wash their armpits, bacteria can easily multiply, causing itchiness and other symptoms. There is no other remedy for lack of personal hygiene than to practice regular bathing using body wash and antiseptic soap and to ensure that your armpit is properly washed.
- Candida Infection
Candida is a common cause of various skin infections including underarm itchiness. Moist parts of the body which includes the groin and the armpits are more prone to fungal overgrowth. Aside from that, candida also thrives if a person frequently wears tight clothing or is constantly in a humid environment. In most cases, candida infection can be resolved by wearing loose clothing and using topical or oral antifungal medications such as Polyene and clotrimazole.
- Excessive Sweating
People who sweat excessively are also more likely to have itchy armpits. If the armpit is constantly moist and damp, it becomes a perfect environment for bacterial growth which will eventually cause irritation and itchiness. Excessive sweating is common among obese individuals, those who are on certain medications, and those who are active in physical activities. If the sweating is caused by systemic or hormonal factors, certain medications can help manage the sweating. For excessive sweating caused by other factors, the use of antiperspirant and specially formulated soap may also help.
- Reaction to Deodorant and Antiperspirant
Some people experience itching in the underarm as a reaction to a particular brand of antiperspirant or deodorant they are using. Find the brand that is more suitable for you by trying out other products with milder ingredients.
- Inverse Psoriasis
This condition commonly affects obese individuals who have deep and thick skin folds where lesions can develop. There is wide range of treatment options for this condition, including the use of low-dose steroids, topical medications, phototherapy and systemic therapy among others.
Although most cases of itchy armpit will just go away on its own with home remedies, if your condition does not show any improvement for two weeks or more, see your doctor to identify the underlying cause of the itchiness and treat the problem.