Living with armpit rash is certainly not a pleasant experience. Sooner or later, all that itching and scratching will have others likening you to an ape. Although there are multiple reasons why this problem arises, there is a silver lining to all of it. As with most other skin problems, it may be a sign that it is time to start making a change for the better and improve your hygiene. Thankfully there is something you can do to alleviate the problem and ensure that it does not reoccur.
What Is It?
As its name suggests,, this sort of rash forms on and around the underarm area. You tend to feel ticklish around this area because the skin is very sensitive. Sensitive skin is due to the thin layer of epidermis present. This means that, should any form of irritation such as bacterial buildup, razor cut or over perspiration occur, it is only a matter of time before rashes and further skin problems start forming.
How Does It Happen?
There are several culprits responsible for an uncomfortable underarm area. From overexposure to heat to something as simple as too much shaving, here are some of the top causes of this problem.
Rashes can occur in the armpit area when you are exposed to too much heat. This usually happens when you are faced with a sudden shift in temperature due to travel or even the change of the seasons. Your sweat ducts may overwork themselves and get blocked as a result of over perspiration and poor ventilation. These blocked sweat ducts will cause sweat and moisture to build up under the skin, leaving plenty of room for bacteria to flourish. This will cause inflammation, irritation and rashes.
Too much friction in the area can also cause inflammation in the armpits. Unfortunately, you are not able to walk around with your arms held up high without looking silly, so it is inevitable that the armpits are an area where there is continuous friction between skin and clothing or skin and skin. The friction coupled with moisture from perspiration irritates the skin and causes rashes. The same concept can be applied to blisters on your feet. When there is constant friction against the skin, painful blisters will pop up and they only go away when you swap your footwear for something more comfortable. The same can be said for the underarm area.
3. Allergic Reaction
A skin allergy is one of the most common culprits of this scenario. Chemical based products like laundry detergent, shower gels, soaps, antiperspirants and deodorants may cause an allergic reaction. Most of these products contain fragrances, alcohol, parabens and aluminum. These ingredients often trigger skin irritation and are the most obvious causes of itching and redness. Aside from these products, you may be able to pinpoint the rashes to an allergic reaction due to certain materials. Be extra sure that you are not sensitive or allergic to certain textiles such as wool, as they may be the cause of the rashes.
4. Razor Burn
Excessive shaving may be another culprit. Shaving can cause ingrown hair follicles and, more often than not, these blocked follicles can get infected. Stop shaving your underarms and let the hair grow out naturally. Use tweezers to pluck out these undesirable follicles once they push through the skin. Try not to pick at them, as they will bleed and cause unsightly scarring.
5. Tight Fitting Clothes
Another cause of rashes under the armpits is due to ill-fitting clothes. When clothes are too tight, the flow of oxygen is restricted and this allows moisture and bacteria to build up in the area. You have to allow your skin to breathe, especially if you live in a warm climate. Not only that, you should wear less nylon and polyester materials and don clothes made from natural and breathable fibers such as cotton, linen and jute.
How to Get Rid of It?
Thankfully, getting rid of rashes is not as difficult as you think. Some lifestyle changes have to be made, but by taking these simple steps you can bid adieu to unsightly and uncomfortable rashes forever. Here are some things that you can do to make a change for the better.
1. Wear Loose Clothing
Leave the tight clothing for a night out on the town. On regular days, especially hot ones,, put on loose-fitting clothes made from natural materials. Not only will proper fitting clothes give your armpits sufficient ventilation, they will also reduce friction caused by excessive rubbing between the clothes and your skin. Because of the excellent ventilation introduced, bacteria and fungus will be hard pressed to find suitable conditions to flourish, leaving your skin healthy and undisturbed.
2. Hydrate Yourself
You will be surprised at how effective this simple step is in combating rashes. By keeping yourself hydrated, you are unconsciously regulating your body temperature. When your body temperature is at its optimal level, it regulates perspiration, hence keeping the formation of moisture under the armpits at bay. Load up on plenty of plain water, fresh juices and green tea. Stay away from dehydrating fluids like alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks like soda and energy boosts.
3. Stop Shaving
Put down that razor and let your skin heal before shaving again. To soothe ingrown hair that causes rashes, apply a hot compress or warm washcloth on the area. This will promote drainage and loosen the skin. Use a pair of sterilized tweezers to pluck out the ingrown hair. You can also switch your methods from shaving to waxing and applying depilatory creams. Do not scratch or pick at the infected area, as you will only make it worse.
4. Use Medication
Although leaving the rashes well alone is probably the best thing you can do, sometimes the itching and discomfort can get too much to bear. This is when medication comes in. Head to the drugstore for some calamine lotion. You can also opt to apply topical or antifungal ointments like a mild hydrocortisone cream to the infected area. If you prefer to take the natural route, oils such as vitamin E, tea tree and aloe vera will do wonders. If over-the-counter medications do not help, immediately seek the advice of a doctor. He or she will prescribe a stronger form of medication, like steroids, as well as pain-killers to help with the discomfort and itching.
5. Change Your Products
Switch to all natural beauty products to avoid skin irritation. Fragrance-free deodorants, shower gels, creams, and lotions will do wonders for your sensitive skin. They lessen the risk of clogged pores when you perspire too much. You should also think about investing in eco-friendly and all natural cleaning products. Start with your laundry detergent and fabric softener and work your way down from there.