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Why are my armpits itchy? 7 ways to get rid of itchy armpits

Ever wondered why your armpits are so itchy? Read on to find out the causes of itchy armpits, and how to treat and prevent them.


An itchy armpit refers to the sensation where the underarms are experiencing irritation or discomfort which can trigger the urge to scratch or rub the affected region.

Itchy armpits can be caused by a variety of reasons such as poor hygiene, excessive heat or dry skin patches. Itchiness in the underarms can be a very uncomfortable feeling, so read on to learn more about how to get rid of and prevent them.


What are the symptoms of itchy armpits?

Typically, itchy armpits are associated with itchiness or irritation in the underarm, and depending on the underlying cause, it may be mild, moderate, or severe. Several symptoms can occur alongside itchiness such as red patches under the armpits, swelling, bumps, armpit pimples, and rashes. 

Seek medical help if the itchiness persists or is accompanied by severe pain as it could indicate an infection.

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Causes of itchy armpits


Itchy armpits can be caused by a variety of factors such as:

1. Heat: When exposed to too much heat, your sweat glands clog up and cannot release sweat. This causes them to swell, resulting in itchy, painful bumps under your arms.

2. Poor hygiene: Keeping your underarms clean is vital to preventing itchy armpits. Underarms harbour many different kinds of bacteria. The buildup of sweat and dirt on the skin can cause these bacteria to multiply, resulting in itchy skin.

3. Razor burns or rashes: This typically occurs when an area is not shaved correctly which can lead to irritation or itchiness. If you develop a razor burn or rash, take a break from shaving for a few days and allow your skin to heal.

4. Contact dermatitis: This occurs when the skin is exposed to an irritant or an allergen, leading to redness and irritation. Such substances can include soaps, laundry detergents, or certain deodorants. If you think you’ve been exposed to an irritant, discontinue the use of all suspected products and gradually reintroduce them one by one. If no rash appears after three days, you can eliminate it as a cause. 

5. Intertrigo: This is a rash that occurs in moist areas of skin folds. It is characterised as a red or brown rash that can cause itchiness and burning sensations.

6. Sensitive skin: People with sensitive skin may be more prone to itchy armpits. The use of deodorants with harsh chemicals can cause irritation, especially to those with sensitive skin. Use gentle, fragrance-free products to prevent and get rid of itchiness.

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If you’re experiencing extreme symptoms, it's advised you seek medical attention.


A burning or painful sensation in your armpits could be because of these reasons:


Deodorant rash: If you’re experiencing a rash or burning feeling in your armpits after you apply deodorant, it could be an allergic reaction. Make sure to wash off the deodorant thoroughly to prevent it from getting worse.


Infected lymph nodes: Pain in the armpits along with a small lump could indicate an inflamed lymph node. This is often a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection, hence you should visit your doctor.


Ingrown hairs: These occur when a hair follicle grows sideways into the skin. This may lead to the growth of boils or armpit pimples that are red and painful to touch.


Here are some methods you can use to help treat itchy underarms along with symptoms such as armpit pimples:
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1. Anti-itch creams or lotions: Over-the-counter anti-itch creams that contain ingredients such as Hydrocortisone or Calamine can help get rid of itchy armpits.
2. Moisturiser: Applying a moisturiser such as the NIVEA Repair & Care Lotion can help soothe itchy armpits, particularly if the skin there is dry. 
3. Anti-chafing powders help get rid of bacteria and lessen the discomfort caused by skin rashes They do this by reducing the friction in the armpits.

Home remedies:

4. Ice Cubes help in soothing and relieving your skin from irritation and itching. Make sure you don’t apply directly onto bare skin, but wrap it in a clean towel or kitchen roll and apply it to the skin.
5. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and cooling properties which can help soothe and relieve itchy armpits.
6. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that can relieve itchy underarms. Add Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables to your diet like lemons and strawberries. 
7. Essential oils: Tea Tree or Lavender oil are essential oils that have anti-infective and soothing properties that can help treat armpit rashes or itchy armpits. Before use, dilute the oil with a moisturiser to avoid irritation. 


Here are a few measures you can take to prevent itchy armpits:

1. Avoid scratching or rubbing the skin as that may worsen the condition.
2. Wear loose cotton clothing and avoid materials like wool that can irritate sensitive skin.
3. Practise good hygiene such as showering regularly, and making sure you wash your armpits thoroughly.
4. Wash clothes and towels regularly, making sure to use fragrance-free detergents.
5. Keep your skin moisturised to avoid dry skin that can lead to itchiness.
6. Use deodorant or antiperspirant that is catered to be gentle on the skin such as the NIVEA Pearl & Beauty Deodorant Spray, limiting irritation and itchiness 


NIVEA’s range of deodorants is designed to provide effective antiperspirant protection while being gentle on the skin. Check out the Pearl & Beauty Deodorant range that offers extra gentle protection for your armpits.