HOW TO RELIEVE
CRAZY ITCHY ARMPITS

HOW TO RELIEVE CRAZY ITCHY ARMPITS

SEPTEMBER 2022 | 5 Minute Read 

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One of the most common things I hear complaints about when it comes to underarm troubles is itchy armpits. So I thought I would shed some light on a list of possible reasons. First, you should know that armpits are ideal hosts for bacteria since they are dark and moist environments, so infections are likely to occur in the armpit region. Additionally, the skin in the underarm area is incredibly sensitive, even if you don’t typically have sensitive skin on other areas of the body and face.

RASHES AND ITCHY ARMPITS

Sometimes underarm rashes cause an intense or uncomfortable itching sensation. Some reasons include:

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BACTERIAL OR YEAST INFECTION

Heat + moisture + armpits = a recipe for bacteria and fungal infections that can be crazy itchy! To help avoid this, ensure your underarms are fully dry after you shower and before applying deodorant to discourage bacterial growth due to wet skin. 

One of my best tips is to apply some extra powder (like the sweat powder) on top of your deodorant to help grab moisture from the skin throughout the day if are a heavy sweater or prone to itchy armpits.

It is important to resist the urge to scratch itchy armpits since it will break the skin and the bacteria will spread.

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FRICTION & EXCESS SWEATING

Any situation that creates increased sweating and friction may lead to a rash that is itchy. This is especially common during the summer, but can happen at any time, especially if you are a naturally sweaty person.

When excess sweat builds up under the arms, which is an enclosed area full of skin folds and bacteria, leaving nowhere for the moisture to go you are more prone to developing a rash. Pairing moist skin with the constant rubbing and friction that occurs is a recipe for a red, itchy, bumpy rash

HEAT RASH

Heat rashes occur during hot and humid weather (hello summers). They develop when blocked pores trap perspiration under your skin. You often notice them in the form of superficial blisters or deep, red lumps. They often clear on their own, but the best way to relieve symptoms is to keep your skin cool and dry, avoiding excessive sweating and moisture.

OTHER POSSIBLE REASONS FOR ITCHY ARMPITS

shower after workout - itchy armpits

1. NOT SHOWERING AFTER A WORKOUT

Sweat deposits residue that can cause rashes if not removed from the skin. I know there are many of us out there who live busy lives and try to fit a workout in during lunch. Since you have to return to the office or run to a next appointment, you may not have time to do a thorough cleanse. 

The best thing to do in this situation is to at least wipe your underarms and anywhere that there is sweat to remove wetness that can turn into bacteria-caused irritation.

2. CLOGGED ARMPIT PORES

Hair follicles can be easily clogged with anything that you are using, but antiperspirant tends to be the main culprit. Since antiperspirants are made with aluminum chloride that prevent sweating, these products are formulated to work its way into your pores and form a plug. Sometimes this can lead to infections if your hair follicle is clogged.  Seek natural deodorants as an alternative that do not have pore clogging ingredients like coconut oil.

laundry detergent - itchy armpits

3. FRAGRANCE IRRITATION

Using a product with high levels of fragrance:  This could range from a laundry detergent, or an antiperspirant or deodorant with high levels of fragrance. Lightly scented products should be fine because the levels will be low but avoiding synthetic fragrance will lessen your chances of irritation.

4. WEARING CLOTHES MADE WITH SYNTHETIC FIBERS: 

A common but unobvious reason is your choice of clothing. Clothes are often made with manmade fibers that do not allow your skin to breathe due to its weave. Irritation occurs as the fibers rub against your skin, which is why it is best to purchase clothes made from natural fibers like bamboo, cotton, silk, linen or wool.

5. USING PRODUCTS WITH BAKING SODA

If you have sensitive skin or have suddenly developed an intolerance, it’s time to look at the ingredients label on your product. Although natural, baking soda is very alkaline and gritty, so is hard to tolerate and often causes rashes.
broken skin - itchy armpits

6. APPLYING DEODORANT ON BROKEN SKIN

Shaving creates micro cuts (A.K.A. “broken skin”) on your armpits and can be very irritating if you apply product immediately after shaving. I always recommend waiting 12-24 hours after shaving to apply any deodorant. If you are sensitive or have melanin-rich or darker skin it’s best to shave at night so your underarms have time to calm down after. Darker skin tones may also hyperpigment more easily if they get irritated.  

SOLUTIONS THAT WILL HELP RELIEVE ITCHING TEMPORARILY

  1. Apply an ice compress
  2. Apply aloe vera
  3. Try applying calamine lotion onto your skin
  4. Wear loose clothes that give your armpits breathing space
  5. Apply the sweat powder over the area to help keep it dry throughout the day and prevent further irritation

This is certainly not a complete list, but outlines some of the most common causes of armpit itching that we come across at kaia naturals. Using this list as a process of elimination, you may have a better understanding of what the cause is and what to do about it.

If your itchy armpits are persistent and are causing great discomfort, always seek the advice of a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment.

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All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

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The Little Book of
Human Discomforts

BY MADAME SWEAT

Clean beauty industry maven Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. After seeing the complexities of underarm problems, she set out on a mission to educate and eliminate the stigma associated with these “unsexy” hygiene issues, providing practical solutions and advice.

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