How to Treat Underarm Rashes effectively

Nov 08, 2022 by Adhip

Your underarm is a prime spot for irritation. You may not be able to see underarm rashes right away, but the itch and irritation can be unbearable in some cases.

Rashes occur when an area of skin, such as the underarm, looks unusual or feels uncomfortable for more than a few hours.

Underarm rashes can be bumpy and red or scaly and white. Many things can cause underarm rashes, and likewise, many treatments can address them. Determining the cause of the rash makes it easier to find relief.

Underarm rashes can last from a few hours to a few months. Most rashes can be easily treated with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments. However, it’s important to know what’s causing your rash before taking measures to treat it and prevent future rashes.

For instance, rashes caused by hot weather usually disappear quickly. Rashes caused by your lifestyle or skin conditions may last longer and may require specific treatments.

Causes of Underarm, rashes

There are many different causes of Underarm, rashes. The most common ones are listed below:

Chafing Rashes

When skin rubs hard against itself or clothing for too long, irritation is likely to occur. Areas of the body where the skin folds over itself or rubs against itself frequently, such as the underarm, are especially prone to chafing.

Chafing rashes are raw rashes stinging and burning, or with the top layer of skin rubbed off. Many people experience underarm chafing while exercising or wearing clothing that does not fit them properly.

Many people also experience chafing during the spring and summer months because they sweat more in the heat and moist skin is quicker to irritate.

Heat rashes

Causes of Underarm, rashes

Heat can mix with sweat on the skin and cause an irritation rash commonly called heat rash. In most cases, heat rash causes itchy patches of bumps that are tiny and prickly.

Many people develop heat rash on their underarm during the warmer months or while in hot climates because the underarm contains lots of sweat glands.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin or body comes into contact with an allergen or irritant, sparking an immune response. This allergic reaction usually develops within a few hours of exposure to allergens or irritants.

Contact dermatitis rashes are usually itchy, red, and dry. chemicals found in cleaning detergents and personal care products, food or environmental allergens, medicines, and insect stings or bites are some common causes of this type of skin rashes

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin irritation caused partly by the overproduction of sebum, or skin oils. Unlike the dry patches of eczema, seborrheic dermatitis appears as oily patches of flakes or scales. The flakes may be white or yellow due to the excess oil.

Some infants experience a form of seborrheic dermatitis called cradle cap. This condition usually shows up on the scalp, ears, face, and underarms.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema which can cause Underarm rashes, normally begins in childhood. Eczema is most common in the folds of the body, like the backs of the knees, insides of the elbows, or underarms. It’s usually red, itchy, and can crust over. According to NIHD, around 30 percent American population, mostly young children and adolescents have eczema.

The intense itching caused by eczema can result in bleeding rashes. This is especially true for individuals who scratch continuously. Sometimes, eczema rashes seep clear fluid. Many people with eczema experience flare-ups at certain times of the year. Otherwise, their skin may appear normal.

Remedies to relieve Underarm rashes

Underarm rashes Home remedies

Ingredients you have around at home can help treat many underarm rashes:

  • Place ice cubes against the rash. This may help with itching.
  • Eating oranges, tomatoes and broccoli can help you fight skin problems by supporting your body’s vitamin C levels.
  • Cut open a lemon and slide it across your underarm skin. The lemon’s citric acid can kill bacteria in your underarm. Using lemons this way also works as a DIY deodorant.

Some essential oils may help treat underarm rashes, too. Lavender, coconut, or tea tree oils help with itchiness, irritation, and fungal infections.

Mix a small amount of lavender and coconut oil and use a cotton swab to spread the mixture on your rash to soothe irritation.

Use tea tree oil mixed with water on a cotton swab to help kill fungus and stop excessive itchiness.

Over-the-counter remedies for Underarm rashes

Hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion are both effective home treatments for irritated and inflamed underarm rashes.

A candida rash or other fungal rash requires a different approach. 

Try over-the-counter antifungal treatments that contain clotrimazole, nystatin, or ketoconazole. Any creams or lotions that have these ingredients can help with fungal underarm rashes. However, hydrocortisone creams (steroid creams) will worsen fungal rashes.

Using anti-chafing powders can also help reduce the discomfort caused by underarm rashes. These powders decrease the pain and irritation caused by skin rubbing against itself in your underarm. They may not get rid of the rash completely, but they can help make the rash more tolerable until you can try other treatments.

When to seek Medical Care?

Several of these conditions are caused or irritated by substances coming into contact with your skin.

People with rashes that appear without an apparent cause or do not go away with primary treatment should also speak with a doctor.

Certain types of rashes are the result of serious medical conditions that require emergency treatment, such as severe infections or allergic reactions. These rashes are quite rare though.

Seek emergency medical care for rashes that:

  • cover the entire body or most of it and which has developed suddenly and spread rapidly
  • are accompanied by blisters or fever
  • are painful or swollen or have a bleed, ooze, or release pus
  • accompany nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
  • are unresponsive to OTC or at-home remedies
  • areas where the skin is thick or crusty.
  • are in the midst of painful, tender, swollen, or red skin
  • occur alongside cold hands and feet
  • appear when the body is shaking
  • are present alongside a stiff neck
  • accompany confusion or dizziness


Practicing good hygiene is the most important way to prevent underarm rashes. Shower regularly and air-dry instead of using a towel, if possible. In some cases, your underarm rashes may simply be a heat rash. When the weather is hot and wet, use talcum powder on your underarm to stop a heat rash from occurring. If your rash doesn’t subside with over-the-counter or home remedies, ask your doctor about prescription-strength solutions.

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