Having inexplicably itchy armpits can be maddeningly uncomfortable, and could prompt enough scratching to actually damage your skin. We’ve compiled a list of potential causes to help isolate the issue, plus some natural suggestions for home remedies to cure underarm itch.
A visible rash in your armpits might alert you to some sort of allergic reaction or a skin infection involving your hair follicles, and in those cases you may want to seek medical advice ASAP from a dermatologist to rule out any underlying medical condition. The same goes if you suspect something wrong with the lymph nodes located in your underarm area. Rash-free itchy underarms, however, could be caused by something relatively harmless that’s nevertheless acting as an irritant to the sensitive skin in your armpits.
Here are some potential common causes of itchy armpits.
Whether your itchy armpits are due to a particularly delicate underarm or some sort of mild infection or disorder, you’re in need of some skin relief. Here are our suggestions for natural and/or home remedies you can try.
If you’ve recently changed antiperspirants or laundry detergent, you may already suspect it’s the culprit behind your itchy underarms. You can confirm that by switching again: if your itchiness disappears, the mystery is solved. All-natural and allergen-free brands are available, such as Schmidt’s Naturals line of scented deodorants for sensitive skin or Almay’s Hypoallergenic Clear Gel Fragrance-Free Deodorant, available through their Amazon store.
A new shave razor and soothing shave cream can also help keep your underarms undisturbed by itch.
If heat rash or razor burn is causing you pain, use an ice pack for immediate ease of itching or burning symptoms. Aloe direct from an aloe plant and unscented moisturizers can help soothe skin too, as can a warm bath with colloidal oatmeal for full-body itch relief (perfect for cases like psoriasis).
For prevention, eating more vitamin C foods (citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes) can help prevent infections because vitamin C is a fantastic antioxidant boost to your immune system. Also, a slice of lemon applied topically can help kill bacteria on the skin or in the follicles of your armpit (plus it quickly cuts down on smell, just like any other deodorant). Baking soda can cut down on bacteria too, and can help dry out excessive sweating.
Certain essential oils like lavender, tea tree, or coconut oil can treat rashes as well, plus ease itchiness and irritation, and prevent fungal infections while bringing a pleasant smell to your underarms. Just apply with a cotton swab and you’re good to go.
Calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, or treatments containing ketoconazole, nystatin, or clotrimazole are over-the-counter cures that can help with itch, rash, or fungal infections if they’re not concerning enough to need professional medical care. You can always ask your local pharmacist for advice or recommendation for over-the-counter treatments. Anti-chafing powders can be purchased as well, and antihistamines (Benadryl, Claritin, or Allegra) can be taken to calm itching symptoms throughout the day and night if it’s an allergic flare-up.
Try not to scratch your itch too much. Scratching the skin in your armpit could lead to small cuts or abrasions that might then become infected, so if it’s at all possible do anything else you can think of before scratching. Try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help relieve stress—excessive amounts of stress can lead to itchiness and inflammation throughout the body, and can exacerbate an itchy underarm.
Keep an eye out for other symptoms of illness or allergic reaction, including runny nose, sneezing, joint stiffness, sore throat, swelling of your lips or tongue, sweating, fever, chills, cough, constricted throat, or labored breathing. Any such accompanying symptoms could mean this itchiness in your armpit isn’t an isolated incident or irritant; it could be an allergic reaction or even an accidental poisoning that needs medical attention. Please do not hesitate to seek professional medical advice if you experience any alarming symptoms.
An itchy armpit could be an annoyance or the sign of a serious condition. If it’s a mild circumstance, we encourage you to stay cool and dry when it’s warm and hot outside, and stay clean and well-scrubbed all year round to prevent avoidable underarm itch. If itchiness does come to find you, we hope these natural remedies are the solutions that get you back to comfort.