Many people suffer the annoyance and discomfort of itching armpits at some stage in their lives. As this unpleasant condition has many possible causes, it can sometimes be difficult to resolve. Understanding the most common causes of itching armpits can be the key to avoiding or quickly relieving the condition in the future. Toiletries such as deodorants and body washes are common armpit irritants, as are laundry detergents. Shaving can also cause irritation in the armpit area, as can certain bras and exposure to an allergen such as poison ivy.
Toiletries such as deodorants and body washes are perhaps the most common cause of itching armpits. Sometimes these products contain a fragrance or other ingredient to which the skin is allergic. In other cases, particular product formulations may simply be too harsh, especially for users with sensitive skin. Either way, the offending product may cause intense itchiness that is often accompanied by redness.
The best way to determine whether a toiletry is causing itching armpits is to cease using the product for several days. If the irritation subsides, it is likely that it was caused by the product in question. The offending toiletry should be discarded, and a product that is formulated for sensitive skin should be used in its place.
Laundry detergents can also cause itching armpits. In most cases, however, this itching will not be limited to the underarm region, but will rather occur wherever clothing washed in the irritating detergent touches the skin. Those who experience itching after switching to a new laundry detergent should substitute a different product.
Improper shaving technique can also lead to itching armpits. Using a dull razor as well as failure to use shaving cream can cause the underarms to become dry, irritated, and itchy. To avoid shaving-related underarm itch, change razors frequently and always lather the skin with shaving cream prior to hair removal. Further, avoid applying deodorant or antiperspirant to the underarms immediately after shaving.
For some women, bras can cause itching armpits. Bras often contain certain materials to which some people are allergic, such as elastic, rubber, latex, or nickel. Those who suspect that their undergarments are causing their armpit itch might try selecting bras made from natural materials.
Finally, exposure to an allergen such as poison ivy can lead to itching underarms. This irritation may result from direct contact with the allergen, or through contact with an object which has been exposed to the allergen. To avoid this type of underarm irritation, avoid wearing sleeveless tops when participating in outdoor activities like camping or hiking. In addition, be sure to thoroughly wash all clothing worn during these activities to remove lingering traces of allergens.