An underarm rash is a raised or flat irritation, often red, that occurs in the armpit. The underarm rash may itch and become painful. There are many causes of an underarm rash. Most commonly, the cause is allergic in nature. Frequently, a new deodorant or soap may be to blame. Often, new laundry detergents or never worn clothing may be the source of the rash, as well. In addition to allergic reaction, underarm rash may be related to medical conditions, such as fungal infections or psoriasis. In many cases, underarm rashes resolve on their own without any treatment.
Generally, the armpits provide a perfect breeding ground for fungus to grow. For this reason, fungal infections are a common source of underarm rashes. Typically, fungal infections that occur under the arms present with redness and severe itching. Sometimes, inflammation and a burning sensation are also present. Treatment for underarm fungal infections usually include anti-fungal creams or ointments. Topical antifungals are usually effective, but a physician may also recommend oral anti-fungal medication.
Frequently, a dermatological condition called psoriasis can cause an underarm rash. Normally, psoriasis refers to a condition were the skin becomes inflamed and scaly. Patches of the skin may even take on a silvery appearance. In addition to psoriatic patches and rashes occurring under the arm, they may also appear in the folds of the arm. Generally, topical hydrocortisone ointments are effective in treating underarm rash and inflammation of psoriasis.
Underarm shaving can also cause a rash because hair follicles can become infected. Normally, shaving the underarm area can cause irritation and friction which can also lead to infected hair follicles. This common medical condition is referred to as folliculitis. Most of the time, when shaving is halted for a week or so, the rash and bumps may resolve. A hypoallergenic shaving cream may also stave off folliculitis. If this condition persists, individuals are urged to see their physicians. Antibiotics may also be recommended.
Systemic medical conditions may be the cause of an underarm skin rash, as well. Sometimes, diseases such as diabetes can causes skin manifestations that occur in the underarm area. Rashes related to diabetes are typically more difficult to treat. Rashes or infections related to diabetes may be caused by an overproduction of yeast. Although diabetes and other illnesses can be the culprit in underarm rashes, most underarm rashes are seldom ever serious, and most always respond favorably to treatment.