6 Most Common Causes Of Armpit Itching
By: Kratika Wed, 07 Apr 2021 2:35 PM
Armpit itching, or pruritus, is a sensation of unrelenting prickly irritation in the underarm area. It is not painful, per se, but can be intensely uncomfortable and even intolerable.
Itching is temporarily relieved by scratching but will recur soon after, creating a vicious cycle of itching and scratching. It is a truly miserable condition.
The armpit, which is medically known as the axilla, is an area of intertriginous skin. This means that there is a skin fold that results in constant skin to skin contact.
Due to this unique characteristic, the area is predisposed to more heat, sweat, and friction, making it susceptible to irritation.
# Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis can cause irritation, itching, or a rash, which can vary in presentation depending on the individual and amount of exposure. It is mediated by an allergic reaction to an allergen that comes in direct contact with the axillary skin.
Contact dermatitis can be caused by deodorant, soap, or lotion, fabric texture, certain detergents, or fabric softeners. Poison ivy rash is a common form of contact dermatitis.
# Irritant dermatitis
Irritant dermatitis is an irritation caused by direct damage to the skin. Examples include shaving and chaffing. The skin can be red, swollen, bumpy, itchy, and sometimes even painful.
# Atopic dermatitis or eczema
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a chronic inflammatory condition in which the skin reacts to certain environmental stimuli.
It is a recurring issue that is usually exacerbated by extremes in temperature, sweating, and stress. Although the presentation of atopic dermatitis can vary with age, the condition usually causes very itchy, dry, and flaky skin.
Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles. It is common in the axillary area due to sweating, shaving, and deodorant use. The hair follicles become irritated and can even get infected. It usually produces red itchy bumps and blisters.
# Heat rash
Heat rash, or miliaria, causes redness and irritation due to extreme heat and sweating. It usually results in an itchy, bumpy rash with clear vesicles that can affect the armpits.
Heat rash is more common in the summer, in warm, humid climates, or with strenuous activity.
Intertrigo is an inflammation that can affect any skin fold area, such as the armpits, under the breasts or the groin. Friction and moisture contribute to the condition.
It can also be triggered by a bacterial or fungal infection. Intertrigo usually results in itchy, moist red plaques and can have an unpleasant odor.