ZocdocAnswersWhat caused the rash under my arms?

Question

What caused the rash under my arms?

I have a red, itchy rash under my arms, in my armpits. I can't seem to make it go away but I also don't know where it came from. What could make the skin under my arms get irritated? Is it the soap I use maybe? I've never had this before.

Answer

This sounds quite uncomfortable! There are several potential causes here. Perhaps the most common cause of irritation of the skin under the armpits is a local skin reaction to personal care products, such as deodorant or soap. If you have recently changed brands of deodorant or soap, this could easily explain the problem. You might want to try changing brands and seeing if that makes a difference. If you shave your armpits, that might also be the cause of the rash. Some people's skin is very sensitive to shaving, especially if they are also physically active and sweating a lot. You might want to try discontinuing shaving for a few weeks to see if that helps clear up the rash. If the rash seems to be concentrated in small red bumps around the hair follicles in your armpits, then this could be folliculitis, which is a bacterial infection of the hair follicles. Most of the time, folliculitis will respond to good skin hygiene and the use of an anti bacterial soap. However, severe cases may require antibiotics to clear up. I would start by going to see your primary care doctor who will be able to diagnose you and help you decide on the appropriate treatment.

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