ZocdocAnswersWhat is happening to my armpits?

Question

What is happening to my armpits?

I have a rash and stickiness under my arms. I tried some skin cream but it only helped a little bit. Why would I get a rash in my armpits. What is it?

Answer

There are several potential causes of this rash that you have in your armpits. I would suggest, however, that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor to have the rash evaluated, as they will quickly be able to make a diagnosis and help you select the appropriate treatment. To start with, one possibility is that you have contact dermatitis. This is a condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed in reaction to some allergen or chemical contact. Most commonly, this would be something like a new deodorant, soap, or laundry detergent that you are sensitive to. Therefore, it would be helpful for you to think back and try to identify any potential new chemical exposures and communicate this information to your doctor. If this does turn out to be a contact dermatitis, it can be treated with topical steroid creams in most cases. Another possibility would be an infection of the hair shafts in the armpits, called folliculitis. This is especially common in those who shave, and it shows up as small red painful bumps. Simple cases can be treated with anti bacterial soap, but more serious cases require antibiotics. Get in to see your primary care doc at your earliest convenience!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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