ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have pimples in my armpits?

Question

Why do I have pimples in my armpits?

This is so crazy but I have a bunch of large pimples in my armpits. They hurt and just won't go away. Why would I get pimples in my armpits? Is it an allergic reaction to something?

Answer

You should definitely go to see your primary care doctor about this issue especially since it seems to be quite severe and not to be getting better. Your doctor will be able to examine the involved areas of your skin and help you figure out what needs to be done. It sounds like you might be dealing with a case of folliculitis, which occurs when the individual hair shafts in the skin become infected with bacteria, leading to multiple red, painful, swollen bumps. Some simple cases of folliculitis can be treated with good skin hygiene and topical antibiotic ointment. However, your case sounds like it might be more advance, which means it may require oral antibiotics to get under control. Also, sometimes, collections of pus inside the larger bumps may need to be opened and drained in order to speed healing. Your doctor will also be able to give you some advice on how to prevent further episodes of folliculitis in the future. For example, folliculitis is commonly associated with shaving or other forms of hair removal, and some individuals find that doing this with less frequency decreases irritation of the skin and risk for infections. Start by seeing your doctor right away!

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