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Itchy Armpits: 8 Reasons Why

Written by andy

Do you know why your armpits are itching? We may have an idea…

Your armpits are one of the most important parts of your body to take care of. Not only are they one of the areas most likely to smell if left untreated, but they can become quite unsightly if you don’t take proper steps to groom them. Men and women alike should pay extra attention to their armpit, for the sake of both their health and appearance.

Are your armpits itching? It’s not as uncommon as you might think! Here are a few of the reasons why:

  1. Psoriasis — This is a skin condition that can affect any part of your body, though it’s most commonly associated with your face and head. It’s a chronic condition that causes skin cells to die off far too quickly, leading to white and often flaking skin. Inverse psoriasis is another cause of itchy armpits. With inverse psoriasis, your armpit skin becomes patchy, smooth, and swollen, leading to itching. This is common among the obese.
  2. Intertrigo –– Intertrigo isn’t some newfangled gluten-free grain to eat, but it’s actually a pretty common skin condition. Most people just call it a ‘rash’, but the truth is that it can often lead to fungal or bacterial infections if it isn’t treated properly. The itching may sometimes be accompanied by cracked and oozing skin, redness, and mild inflammation.
  3. Axillary folliculitis –– This is a condition in which one or many of the hair follicles under your arms are infected. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection, particularly the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It is a fairly superficial problem and should clear up fairly quickly, but you’ll find that while the infection is present, the white pimples that break out on your skin can be VERY itchy!
  4. Tinea axillaris –– Ringworm is a parasite that can burrow into your skin and cause an infection, and when the infection sets into your armpits, this condition is known as Tinea axillaris. The reason ringworm sets into the armpits is because they are usually moist and warm, the perfect environment for a parasite. It’s not a common condition, but it may be the reason you are itching so badly.

READ MORE: Itchy Vagina? Here’s Why…

  1. Axillary lymphadenopathy –-This is a condition where the lymph nodes beneath your armpits are swollen. The swelling may cause tenderness or itching, and it is vital to get checked out if you notice this problem. It could be a sign of something much more serious affecting the lymph nodes– and ultimately the lymphatic system.
  2. Hidradenitis suppurativa — Also known as HS, this is a disease that affects your sweat glands. Cysts tend to form on the skin of the armpits, and may even turn into large abscesses. Once the abscesses burst, they take a long time to heal. Your itching will usually be accompanied by tenderness and pain in your armpit.
  3. Axillary dermatitis — This is a simple skin condition that attacks your underarms. Frequently, it will be contact dermatitis, meaning your skin is angry and inflamed as a result of contact with something irritating–chemicals, soap, irritants, etc. The contact may cause a rash, and the rash makes it easier for bacteria and fungi to cause infections.
  4. Miliaria rubra — This is a disease that looks and feels like heat rash, but is actually only common among people who spend a lot of time in bed (bed rest) or who are exposed to humid and hot environments. It’s also known as “prickly heat” due to the fact that it itches when you sweat. It’s commonly found in the armpits, but it can affect your entire body.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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