Underarm Rash

Underarm Rash Red, Painful, Pictures, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

The underarm rash is really uncomfortable. The armpit rash can be itchy, painful and inflamed since the area under the armpit become tender.

There are several factors that can result in the formation of armpit rashes such as chickenpox, impetigo, measles, mumps, meningitis, ringworm etc.

Let us now discuss some of the common causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of armpit rashes.

You will also get to know how armpit rashes look like from the pictures included in this article.

Underarm Rash Causes

The causes of armpit rash include:

  1. HIV

Patients infected with HIV usually develop armpit rashes as some of the early symptoms.

According to doctors on WebMD, about 90% of patients living with HIV have skin rashes under the armpit that itches.

HIV rashes under the armpit look like a flat red patch of skin covered with small bumps.

However, this should not be a cause of worries since some armpit rashes could be due to an allergic reaction.

Visit your health care for antivirals drugs to help get rid of these skin rashes that itch.

  1. Lymphoma

This is a type of skin cancer that is very rare and in case it occurs, it may result in the formation of red rashes under your armpits.

However, you can also develop red rashes under your armpit due to allergies, eczema, razor burns or fungal infections.

According to a medical report from the American Cancer Society, this type of cancer can also be manifested as some of the skin problems.

It is recommended to visit your dermatologist for an adequate checkup of the lesion.

You should also visit your doctor in case you have armpit rashes that won’t heal despite using all the forms of home remedies and over the counter prescriptions.

  1. Bacterial armpit skin infection

Frequent scratching of your armpits due to the formation of itchy bumps could also lead to the development of Staph infection.

The scratching causes the underarm skin to crack and then lead to the entrance of bacteria causing infection.

According to doctors at the National Health Service, a staph infection can also be caused by impetigo, a skin abscess, infection of hair follicles, or cutting your skin.

The infection under the armpit could result in red, painful, and swollen patches of skin that are filled with pus.

  1. Hidradenitis suppurativa

This is a type of infection under the armpits that mainly result in the formation of red raised bumps that look like painful lumps that ooze pus.

The infection is known to mainly affect the underarm areas due to the favorable conditions.

According to doctors from the mayo clinic, this type of skin inflammation underarm the armpit occur due to blockage of the hair follicles, oil glands, and sweat glands.

This may also lead to patches of red tender bumps that itch.

Hidradenitis suppurativa can also cause a rash on the inner thigh females that is accompanied by skin irritation and inflammation.

  1. Psoriasis

This is a skin condition that results in the formation of itchy patches of skin under the armpits that looks like fish scales.

The skin condition is known to cause flare-ups due to the constant urge to itch the skin.

According to doctors on WebMD, psoriasis is a type of skin condition that is said to be chronic and it can affect any part of the body.

The top of the breast and the armpits are mainly affected by Inverse psoriasis.

Generally, the red rashes in the armpits caused by psoriasis usually have a smooth feel. The symptoms of psoriasis can be get worsen due to the constant friction and sweating in the armpits.

The occurrence of fungus in the armpits can even worsen the situation and result in extreme itching that comes along with a burning sensation.

The exact treatment is unknown but it is advisable to avoid stress, smoking, and drinking alcohol.

  1. Contact dermatitis

This is a type of skin eczema that causes the formation of dry red itchy marks in the armpit.

According to medical reports from the National Health Service, this is an inflammatory skin condition that causes skin rashes that itch due to contact irritants.

Some of the common sources of contact irritants that causes an itchy red rash in the armpits include harsh soaps, deodorants, and moist armpits.

The images of contact dermatitis armpit rashes appear as a collection of tiny bumps.

  1. Armpit eczema

An armpit rash that looks like fish scales is group under skin eczema.

Armpit eczema is marked by itching and formation of tiny bumps that are red in color. This happens once your armpit area dry and flake off.

According to Dr. Debra Jaliman on WebMD, atopic dermatitis (eczema) results in itchy skin, red bumps, and scaly skin.

These bumps will later ooze fluids and then crust over. The skin problem can affect any part of the body.

  1. Intertrigo

This is a skin problem that results in red inflammation in the armpit areas.

According to Dr. Gary Cole on mayo clinic, this skin problem occurs due to constant rubbing in the armpit areas.

The armpit inflammation can lead to itching, burning and foul odor.

Some of the other parts of the body that can also be affected by intertrigo are under the breast and in the groin.

  1. Heat or sweat rash

Constant sweating and warmth in the armpit areas can result in the development of heat rash. These are prickly bumps in your armpit areas.

According to a medical report by Dr. Benjamin Wedro on MedicineNet, heat rashes occur due to blockage of the sweat glands.

The inflammation later causes the development of tiny blisters and this may lead to armpit pain.

Armpit heat rashes can also occur in babies and it recommended to not wearing tight clothing in order to allow air to circulate easily.

Avoid using antiperspirants in case of recurring armpit rashes that itch.

  1. Ringworm

This is a type of fungal infection on the skin that is marked by the formation of a reddish patch of skin with a dark red border in the armpit skin.

The most common symptoms shown by ringworms on the skin are red patchy or scaly skin and intense itching.

According to the dermatologist on WebMD, chronic ringworms mainly occur in skin folds due to the moisture and warmth.

These rashes have a ring like appearances that is itchy and inflamed.

Ringworms can also result in itchy inner thighs and even between the legs. You can use simple home remedies discussed in the article to help ease the itching sensation.

  1. Underarm fungal rash

This is a skin problem in the armpits that is triggered by strains of candida yeast. The fungal infection results in the formation of a red rash that itches intensively.

According to physician Dr. Denise Aaron on the Cleveland clinic, candida fungus develops in areas that are moist, dark and warm.

Some of the common places affect by candida are the armpits, mouth, groin, and under the breast.

Candida can also be caused by poor hygiene, wearing tight clothing, pregnancy, and a compromised immune system.

This can lead to red rashes that are inflamed. Frequent use of antibiotics can also lead to armpit candidiasis.

This is due to the destruction of both good and bad bacteria in the gut resulting in an increase of fungal infections in the body.

Always keep your armpits dry in order to prevent the occurrence of burning rash due to fungal infection.

  1. Armpit rash from shaving

Skin irritation due to use of an old razor or ingrown hairs due to improper shaving technique can result in the formation of armpit bumps that itch.

According to Dr. Gary Cole, inflamed hair follicles are common in shaved areas.

Improper shaving technique can result in the formation of inflamed armpit rashes due to the entrance of bacteria.

Razor burns can result in a collection of tiny bumps that are filled with pus.

Ingrown hairs can result in itchy infected bumps in your armpits. According to the medical report by doctors from the NYC Langone Medical Center, plucking, shaving, or waxing the armpit can lead to ingrown hairs.

It is recommended to stop shaving in order to get rid of ingrown hairs in the armpit.

You can read more on various ways how to stop itchy armpits using simple home remedies.

  1. Deodorants that cause irritation

Deodorant or antiperspirants are the common sources of red rash in your armpits.

These cosmetic products contain certain chemicals that help to mask the smell that bacteria in old sweat causes.

According to research published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology on antiperspirants and deodorants, they contain potential allergens that lead to skin irritation in the armpits.

These chemical contents are fragrance, propylene glycol, and parabens.

You can also develop itchy armpits and irritation due to allergic reactions from underarm hygiene products.

Avoid scratching your armpits since you may develop a secondary infection from bacteria.

Armpit Rash Symptoms

Armpit rashes are caused by different factors. This results in different signs and symptoms in the armpits.

However, the following are some of the common symptoms of armpit rashes:

  • Itchiness
  • Red rash
  • Burning sensation
  • White or red bumps
  • Strange odor
  • Discharge
  • Armpit swelling
  • Circular rings
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Tenderness

Itchy Underarm Rash

We have looked at several factors that trigger the formation of armpit rashes.

Here are some of the common causes of itchy armpit rashes; shingles, psoriasis, dermatitis, lymphoma, ringworms, contact irritants, antiperspirant rashes, HIV rashes, fungal or yeast infections, folliculitis, amongst others.

In order to deal with this of armpit rash that is itchy, it is advisable to treat the underlying cause.

You can apply a paste of fruit peels, fresh basil leaves or peppermint leaves.

Painful Armpit Rash

An irritated armpit rash is marked by a burning or tenderness sensation that comes along with armpit pain.

Whether the pain is mild or severe, it may be caused by a known or unknown underlying health condition.

Painful armpit rashes are mainly caused by an allergic reaction such as hives or eczema, shingles, ringworms, hidradenitis suppurativa, or a staph infection.

Bacterial infection of the lymph nodes can also result in the formation of painful lumps in the armpits.

This is because the nodes become inflamed hence causing lymphadenitis condition.

Armpit Rash Due Diabetes

People with diabetes have a weak immune system. This happens because their body is unable to regulate the level of blood sugar.

Yeast feeds on blood sugar and in case there is plenty, they get multiple and later result in yeast infection.

Armpit rashes due to diabetes happen due to yeast infection and the inability of the immune system to deal with the infection.

It is recommended to consult your doctor for prescriptions that will help to control the blood sugar level in the body.

This will help to get rid of the infection causing dry and scaly skin in the armpits.

Underarm Rash Pictures

Want to know how armpit rashes look like? Well, the following are some of the armpit rash images that will help you understand the appearance of these armpit eruptions.

underarm rash
armpit rash

Underarm Rash Treatment

Mild armpit rashes can be treated by use of simple home remedies.

In case of severe cases, make sure you visit your doctor for treatment. Here are some of the common home remedies:

Tea Tree Oil

It has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that help to get rid of armpit rash.

It also helps to relieve itching sensation, skin reddening, and armpit pain. Here are steps on how to use it:

  • Soak a cotton ball with tea tree oil.
  • Apply it all over your underarms.
  • Now keep this cotton ball squeezed in your armpits for 20 minutes.
  • The rinse it with water.
  • Repeat this natural cure for a few weeks.

Aloe Vera Gel

It has soothing and healing abilities that help to treat armpit rashes that cause a burning sensation.

The anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties help to prevent the occurrence of armpit rashes.

The gel from aloe vera also reduces the color of armpits and sooth the skin.

How to use it:

  • Pluck fresh aloe vera leaves.
  • Split it open and take out the gel.
  • With the help of a cotton pad apply this over the affected area.
  • Leave it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold clean water.
  • Pat dry and repeat daily until you have a full recovery.

Coconut Oil

It helps to reduce friction and burning sensation as well as soothe the itching sensation in the armpit.

Cold compression coconut oil can help you get rid of the irritation. The antibacterial properties of the coconut oil also help to prevent the occurrence of infection causing armpit rashes.

How to use it:

  • Take 1 tablespoon of semi-solid coconut oil.
  • Hold this under your armpits for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water and pat dry using a clean hand towel.
  • Do this remedy twice a day until it clears rashes.


It has the antibacterial property that helps to disinfect the skin from germs causing the appearance of armpit rashes.

You can speed up the healing of eczema or shingles by eating antibiotic and applying lemon.

How to use it:

  • Take 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix it with 1 tablespoon of turmeric.
  • Apply it to your itchy underarms.
  • Leave it for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
  • Practice this home treatment daily.

Apple Cider Vinegar

It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that help to get rid of bumpy, red and itchy armpit rash. It can also be used to ease armpit pain and soothe irritation.

How to use it:

  • Soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply it over the affected area.
  • It might sting for a few seconds.
  • Leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
  • Don’t squeeze or apply pressure while putting oil under the armpit.

Cold Compress

It helps to ease burning sensation and irritation in the armpits faster. The cooling effect can also help to boost the healing of other symptoms.

It can also be used to prevent the formation of tiny itchy bumps in the armpits that itch.

How to use it:

  • Take a small piece of cotton.
  • Put a handful of ice cubes and wrap it.
  • Place this under your arms and keep it until the ice melts down completely.
  • Repeat it twice a day to treat underarms rashes symptoms such as itching and skin burning.


It has potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties that help to combat armpit rashes. It has the ability to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

How to use it:

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder with 1 tablespoons of lavender oil.
  • Apply it directly to the affected area.
  • Let it dry naturally or keep it for minimum 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • Use this remedy daily until you get rid of itchy and red armpit rash.

Olive Oil

It has vitamin E that can be used for moisturizing the armpits. This will help to prevent flaking and scaling.

It can also be useful in reducing inflammation, small bumps, and redness of the skin.

Olive oil also promotes new skin cell generation and cure damaged cells.

How to use it:

  • Get some extra virgin olive oil to get pure benefits.
  • Apply the oil directly under your itchy armpits.
  • Keep this for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • Try this home remedy daily to get rid of the armpit rash.

Shea Butter

It has antibacterial, anti-fungal and skin nourishing properties that help to treat armpit rashes. The nourishing property helps to prevent skin dryness.

How to use it:

  • Take 1 glass of lukewarm water and add 15 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Wash you’re under arms with this solution followed by rinsing with clean water.
  • Pat dry and let it get some air for 10 minutes.
  • Apply some shea butter on the affected area.
  • Spread it gently with your finger and rub for 5 minutes.
  • Leave it for 30 minutes and rinse with water.
  • Use this remedy daily until it clears rashes.


It can be used in treating skin irritation and itching sensation in the armpits due to the formation of red rashes. It can also be used to reduce swelling in the armpit due to dry skin.

How to use it:

  • Take 2 clean cotton socks and fill it with oatmeal. Prefer colloidal oatmeal over other.
  • Fill the bathtub with warm water and put these socks inside.
  • Leave it for 20 minutes, until the water cools down.
  • Soak your body into this for 30 minutes.
  • Take those soaked oatmeal socks and squeeze them around underarms.
  • Take a clean water shower, repeat it daily.

Underarm Rash Prevention

The following are some of the tips that will help you to prevent the occurrence of armpit rashes that itch and cause inflammations. These measures include:

  • Keep your underarms dry. Pat dry after every show.
  • Avoid uses of deodorant; you might be allergic to its ingredients.
  • Apply some homemade creams to avoid infections.
  • Drink plenty of water; it will help you flush out toxins from the body.
  • Apply calamine cream on armpits to get relief from irritation and itching.
  • Don’t shave your underarms while having rashes. It will make it worse and painful.
  • Always hit the shower after a physical workout which makes you sweat.
  • Avoid cosmetic products such as hair plucker or creams.
  • Practice good hygiene which is a better way to prevent underarms rashes.
  • Eat probiotic and natural antibiotic foods.


  1. How to Treat an Armpit Rash: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-an-armpit-rash
  2. Armpit Rash: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies: https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/natural-remedies/underarm-rash-causes-symptoms-and-home-remedies/
  3. What causes an Armpit rash? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321907.php
  4. How to Cure an Armpit Rash: https://www.livestrong.com/article/19289-cure-underarm-rash/
  5. How to Heal Armpit Rash: https://www.wikihow.com/Heal-Armpit-Rash