Armpit Sweat Rash: What It Is and How to Get Rid of It
Armpit sweating, especially during summer, is brutal.
Excessive sweating can not only result in embarrassing pit stains and unpleasant body odor, but also uncomfortable rashes, known as armpit sweat rashes.
Today, we’ll explain the science behind armpit sweat rashes and provide a few treatments and remedies to soothe your body and mind.
What Is an Armpit Sweat Rash?
Armpit sweat rashes appear as bumpy, red patches of skin on the underarm area. You may experience anything from a slight itch to painful, long-lasting irritation.
Armpit sweat rashes can last from a few hours to several weeks and are quite common. However, misdiagnosis or lack of care can lead to prolonged symptoms.
You can treat most armpit sweat rashes with simple home remedies or over-the-counter treatments. But before you treat your skin irritation, it’s essential to know what type of rash you have and what’s causing the rash.
Types of Armpit Rashes
Here are the most common types of armpit rashes and their side effects.
Sweat rashes stem from irritation of the skin due to sweat, especially in hot weather. Tight-fitting, synthetic clothing can worsen a sweat rash, as artificial fabrics allow sweat to accumulate.
In most cases, sweat rashes cause the skin to turn red and raised. Symptoms often include mild discomfort and itching, but they can become severe with continued excessive sweating or lack of treatment.
Heat hives differ slightly from sweat rashes. Heat hives are allergic reactions to heat or nerves, and a breakout will usually occur while sunbathing, exercising or taking a hot shower, for example.
Heat hives appear as red, itchy bumps. Symptoms are typically mild discomfort and burning, but in severe cases, headaches, wheezing or shortness of breath, cramps or other physical side effects can accompany the rash.
Chafing occurs when the skin rubs against itself for too long, causing friction. Chafing can accompany an armpit sweat rash, as moist skin is quicker to irritate.
Chafing rashes are usually red and raw and can cause a stinging or burning sensation. In acute cases, the skin may crack or bleed.
Commonly known as eczema, atopic dermatitis is a long-term skin disease that causes painful itching. Eczema appears similar to a sweat rash, but is different and requires special treatment.
Eczema often occurs in folds of the body (like the armpits) and is typically red, itchy and dry. Eczema can flare up during various times of the year, and its effects last longer than those of a sweat rash.
Contact dermatitis occurs when an allergen or irritant comes in contact with the skin. However, sweat does not trigger contact dermatitis. Often, chemicals in detergents or deodorants, food, medicines, or insect stings or bites can cause contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis rashes are usually red, itchy and dry and can develop blisters.
How to Get Rid of Sweat Rash Under Armpits
Home remedies for soothing an armpit sweat rash include using a cold compress or soaking in a warm (but not hot) bath with colloidal oatmeal.
You can also place ice cubes against the rash, which may help with itching. Or, slide half a lemon across your skin to kill bacteria and cleanse the skin (don’t try this method if you have any cuts or razor burns on your underarms).
Over-the-counter anti-itch creams are also effective against an armpit sweat rash. Hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion, which are available in drugstores, will calm an irritated armpit rash. Anti-chafing powders can also decrease irritation as the rash heals, although they will not eradicate the rash.
How to Prevent an Armpit Sweat Rash
Good hygiene and proper self-care is the best way to prevent armpit rashes. Here are a few crucial tips:
- Understand what’s irritating your skin. Is it a new deodorant or your laundry detergent? Reduce or eliminate exposure to the irritant.
- Stay out of the heat to keep your body temperature down and reduce sweating.
- Shower or bathe regularly and use soaps or deodorants for sensitive skin.
- Most importantly, wear breathable fabrics that absorb (and don’t just wick away) moisture.
Wear a sweat proof undershirt, like a Thompson Tee, to prevent armpit sweat rashes before they start.
The Thompson Tee features patented Hydro-Shield technology in the underarms that absorb moisture, trap odor and prevent sweat from seeping through and staining outer layers. The result? Dry, comfortable pits and no sweat stains, rashes or irritation!