Armpit skin problems

Updated April 17, 2017

Many people are unaware of skin problems associated with armpits. Some problems can be of no concern, while others can be bothersome and make a person feel self conscious. Problems that often occur are armpit tags (or skin tags), excessive sweating, armpit rash, dark armpits and moles that form under the armpits. Some of these problems are easily fixed with simple treatments.

Armpit Tags

Armpit tags are small benign tumours that are harmless. Women who have armpit tags should be careful while shaving their armpits. Armpit tags usually form in groups, making it difficult for women to shave their armpits. These tags can become damaged or inflamed; they even can be shaved off accidentally. This may cause the tags to bleed. Armpit tags can be removed, although it is not necessary. Armpit tags can be burnt off with electrolysis, frozen off with liquid nitrogen or cut off with a scalpel. They also can be removed by interrupting blood flow to the skin tag.

Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating can be a condition called hyperhidrosis, caused by a disorder of the sweat glands or malfunctioning of the sympathetic nervous system. Other reasons for excessive sweating are anxiety and obesity. Axillary Excessive Sweating is a condition that affects the armpits. The armpits sweat constantly and become dripping wet. This also causes them to have a constant odour. Deodorants are useless with AES. More aggressive treatments are used to help treat this condition. These treatments are botox injections or surgery.

Armpit Rash

Because the armpit has a high number of sweat glands, this can lead to an inflamed hair follicle known as a boil. Boils are a combination of puss and dead tissue. In severe cases, these boils can develop into an abscess. When this occurs, they need to be drained, and you may be prescribed antibiotics to get rid of any infection. These boils can be caused by deodorants, detergents or shaving too close. This condition is known as irritant contact dermatitis.

Dark Armpit

For some, shaving can cause dark armpits. When shaving, you cut the hairs off right on the top of the skin or just below the skin surface. If your hair colour is darker than your skin, the armpits appear to be dark due to the hair just under the surface of the skin. The best way to eliminate this problem is to pluck your hairs or have your armpits waxed. This will get the hairs from the roots so you will not see the hair just under the surface of the skin. Discolouration also might be due to dead skin cells that are trapped in microscopic folds and creases on the skin. The best way to treat this is to exfoliate with a product containing lactic acid. Another cause for dark armpits is known as acanthosis nigricans. This occurs mostly in people who are obese, although it may also be due to medications. Darkened skin also is caused by bacteria known as erythrasma. Erythrasma occurs mostly in people who are obese or have diabetes.

Armpit Moles

It is common for people to have moles on any part of their skin. Armpit moles are usually benign, although they can become a melanoma. Armpit moles should not be any larger than a pencil eraser. They can appear in any colour, shape or size. If the armpit mole becomes larger, itches, becomes painful or becomes sore in the lesions, make an appointment with your physician. This could be the start of possible skin cancer.

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About the Author

Dawn Fuller is 32-years-old and has been a freelance writer for three years. Dawn's work has been featured on Associated Content and Dawn holds a diploma in Business Office Technology from West Georgia Technical College.