How to deal with underarm rash

Written by s. a. holt
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Underarm rash is irritating, painful and embarrassing. For women that shave their underarms, the discomfort that can result from bumpy, itchy and inflamed underarms can linger for days. Although there can be some serious reasons for underarm itching and irritation, like ichthyosis and even melanoma, the most common reasons for underarm bumps are a reaction to shaving, bacteria, your deodorant or a combination of all three. The following suggestions will help you avoid breakouts and minimise the discomfort and duration of those breakouts that do occur. To get a jump on the problem, start now to develop a safer and more sanitary razor maintenance regimen.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Use a sharp razor. The chafing action of a dull razor can cause irritation that can lead to folliculitis.

  2. 2

    Shave in the direction your hair grows. This can be tricky to determine, but a little close scrutiny and some practice will help.

  3. 3

    Keep the razor blade dry. The moist surface of the blade is a breeding ground for bacteria. A dry razor is a cleaner razor so after each use, place your razor in a dry spot that gets good air flow.

  4. 4

    Replace your razor or blade often. Because some bacterial build-up is inevitable, replace your razor regularly. Some manufacturers recommend replacing your blade after every three to five uses.

  5. 5

    Use shaving cream. Don't just lather up with soap because a cream or foam shaving cream will help reduce friction and moisturise your skin.

  6. 6

    Apply moisturiser 15 minutes after you shave. Once the moisturiser has been absorbed, apply your deodorant.

  7. 7

    Discourage moisture under your arms by allowing your underarm area to dry thoroughly after you shave, bathe or shower. Remember, moisture from shaving gel or prepared moisturiser is good while moisture from water and perspiration is bad.

  8. 8

    Use an electric razor. Electric razors won't give you as close of an underarm shave, but they're less likely to chafe or irritate your skin.

  9. 9

    Discontinue using your deodorant if you start experiencing any symptoms. Trying a new brand can sometimes help.

  10. 10

    See your doctor. Underarm sensitivity, redness and itching should stop within a week to 10 days. If the condition persists, have a doctor take a look at it. He can provide an anti-itching cream, anti-fungal or antibiotic to treat it.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't scratch. It will make the condition worse and prolong the discomfort.
  • When you're relaxing in the evening, wear clothing that allows free airflow to your underarms.

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