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Underarm Pimples Causes and How to Banish these Zits


It’s summer, and you feel itching and pain under your arms. You look and see red bumps and wonder what the hell they are. If they are small red bumps, they are most likely underarm pimples. However, they could be cysts or swollen lymph nodes or a much more severe infection, so the best thing to do is have your doctor look at them.

Underarm pimples, armpit pimples, zits, acne, causes, treatments
Armpit zits

Causes of Armpit Zits

Why do you end up with this problem?

1. Bacteria

The area under your arms is mostly covered. The pores can easily be clogged by bodily oils and bacteria causing red bumps to form.

2. Ingrown hair

Ingrown hair merely is when the sharp point of the hair goes back into the skin. People with curly hair, e.g., African Americans or Hispanics are more likely to have ingrown hairs because their hair follicles are curved and twist easily. This is the most likely cause of irritated bumps on the skin under your arms.

3. Sweat

People who sweat excessively are more likely to suffer underarm pimples. This is worsened by using antiperspirants, some of which also clog the pores. Clogged pores lead to pimples.

Moreover, cleaning clothes with cheap or bad quality detergent can lead to the growth of more bacteria.

4. Shaving

Men may get away with no shaving, but women often can’t as it is almost expected. Shaving the hair off, however, can bother the skin leading to infections or even cutting the skin, injuring the underlying tissue.

Scratching after shaving also can also cause injury, not to mention, spread bacteria through dirty nails. This increases the likelihood of an infection.

An allergic reaction to this comes in the form of underarm pimples.

5. Contact dermatitis

This is a condition where the skin is inflamed and itching due to contact with other substances that aggravate the skin. These irritants could be anything from water, soap, powders or sweat. Using products with fragrances or perfumes and waxes that are too harsh also cause contact dermatitis

How do you treat or deal with the zits that grow in your underarm?

Proper hygiene

Practicing good personal hygiene can be the very thing that helps keep away underarm pimples.

a). Frequent showers

This is especially important if you sweat profusely. Showering multiple times, a day and especially after exercise can help kill bacteria and reduce clogging of pores.

b). Natural deodorant

Avoid chemical, fragrant, hypoallergenic, and aluminum deodorants.

Even better is to use coconut oil as a natural deodorant. It also helps with odor and provides extra moisturization for the skin.

Take a few drops and massage it into your armpits. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes then rinse off. Do this with mild soap to avoid irritating the skin.

c). Airy clothing

Tight clothes tend to trap moisture within them. This extra moisture can cause the development of bacteria and as such underarm pimples.

Loose, cotton clothes allow air to flow through and your armpits to breathe. It also allows your armpits to stay dry.

Shaving well

How you shave can prevent ingrown pimples. These are some simple steps to follow that can help:

Proper armpit hair removal can help reduce armpit pimples
Opt for good armpit hair removal techniques

a). Warm water and salt

This is supposed to help with reducing the friction involved with shaving and to soften the hair. Mix ½ tsp of salt with 1 cup of warm water and then dab the combination on your armpits using a cotton swab. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then shave.

b). Dry Shaving

It is a general rule never to shave on dry skin. Use a healthy helping of shaving cream to prevent irritation and friction. Shaving on dry skin results in the formation of bumps and pimples.

c). Shaving Properly

Do not have your hair growth but instead shave in the same direction that your hair grows in. Not doing so leads to razor burns and pimples. Shaving in a T is recommended for underarm shaving. This means shaving down to the middle and then from one side to the other.

d). Razor blade

Use different razors for different parts of your body, i.e. one for the armpits and another for the leg.

Also, try to change your razor blade as often as possible or at least every two weeks. If possible, use a disposable razor. Using a clean razor is essential in avoiding infection.

Use a sharp razor and avoid pressing too hard on the skin to prevents cuts and bleeding.

If all else fails and your skin is still irritated, you might consider investing in laser hair removal which also helps to remove ingrown hair. Keep in mind that this is a costly option that requires at least 10, 10minute sessions to permanently remove hair.

Home treatments

These are basic things you can find in your house to alleviate irritation and effectively treat underarm pimples naturally.

a). Ice

Using ice under your arms provides instant relief especially when the skin in that area is irritated.

It’s as simple as wrapping an ice cube in some cloth and applying it to the affected area. You can also use aluminum foil if you prefer.

b). Basil leaves

This is incredibly useful in removing pimples altogether. Basil has vitamin A and Iron that fight acne and pimples. They also have blood-cleansing and anti-bacterial properties. In fact, it works so well that you need on 2 or 3 applications to see the magic.

Take 5-6 basil leaves and extract the juice from them. Apply this directly to your underarm pimples and leave them overnight. Cleanse in the morning using mild soap.

c). Baking soda

Baking soda helps to exfoliate the skin and treat acne.

Make a thick paste of a small amount of water and 2tbsps of baking soda and then apply. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly using warm water.

You can add some lemon juice and apply for 5 minutes for quick relief.

Use this scrub a maximum of twice a week and apply mild moisturizer after to prevent your skin drying too much.

d). Aloe vera gel

Aloe Vera works to soothe the skin, especially when it is irritated and inflamed.

Merely use aloe Vera spot treatment to soothe your skin Spot treatment means just applying it to the individual pimples.

e). Garlic

Yes, garlic too has antibacterial properties that are useful for underarm pimples.

Take 2-3 garlic cloves and extract the juice from them. Mix in 2-3 drops of water and apply on the pimples.

f). Honey

Same as garlic, honey is a natural antibacterial product.

You can directly apply it on the pimples and leave it to dry and then wash the area with warm water.

Alternatively, you can mix 2tbsps of honey and 1tsp of turmeric. Leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse with warm water.

You can use the honey treatment every two days.

Anti-acne creams

Use a hydrocortisone cream to help with irritation, inflammation, and itching of underarm pimples.

Use the cream directly on the affected area and apply for a few days to see results.

Should your underarm pimples persist, see your doctor for other treatment options.


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