While eczema can appear anywhere on the body, a prime spot for irritation is in the folds of the body – such as the armpit. Uncomfortable and itchy, it can make it difficult to get through the day or sleep through the night without scratching and further irritating your condition.
In this post, we’ll discuss the symptoms and causes of eczema under the armpits, and take a look at some natural treatments to help you find relief from this itchy skin disorder.
Please keep in mind that although these treatments can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
What Does Eczema Under Armpits Look Like?
Armpit eczema can appear bumpy and red or scaly and white. Instead of looking smooth and healthy, your skin will likely be dry and cracked – and feel incredibly itchy. In the event of intense scratching, the affected area may even develop a thicker, leathery texture.
Scratching can also cause the skin to bleed or cause the tiny, blister-like bumps to leak and then crust over. It’s likely that your eczema symptoms will go through periods of varying severity. At certain times, your eczema may experience intense flare-ups and at others, your skin may appear normal.
Causes of Armpit Eczema
Determining the cause of your eczema makes it easier to find relief. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, there are common culprits that may be triggering your flare-ups. These include irritants such as chemicals found in soaps and laundry detergents, allergens such as pollen, pets, and dust mites, as well as other factors such as the food you eat, extreme weather conditions, and even stress.
In the case of armpit eczema, a prime factor affecting flare-ups is likely sweat. This is because the salty residue found in perspiration contributes to dehydration and aggravates stinging and itchiness. That explains why many people experience exacerbated eczema symptoms during the summer months when the heat makes them more likely to sweat.
Finally, irritation is more likely to occur when the skin rubs against itself or against clothing for too long. Unfortunately, the armpits are an area of the body where the skin folds and rubs against itself all the time, making them a prime spot for chafing.
Natural Treatment for Eczema Under Armpits
Wear the Right Clothing: Certain fabrics, such as nylon, nickel, latex, and even wool are known to make eczema worse. The best clothing for sensitive skin are soft, breathable, and made with hypoallergenic material. Our favorite eczema-friendly fabrics include organic bamboo and 100% organic cotton. We love the garments from Remedywear™ because they’re composed of eco-friendly TENCEL and embedded with anti-inflammatory zinc to protect the skin and provide comfort. Avoid tight clothing or anything that is made with synthetic materials, like polyester.
This long-sleeve Remedywear™ shirt is great for kids and adults. Not only does it fit like a second skin, the embedded zinc was specially designed to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
Check out How to Choose Clothing for Sensitive Skin for more helpful tips.
Avoid Hot Water: While it can be tempting to draw yourself a hot bath to relax your muscles after a long day, hot water can actually exacerbate eczema. When bathing or showering, use lukewarm water as opposed to hot and pat dry your body with a towel instead of rubbing. In addition, be sure to use natural soaps as harsh chemicals can further dry out your skin.
Discover 3 natural homemade eczema bath bombs you can easily put together at home as a natural treatment for eczema under armpits.
Moisturize: After washing armpits, moisture with a natural cream. We recommend this Emily Skin Soothers for Red Eczema Rashes. It’s great for treating sweat-induced eczema as it relieves irritation in the skinfolds – such as the armpits.
Stop Scratching: Wearing gloves is a great way to protect your skin and eliminate the possibility of scratching. The best eczema gloves are made with thin, breathable, and natural material. Your gloves will also last longer and maintain a nice fitted shape if they contain elastane or latex. Wear these organic bamboo gloves for kids and adults to protect your skin during the day or at night when you have less control over your actions.
Exercise Smart: Exercising is important because it helps reduce stress and maintain your overall well-being. That being said, it also causes the body to sweat. Thankfully, there are some ways to manage your sweat-induced eczema so that you can maintain an active lifestyle without irritating your skin.
In addition to wearing eczema-friendly clothing, be sure to stay hydrated, take regular breaks, and shower and moisturize immediately after your workout. This will prevent the sodium in your sweat from sticking to your skin and causing further irritation.
Fragrances and synthetic ingredients found in antiperspirant and deodorant can also further exacerbate eczema symptoms. Choosing a natural deodorant (stay away from antiperspirants all together due to aluminum) that’s sensitive on skin and made with as many natural ingredients as possible such as coconut oil, cornstarch, arrowroot powder and more.
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.