Underarm skin is sensitive and is subjected to irritants. Using deodorants or other similar products can result in skin issues such as rashes, darkening of skin, foul odor, etc. Men and women at any age can experience skin issues in the underarm area. However, women are more prone to these conditions due to the frequency of certain grooming practices.
Skin issues in the underarm area are not severe, but can be painful and annoying when present. Serious issues can include numbness following medical complications, but in most instances the problems are treatable.
The following are some of the most common underarm skin issues and their treatment options:
A common skin condition that affects underarms, and other skin folds, is Erythrasma (1). The condition is caused by an infection by the Corynebacterium minutissimum bacterium and develops brown, scaly skin patches. It is more common in people living in humid or warm climates; however, it can also occur in individuals with poor hygiene or excessive sweat glands.
The treatments for Erythrasma include good underarm hygiene and scrubbing the infected area with antibacterial soap. Allow ample breathing space for the underarms by selecting relax fit options when it comes to clothing. Aluminum chloride solution will help prevent moisture buildup and sweating. If the condition persists then topical antibiotic lotions (namely clindamycin and erythromycin) should be used to treat Erythrasma.
Skin tags or acrochordon are small benign noncancerous tumors that may appear on the underarm skin. Though harmless, they can become irritated by jewelry, clothing, shaving or eczema. Treatment is essential to avoid underarm irritation and for cosmetic reasons (you don’t want anyone to see these tags in the yoga session).
Though treatment is possible through home remedies such as duct tape removal or dental floss, such options aren’t recommended as they can be painful and scar the skin after removal. Natural options, such as a skin tag remover with homeopathic ingredients present in the formula, absorb into the skin tag to gently flake it away after 3-5 applications. Such solutions have a gentle makeup and require only a few drops per application. Also, natural alternatives to reduce skin tag symptoms are gentle and effective than duct tape and other removal options.
Another skin condition is darkening of underarm skin. Some of the reasons for dark underarms include regular use of hair removing creams, shaving, accumulated dead skin cells, use of antiperspirants and deodorants that are alcohol-based. Sometimes dark underarms are caused by a medical condition known as acanthosis nigricans and a doctor needs to be consulted (2). If such a diagnosis doesn’t exist then safe, natural and effective treatments can be administered to counter the condition.
Rubbing the infected skin with a thin slice of potato or cucumber will help lighten the discolored area courtesy of the natural bleaching properties present in these vegetables. Potato juice can also be applied to the infected area and washed with lukewarm water after 15-20 minutes. Dead skin cells can be removed by rubbing a lemon wedge on the armpits for 10 minutes before washing it off. Lemon is a powerful antimicrobial agent that aids in treating dark underarms.
Other natural ingredients for such treatment include orange peels, baking soda and coconut oils. Such treatments are effective and also stop the foul odor accompanying underarm skin conditions.