Top Causes of Itchy Armpits and How To Relieve It

closeup of a man in a blue shirt scratching his armpit

You’ve done everything right. You shower each day, you wear deodorant, and you wear fresh clothes. You can’t seem to figure out why your underarms are breaking out into an itchy rash! You start to think you’ll never get relief. We’re here to help with that, as we understand how frustrating it can be to deal with something like this. In fact, your armpit is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. They’re prone to trapping moisture, which ultimately becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Add hair into the mix, especially as an adult male, and you’ve got the perfect combination for itchy underarms to exist

You may be wondering, why does your armpit itch? Even more so, what can you do to stop the itching and prevent more rashes on your skin? Keep on reading to find out the most common causes of underarm rashes and itchy armpits, as well as our top solutions that are easy to use that will not only stop your skin from itching but will prevent new outbreaks in the future.

The Top Causes of Underarm Itchiness and Rashes

There are many different factors that may be causing your underarm itchiness and your underarm rashes. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the top causes of skin irritation that may be why you’re experiencing discomfort. 

Please note: This guide is meant to give you overall knowledge about different skin conditions and symptoms that may be present with those skin conditions. If you suspect you have one of these conditions, we recommend that you speak with a doctor or dermatologist to find out which condition, if any, you have to find out with certainty. 

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is also known as eczema and is a skin condition that can cause itchy spots on the skin that also manifests in the form of dry, scaly rashes. It can develop on any part of your body, including the underarm area, and can develop at any stage of life, ranging from infancy to over 65 years of age. For adults aged 18 and older, AD usually presents itself in these common forms:

  • Easily irritated skin
  • Very dry skin
  • Eczema that especially appears on the hands
  • Certain eye problems (itchy eyelids or cataracts)

In addition to the physical symptoms that AD can cause, people may feel self conscious and not be able to keep up with everyday tasks. In fact, AD is one of the most common skin conditions there are, and can be found in almost 1 out of every 10 people in the United States according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis is a fancy way of describing an itchy and red rash that’s caused by contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to that substance. Other symptoms of contact dermatitis include dry or scaly skin, bumps that may be crusting or oozing, burning, tenderness, or swelling of an area.

Causes of Contact Dermatitis

There are many irritants that may cause a breakout of contact dermatitis to occur. These are irritants that include (but aren’t limited to):

  1. Hair dyes
  2. Jewelry made with certain metals
  3. Fragrances in soaps, lotions, cosmetics, and shampoos
  4. Poison ivy, sumac, or oak
  5. Latex
  6. Certain foods
  7. Certain medications

If you notice a rash breakout after ingesting a certain food or using a certain product, we recommend you stop eating and using that product to see if the rash and itchiness go away. If you are experiencing persistent symptoms after ingesting a certain food or using a certain product, we recommend you to see a doctor so they can help you find relief. 

closeup of an itchy red rash on arm


Scabies is another skin condition that can be a reason for your itchy underarms. Instead of being an infection, it is more of an infestation, caused by little mites that are known as sarcoptes scabiei. These mites burrow underneath the outer layers of our skin. Here are some of the most common scabies symptoms that can be present in someone with scabies: 

  • A rash that looks like patches of pimples
  • Scales or blisters on the skin
  • Sores that are caused by scratching
  • Intense itchiness, especially at night

Scabies can happen anywhere on the body, but especially in crevices and other cracks in the skin that aren’t exposed to the elements as much. The itching that occurs with scabies occurs most commonly in infants and seniors. It should be noted that scabies can look like many other skin conditions. However, a big sign that you may have scabies is little burrow marks underneath your skin. If you believe you have scabies, we recommend that you see a dermatologist immediately so it can be treated- especially because scabies is highly contagious.


Eczema is a skin condition where your skin becomes inflamed. It can cause itchiness, rashes, dry skin, and scaly patches of skin. In the worst cases, eczema can even cause blisters or skin infections. There are many different types of eczema, the most common type being atopic dermatitis (for reference, see our section on AD above). Eczema does not happen more or less with age- The National Eczema Association describes the timeframe for eczema occurring at any age, ranging from newborn babies to older adults and senior citizens. The way eczema presents itself is usually in the form of a flare-up, where people experience one or more symptoms of eczema for a period of time lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Causes of Eczema

Eczema can be caused by many different factors, including the strength of your immune system, your genetic makeup, the environment in which you live, and your stress levels. Let’s take a look at why each of these can play a role in exhibiting eczema symptoms:

  1. Strength of your immune system: If you have a lot of seasonal, food, or other types of allergies, you may be more prone to contracting eczema, especially if your allergies cause skin itchiness, irritation, or dryness.
  2. Your genetic makeup: If you have a history of skin conditions in your family, you may be more likely to develop eczema at some point in your life.
  3. The environment where you live: If the environment you live in contains a lot of allergens or skin irritants, you may be more likely to contract eczema. This includes things such as the quality of air where you live, the types of clothing you wear, and even the type of soap you use.
  4. Your stress levels: The worse your stress becomes, the more likely you may be to develop eczema. This can present itself in a number of ways, including both physical and mental stresses.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

According to The Mayo Clinic, seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition primarily affecting the scalp, with other possible infection areas including the chest, underarms, and face. There are many symptoms that may be present with seborrheic dermatitis including:

  • Flaky skin on the affected area
  • Patches of oily or greasy skin that is combined with yellow or white flakes
  • Red skin
  • Itchy skin

A person may exhibit one or a combination of these symptoms, which is why seborrheic dermatitis will look different with each individual. To make things more confusing, there aren’t many specific known causes of seborrheic dermatitis. Many doctors believe it may be related to a specific yeast present on the skin or due to an irregular immune system response. There are many factors that put certain populations at a higher risk of getting seborrheic dermatitis as well.

How To Choose the Right Product for Maximum Relief

It’s really important to choose the right product, so your armpits and other affected areas can get the best and most long-lasting relief. These tips are some of our top tips so you can choose the armpit product that works best for you.

Make Note of Your Symptoms

There are many different underarm itchiness, rash, and pain relief products out there on the market. Before even going to the store or looking online for a product, we recommend writing down all the symptoms you’re experiencing so you have a better idea of what products you need. 

Check Ingredient Labels on Products You’re Looking At

After you know what symptoms you personally exhibit, you can start to look for products that treat those symptoms. Topical medicines (all medicines, really) that relieve people of skin condition symptoms have lists with all the active ingredients on them, as well as symptoms they relieve. If you read these labels, you’ll have a better idea of what products you’re interested in purchasing, or better yet, what products you don’t need to buy. After all, the last thing you want to do is experience frustration from being stuck with a product that doesn’t even work. 

Consider the Product’s Usage

Another thing you should do is read the recommended usage of the products you’re considering. Labels on topical medicines are very useful and are meant for your convenience. Although it may be a bit tedious to read each label of the medicine you’re considering, it may help dial in specifically which skin conditions or symptoms it treats. Also in the recommended usage section of the label will be instructions on how much of the medicine to use. You’ll want to make sure you’re using enough medicine so you can exhibit maximum relief, and you don’t want to use too much at the same time.

Contact a Dermatologist

If you still don’t experience relief or you wish to have the peace of mind, we recommend contacting a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis for specific skin conditions they may have. Your dermatologist may help recommend specific products to you, as well as prescribe medicated products if they think your condition could benefit from them. Doing this will also help you narrow down the products you’re looking at buying- most all products have labels describing the recommended usages for them.

Solutions for Underarm Itchiness and Rash Relief

The last section will detail some of our top solutions for underarm itchiness and rashes, and how best to use them. First we’ll talk about our top recommended products for itchy armpit relief, and then we’ll talk about solutions you can implement within your home that may help too.

Hydrocortisone Cream 1% | Anti-Itch Cream

by CeraVe 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/29/2023 06:36 am GMT

CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream

CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream includes 1% hydrocortisone for maximum relief due to rashes and itchiness. Not only does this product relieve itchiness because of skin conditions such as eczema, but it also contains hyaluronic acid, which retains your skin’s natural moisture- so you won’t have to worry about drying your skin out even more. CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream is also fragrance-free, so you won’t have to worry about your skin becoming irritated due to unnecessary perfumes. This cream works by applying a drop-sized amount to the affected area and rubbing it in until it is evenly distributed. It comes in a 1 ounce bottle for $8.16 on Amazon.

Manuka Cream for Eczema Psoriasis Shingles Prone
$32.99 ($16.50 / Ounce)

by Clearbody Organics

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/29/2023 06:31 am GMT

Manuka Relief Cream For Eczema and Psoriasis

The Manuka Relief Cream for Eczema and Psoriasis is another one of our top picks. It has an all-natural formula that includes 8 of the highest quality and fastest working ingredients that provide long lasting and instant relief to your skin. This cream relieves itching due to rash or severe skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, shingles, acne, and even rosacea. You won’t need a lot of this cream to work, just enough to properly cover the affected area. You can grab this container of natural cream for $26.96 on Amazon.

TEA TREE OIL BALM -100% All Natural
$16.47 ($7.81 / Fl Oz)

by Chamuel

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/29/2023 06:27 am GMT

Tea Tree Oil Balm 100% All Natural

Chamuel’s Tea Tree Balm features a 100% all natural formula made with only the highest quality ingredients. There are many uses for this product, some of which include: 

  • Itchy spots
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Heat rash
  • Folliculitis
  • Dry hands and feet

One reason why we recommend this product is because it is made without harsh chemicals and fragrances, so your skin won’t be irritated even more. The way it works is by rubbing your fingers in the balm and applying it liberally to the affected area. You won’t need a lot, so be sure to not use too much! You can find this balm on Amazon for $14.22.

Tea Tree Oil Wonder Balm
$29.97 ($14.98 / Ounce)

by Puriya

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/29/2023 06:21 am GMT

Puriya Tea Tree Oil Wonder Balm

Puriya’s Tea Tree Oil Wonder Balm is another one of our top picks. It’s made with all natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any harsh fragrances, so you won’t need to worry about any lasting effects from those. One reason many consumers like this product is because it not only provides relief from itching and rashes due to skin conditions, it naturally blocks body odors all day long (it can double as a deodorant!). You can find this 2oz tub of balm on Amazon for $34.17. 

National Eczema Association Accepted Cream
$32.21 ($7.16 / ounce)

by Puriya

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/29/2023 06:16 am GMT

Puriya National Eczema Association Accepted Cream

As indicated by its name, Puriya’s “Mother of All Creams” Balm is approved by the National Eczema Association to provide natural and long-lasting relief to symptoms people experience as a result of eczema and other itchy skin conditions. It is safe to use just about anywhere, including the armpit area. This balm contains hyaluronic acid to not only help provide you relief for your itchy armpit symptoms, but helps your body retain its natural moisture. It also excludes harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances to help avoid further skin reactions. You can find this 4.5 tub of cream on Amazon for $31.32.

Resist the Temptation to Scratch the Itchy Area

We recognize that your armpit rashes and dry skin can cause terrible itchiness to the affected area. However, one of the top solutions from preventing your rashes from getting worse and spreading is to prevent scratching the area as much as possible. As difficult as it may be, scratching your itchy armpit will only cause relief in the short run, as scratching causes further dryness and flaky skin. 

Change Your Deodorant

Another factor that may be causing you to exhibit itchy underarms and rashes is your deodorant. You may not even suspect it either, especially if your itching doesn’t happen right away after putting deodorant on. We recommend switching your deodorant or even investing in a natural formula, so that you may be able to exhibit relief from the artificial chemicals and fragrances in the deodorant. 

Try to Relax

Relaxing and managing your stress may be hard to do, and we recognize that. However, if you can implement strategies that work to actively reduce your stress levels and increase your relaxation, you may be able to experience some relief in your underarm area, even if it is small relief. Staying stressed all the time exacerbates many physical symptoms, including your underarm itchiness. 


We understand that having an itchy armpit can be something that’s really frustrating, especially if you’ve done seemingly everything to experience relief. Hopefully this guide helped you to not only understand the most common skin conditions that cause rashes and itchy armpits, but to find a solution that works for you so you can experience long-lasting and permanent relief. 

Was this article helpful?