The 6 most common causes of armpit rash:

Heat Rash (Miliaria)

When you are overheated, you are likely to develop underarm rashes called heat rashes. Armpit heat rashes do not linger and are easy to clear up. These armpit rashes happen when sweat glands get blocked by skin cells, oils, or bacteria. The rashes appear as clusters of blisters or small white bumps. Since they are easy to resolve, the best treatment for heat rashes is to let the skin stay dry and cool.

Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)

Candida, or candidiasis, is a yeast or fungal infection that affects moist areas of the skin. Areas with more skin folds, such as under the breast, stomach, groin, or armpit, make it easier for yeast to overgrow. Rashes under the armpits from a yeast infection have a red, scaly appearance and may cause itching, swelling, and scaling. You can reduce the likelihood of developing underarm rashes from candida by wearing loose-fitted clothing, maintaining proper hygiene, and staying in cooler climates.

Contact Dermatitis 

Contact dermatitis is one of the most frequent causes of underarm rashes. It comes in two types of contact dermatitis: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.

Allergic contact dermatitis 

  • occurs when you come into contact with an allergen. 
  • may cause hives and swelling.

Irritant contact dermatitis

  • occurs when your skin comes into contact with an irritant.
  • can be caused by fabric, detergent, soaps, lotions, makeup, and other household products.

Inverse Psoriasis 

Inverse psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can cause red, shiny patches in the areas with skin folds such as armpits, breasts, groin, genitals, or buttocks. Psoriasis can appear smooth with clearly defined skin patches or flaky with thick white patches. Underarm rashes from psoriasis look darker (purple or gray) in deeper skin tones and red in lighter skin tones. 

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Folliculitis is a skin condition where the armpit hair grows out of the skin and becomes inflamed. The likely cause of folliculitis is bacterial infection. People who shave are more likely to have folliculitis because of ingrown hairs. The small inflamed bump will usually start as tiny pimples that may be itchy or sore. In most cases clear up on their own or with antibiotics. If the condition worsens, folliculitis may cause permanent scarring or armpit hair loss.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) 

Eczema is a skin condition that often affects the underarms and occurs when the skin is more susceptible to allergens or irritants. Eczema armpit rashes are usually red, scaly, crusty, and itchy. 

Treatment - Home or Medical

At-home Treatment

  • Take a warm (not too hot) bath to soothe the irritation under your arms.
  • Use an oatmeal mask for underarms to cool the skin.
  • Use the Kushae Skin Balm for immediate relief from irritation, rubbing burns, and chafing. This skin balm will heal and protect your delicate skin from rashes. 
  • Wear loose clothing to allow breathing room for your armpits.
  • Use fragrance-free products to avoid further irritation. 

Medical Treatment 

Based on the cause of the rash, your treatment will differ. Some doctors may prescribe or recommend

  • OTC anti-itch creams, such as hydrocortisone creams to manage inflammation.
  • Antihistamines to reduce itching.
  • Antifungal or antibacterial cream to combat infections.
  • Over-the-counter medications at your local drug stores or pharmacies to deal with discomfort.
  • Lubricating ointments and creams to reduce inflammation.

Armpit Rash Prevention

  • Avoid allergens or irritants that are causing the rash 
  • Use fragrance-free products
  • Avoid scratching the irritated skin to reduce the risks of infection
  • Take daily showers and dry yourself thoroughly to keep yourself cool
  • Wear cotton clothing that allows breathable room
  • Stay in a colder climate if you can
  • Eat a balanced diet to boost your immune system
  • Maintain a healthy weight & exercise routine to reduce body rolls
  • Ask professional doctors for medical advice

When to see a doctor

"If your armpit rash worsens with at-home treatment or does not improve when left alone, contact your doctor for a consultation. Further tests may be necessary to determine the source of the rash and a more appropriate course of action.


Armpit rashes can stem from various factors, such as allergens, irritants, hot climate, tight clothing, or medical conditions that weaken the immune system. The good news is that armpit rashes can often be successfully addressed through medications, at-home treatments, and simple lifestyle changes. Possible solutions may include maintaining a better hygiene routine, air drying your body after showering, buying new deodorant, using protective skin balms, relocating to a colder climate, and seeking advice from medical professionals. Taking these proactive steps can lead to effective solutions to your armpit rash and improved skin health.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.