What can cause burning in the armpits?

Armpit burning can be caused by an infection, razor burn, skin rash, or allergic reaction. Additionally, exposure to chemicals in antiperspirants and deodorants can also contribute to underarm burning. Burning sensations under the armpits can also be accompanied by redness, irritation, and inflammation. When these symptoms occur, refraining from shaving or removing underarm hair with a depilatory preparation is warranted to avoid further irritation.

A fungal infection caused by a yeast organism can contribute to burning, itching, and redness in the armpits. Areas of the body that are prone to yeast infections, such as candida, include the armpits, groin folds, and the skin under the breasts. By keeping these areas clean and dry, yeast growth is discouraged. However, if a fungal infection occurs, a topical or oral antifungal medication may be recommended to clear the infection. However, oral antifungal medications can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Rarely, underarm burning can be caused by muscle tension. Injuring a muscle can cause a burning sensation, not only in the armpit area, but also in the neck and back. To reduce the burning pain of a muscle strain, taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended. When underarm burning from a muscle injury persists despite taking medication, other causes such as a pinched nerve or herniated disc must be ruled out.

After shaving the armpit area, a burning sensation known as razor burn may occur. This is more common when the underarms are shaved without the benefit of a moisturizing agent, such as shaving gel or soap. Dry shaving can cause significant underarm burns and skin breakdown. This method of shaving the underarms is generally never recommended, however if dry shaving is the preferred method of hair removal, shaving with an electric razor should be considered.

Certain perfumes and other chemicals in deodorants can occasionally contribute to underarm burning. To lower the risk, products that do not contain dyes or perfumes may be gentler and less likely to cause a burning sensation under the arms. For those who are extremely sensitive to the effects of deodorants and antiperspirants, applying cornstarch under the arms can be a viable alternative to reduce odor and perspiration.

If armpit burning is accompanied by lumps or bumps, pain, or swelling, a health care provider should be notified. An infection or other medical condition may need to be ruled out before a treatment plan is implemented. Although most cases of underarm burns are usually not serious, determining the cause is still important. If the condition is not evaluated and treated, it can become chronic and difficult to manage.

Go up