Preventing And Treating Armpit Breakouts Doesn't Have To Be A Hassle

When speaking of acne, we tend to think of the scaly bumps and red spots that dot our faces. However, acne can develop anywhere on your body. While it's more common on the face, back, and chest, acne can also form in the underarm area. The skin under the arms comprises many sweat glands and hair follicles that can become easily clogged by dead skin cells and oil. According to Medical News Today, pimples, which are blemishes caused by bacterial accumulation in blocked sweat glands, are also common in the armpits as a result.

Armpit pimples can develop as a result of a number of infections, including ingrown hair, yeast infection, hidradenitis suppurativa, and folliculitis, said Dr. Harish Koutam of SkinKraft. Skin bacteria are the most common culprit behind the blockage or infection of hair follicles that lead to underarm pimples. Some common causes of infection exposure include hair removal, exposure to viral sources, and certain types of medication. Additionally, skin irritation can result from using items like pore-clogging deodorants and dull razor blades. Excessive armpit sweat also increases the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. Generally, armpit pimples are quite common and tend to clear off on their own. However, you can avoid them or make them go away quicker using these tips.

How to prevent armpit breakouts

To prevent skin irritation caused by shaving, Vedix recommends switching out your razor blades once a week and always using a sharp, clean blade. In case you're prone to armpit acne, opt for a disposable razor every time you shave your underarm. However, you should also keep in mind that shaving, tweezing, and waxing can give you ingrown hair with swollen cysts, so consider changing to another hair removal method to go hair-free without bumps.

Another way to avoid ingrown hair entirely, per Super Deodorant, is to wash your underarms daily and exfoliate the area once or twice a month to prevent dead skin cells and extra sebum from clogging your pores. After exercising, take a shower and never share a towel with anyone. Since your armpits also need hydration, try to moisturize them with a pH-balanced body lotion once or twice a week, dermatologist Dr. Alicia Zalka tells Vogue. If your armpit has sustained irritation, refrain from shaving and deodorizing for a while. If you deodorize daily, choose products that are free of fragrance, aluminum, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, or dyes. At the same time, wear breathable clothing to avoid friction and avoid re-wearing sweaty, unwashed clothes to curtail the risk of fungal infection.

How to treat armpit breakouts

For those struggling with armpit breakouts, keeping warm compresses on the affected area regularly to keep the skin clean will make the symptoms clear up in about a week, Dr. Abigail Waldman tells Byrdie. What you can do is soak a hand towel in warm water, ring it out, and hold it to the affected area to encourage the pimples to come to the head and discharge the pus.

If the symptoms don't go away easily, you can try spot-treating them using over-the-counter antibiotics. Using a formula containing 2% to 5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide, an antiseptic that lowers the number of germs on the skin, also helps with clearing away the bumps, dermatologist Dr. Ivy Lee tells Well + Good. She recommends using the product on the affected area twice a day. If you don't see any improvement after five days, consult a healthcare professional for medical intervention. For more lasting results, you can also consider opting for a permanent hair removal method like laser treatments, which are known to not only prevent but also treat folliculitis.