Do you have bumps on armpit that are painless or hurt, itch or don’t? This problem is common after shaving or removing underarm hair. Read on for more on symptoms and what you can do to get rid or stop them including those that come after shaving.
What causes them
They have many. Some of the common causes include the following:
This is the most common cause of small bumps on the armpits which are mainly due to irritation of the skin and small cuts or scratching by blunt and dull razors. People who experience this problem use poor shaving methods or techniques of hair removal. These methods include shaving frequently and close-to-skin shaving.
Common symptoms include short-lived itching and slight pain. Symptoms like itching can be aggravated by sweat, tight clothing and certain deodorants with irritating ingredients.
How long do they last after shaving? This problem resolves few days after shaving even without treatment. Keep in mind that the bumps can be infected or turn into ingrown hair cysts.
Certain deodorants made of ingredients sensitive to the skin can potentially lead to this problem. People with sensitive areas around the armpit are more likely to be victims after applying deodorants. Usually, deodorants worsen symptoms.
Underarm sebaceous cyst
Do you often get painful small pus-filled bumps on your armpits? If you are prone to clogging of pores, chances that those zits under your arms being cystic are high.
If sebaceous glands become clogged they fail to release the oils produced by the glands. Naturally occurring bacteria in our skins would thrive in such conditions. As they accumulate in the clogged pores, pus is formed from dead bacteria, dead cells, and white blood cells.
Use of deodorants is not recommended since sweating is interfered with. Some deodorants can actually lead to further clogging. Sebaceous cysts under the arm are usually painful. Normally require medical treatment such as draining to remove them.
Folliculitis is a medical term that refers to an inflammation of the hair follicles. Although armpit folliculitis is uncommon, it sometimes occurs because of the presence of hairs. There are two main types of this condition, especially on the arms, groin, and legs. Namely, superficial folliculitis (bacterial folliculitis, pseudomonas folliculitis, etc.) and deep folliculitis.
Armpit folliculitis could be attributed to bacterial or Pseudomonas folliculitis. While bacterial folliculitis occurs after staph infection of hair follicles, pseudomonas folliculitis is caused by exposure of skin to environments with these pseudomonas bacteria species. Such places include hot water tubs or heated water and chlorine water in swimming pools whose pH is not well regulated.
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Clusters of small red bumps or ‘white-headed pimples’ develop around hair follicles
- Red and inflamed skin
- Itchy or burning skin
- Pus-filled blisters
- In severe cases, a large swollen bump with tenderness or pain can develop.
Not all underarm rashes can appear in form of bumps. Certain skin rashes are typical of red bumps or small bumpy spots on the skin including the area under the armpits. An example is heat rash or miliaria.
Miliaria or heat rash
Heat rash is one of the rashes that affects the armpits. It is caused by blockage of sweat ducts. Bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis is responsible for causing the sweat ducts to block. Miliaria is marked by itching and pain due to the “pricking sensation”.
Rubra miliaria is a type of skin rash that is very common for toddlers and young kids. It also can occur in adults. In many European countries, people get miliaria during the hot and humid weather in the summer.
In addition to heat rash, the following are other possible causes of armpit rash characteristic of bump formation.
- Viral infections such as chicken pox
- Suppressed immunity due to medication or human STDs like HIV
- Medicines, food allergens and body reaction to certain insect bites
Besides the signs of swellings, other symptoms experienced include itching, pain, fever, and discomforts while making arm movements. Symptoms will tend to vary with the severity of specific conditions or the cause.
To help you see them visually, have a look at the following pictures of bumps on underarms.
Red bumps underarm
When accompanied with redness is symptomatic of a rash like miliaria more so rubra heat rash. Folliculitis is another possible cause of small red bumps. Individuals with fairer skin are more likely to experience redness.
There are various methods of treating temporary skin conditions marked by bumps or underarm rashes. However, for a good approach, it is important to understand the relation between the underarm bumps and the underlying causes.
Topical creams are the basic and most common treatment form used to treat, cure or get rid of the symptoms that show up together. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your doctor may determine the most appropriate way to administer these drugs. Sometimes oral medications are preferred as opposed to the creams applied externally.
These medicines help patients to control or eliminate bacterial infection. Treatments for bacterial skin diseases are usually on a short-term basis.
Corticosteroids are used to treat most rashes that cause irritation on the skin. Doctors almost always encourage patients to go for prescription medicines. In many cases oral corticosteroids prescribed for severe symptoms, itching, for instance, that is typical skin rashes.
This category of topical drugs helps in controlling itching. There are specific medicine brands meant for itch rashes caused by skin conditions like dermatitis.
As we mentioned earlier, bumps under armpits that are cystic may require drainage. This procedure should be carried out and done by a nurse or qualified doctor.
A cure for insect bites should be approached with a lot of caution. Proper cure begins with identifying the kind of insect that caused the bites. This is the reason why you need to consult your physician in case you fail to identify what insect bites caused the bumps.
How to get rid of bumps after shaving
Bumps after shaving is an irritating and painful thing and cause slight itching. However, this can be easily managed with home remedies. If the condition is nothing serious it usually resolves on its own. Nevertheless, you can prevent the underarm bumps after shaving. Here are simple natural remedies to start with.
- Soak a soft cloth warm salty water and place it under your arms for ten minutes. Do this at least once or twice after bath or shower
- Wrap small pieces of ice in a washcloth and apply then to reduce inflammation and ease the discomfort feeling in armpits
If these don’t work then you need to adopt underarm bump treatments to address your problem properly. These include the following.
Exfoliation allows for the dead skin to shed away. The armpit area is a sensitive area and thus require a gentle exfoliation. Avoid using highly concentrated exfoliating products. More importantly, do it three times a week.
Wash the area with gentle cleanser
This will help prevent infections and clear the pores. Remember to use a gentle cleanser due to the sensitivity in the armpit skin. You may as well apply a natural antiseptic like tea tree oil to keep infection causing germs away.
Apply a hydrocortisone cream to calm itching which is a result of irritation. Try Aveeno Hydro Anti-Itch which is gentle for the skin.
Alternatively, go for pure aloe Vera gels to help soothe the armpits after a shave.
Moisturize the dry skin
You can also moisturize the area under arms if you know you have a natural dry skin or one that dries out easily. Please ensure you do select a hypo-allergic moisturizer.
In addition, observe these shaving tips if you want to start forgetting about bumps from shaving.
- Stop shaving too often or more frequently. Allow your armpit hair to grow out before the next time you remove it.
- Use electric shaving equipment or sharp single-blade tools but the electric ones will do a pretty good job in prevention of minor skin cuts
- Ensure the tools are well cleaned before you shave again
- Avoid depilatory creams or waxing to be on safer side always
- Do not apply fragrant sprays or perfumed deodorants immediately after shaving
When you must see your physician
It is a high time to consult your personal doctor if you experience symptoms on long-term such as endless pain in armpits and red severe painful sores. Symptoms that worsen on either left or both armpits could indicate a chronic disease such as hidradenitis suppurativa. Boils and abscesses should be treated by a doctor under close medical supervision.
Cases of persistent lumps, enlarged lymph nodes (Axillary lymphadenopathy) or glands in armpit require medical intervention in order to detect the problem that causes them to swell.
- How to get rid of Underarm Bumps, Amy Davidson
Folliculitis Symptoms – Mayo Clinic