Causes of Itching in the Armpits

If you are a lady, there is one malady or affliction which is sort of the most embarrassing of all, itchy armpits. Honestly speaking, if there is something that itches in any part of your body that even if you tried very hard to control scratching at it, chances is that you will eventually. What makes it all the more dire is when that place which is itching is your armpits, as we really wouldn’t dare scratch at that place if anyone else is around, much less in public.

Kidding aside, the armpits together with the wrists and the ankles form the three most common areas where pruritus or itchiness of the skin, forms. Besides the common causes of itchiness such as insect bites, allergies and other things, there are in fact, several conditions and diseases which have it as its symptom, they are as follows.

Axillary folliculitis

Axillary folliculitis is what happens when one or more hair follicles in the armpits become infected. It is often bacteria that are the culprit with Staphylococcus aureus being the primary suspect. It is exhibited as small pimple-like swellings that might contain pus, which usually clears itself out within days, but do also get to be rather itchy as sweat usually is prevalent in the area.


Intertrigo is when rash develops on integumentary surfaces that are also part of skin folds. It often exhibits itself in the groin area, lower body and the armpits. Itching is the main symptom of Intertrigo happening but sometimes the crusting of the skin in the area with corresponding bad odor and oozing of fluid also may happen. One common form of Intertrigo is diaper rash and contributing factors of it are a person being obese, diabetes, improper sanitation and heat among other things.

Axillary lymphadenopathy

Lymphadenopathy is the swelling of the lymph nodes of a particular area of the body. Axillary is the anatomical word used to describe the armpits, hence, axillary lymphadenopathy. Lymph nodes usually occur when there is an infection on the quadrant where the lymph nodes are present, which also is exhibited by a feeling of a small lump under the skin where the lymph node is located, itching, and general low grade numbness in left arm or right arm whichever the lymph node is located.

Tinea axillaris

Ringworms on the armpits really will get you itching in no time. Ringworm development in the armpit is very conducive as the area has unlimited moisture, a dark surrounding, and is actually the hottest place on the human body.

Axillary hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is the disruption of the sweat glands in the human body. It is most common in only three areas in the body, namely in the palms of the hand, the soles of the feet, and under the armpits. Hyperhidrosis, although not really known what causes it, is attributed to the sympathetic nervous system that is in charge with the body’s dealing with stresses such as the proverbial “fight or flight” reflexes. The excessive sweating does not really contribute to the itching but the sloughing of the skin due to too much moisture does.