Why Am I Getting A Burning Sensation In My Armpits?

Burning sensation in armpit is common issue as the skin in this area is quiet thin and delicate, it can become raw and irritated easily. Actually the anatomical area of armpit makes it more vulnerable to sweating and retention of moisture. Too much of sweat and moisture creates breeding ground for organisms. When the underarm area becomes raw and irritated, it causes burning and itchy sensation. Any type of burning and tingling sensation over the skin surface occurs due to damage or injury to the sensory nerve endings that innervate this area.

Burning in armpit can be mild or severe. In majority of cases burning pain in armpit is not a serious condition, it may occur simply because of scraping of skin while shaving underarm hair. But sometimes the reasons may be as serious as infection or nerve entrapment. Let us know in detail the causes that produce this symptom, so that right remedial measures can be taken.

What Causes A Burning Sensation In The Armpit?

Host of reasons can cause burning and tingling in armpit. As mentioned earlier, the skin in this area is not tough; hence it can easily get irritated and raw.

Any type of burning and tingling occurs when the sensory nerve is damaged or irritated. The source of damage can be injury, infection or an underlying disease. Below are some of the important reasons that may give rise to this discomforting sensation.

  • The most common and simple reason for burning in armpits is due to scraping of the skin caused with the use of dull and blunt razor while shaving underarm hair. Poor shaving techniques combined with improper razor can damage the skin area and produce burning pain.
  • Skin allergy is second most common cause. Some people might be allergic to deodorants, body spray, antiperspirants, shaving cream etc. These materials contain alcohol and other chemicals which can cause allergy in people having sensitive skin. Alcohol also increasingly dries the underarm skin.
  • Sometimes the underarm skin is subjected to too much of friction when you wear tight fitting shirts and tops. Your clothes can rub frequently with armpit skin damaging the external layer of skin. Especially synthetic clothes which rub constantly with armpit skin produces chaffing, which concurrently cause burning pain.
  • Too much of sweat and moisture in armpit favor microorganisms to multiply easily and produce infection in the hair follicles. Bacteria and fungus thrive in this environment. Thus many people suffer from frequent boils and abscesses in armpits when the pores are blocked with dead skin, bacteria and too much of sebum. Fungal infection such as ringworm is also common in this area. Burning pain and irritation in armpits are common manifestations of bacterial and fungal disease.
  • Herpes zoster is a viral disease affecting skin and sensory nerves. It can occur anywhere on the skin surface, including the armpit area. Burning pain is characteristic feature of herpes zoster, besides cluster of fluid filled tiny blisters and red rash in the surrounding skin.
  • Patient suffering from diabetic neuropathy resulting from uncontrolled diabetes can lead to burning pain in armpit and other sites of the body. Peripheral nerve damage is a complication of diabetes.

Home Remedies To Treat Burning Sensation In Armpit

Burning and irritation in armpits in most cases is not serious. If the symptom is mild, there is possibility that the pain will disappear after few hours. Simple home remedies are beneficial in most cases.

  • Aloe vera gel is time tested home remedy for burning on skin. It has cooling, anti-inflammatory properties which alleviates burning. Apply the gel two times in a day. You can also apply it after shaving as a precautionary measure.
  • Apply cold water compress in the area. You can also use cold milk to reduce inflammation and burning pain. Add a pinch of turmeric powder if needed. Turmeric has antibacterial properties. It can hence kill the germ that may proliferate in the sweat glands.
  • In more severe cases, application of cream and lotions containing steroids will help to alleviate burning in armpits.
  • Wear loose fitting cotton shirts and tops when you have past history of frequent episodes of burning. Wear cotton shirts especially in summer season when you sweat more.
  • In case of herpes infection, doctors prescribe anti viral medicines to shorten the course of illness. However, local application of cold compresses and aloe vera gel are also beneficial.