Girl Smarts Are your armpits itching like crazy? Here's why

Fragrances from soap, laundry detergent, or dryer sheets are especially irritating on delicate underarm skin, which often has invisible microtears from shaving.

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Itchy armpit causes play

Itchy armpit causes

(Photograph by Getty Images)
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Sweaty armpits are one thing... but itchy armpits? Yeah, it totally happens. So what do you about it? It depends on what's causing that itch.

Here, we explain the most common causes of itchy armpits—and what to do about yours.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Fragrances from soap, laundry detergent, or dryer sheets are especially irritating on delicate underarm skin, which often has invisible microtears from shaving.

Switch to fragrance-free products and apply a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, such as Aveeno 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream to soothe the discomfort and rawness. If that doesn't do the trick, you'll need to look into other potential causes.

READ ALSO: 8 Warning signs of breast cancer

HIDDEN CULPRITS

Oh joy, your pits might have a yeast infection! And it can be just as itchy in your underarms as in your nether region.

For relief, apply the same kind of OTC antifungal cream you'd buy for a vaginal yeast infection, and if it doesn't clear up in five days, see a dermatologist—you may need a prescription oral medication.

Watch a hot doctor explain whether you have to treat yeast infections or not:

Pissed-off armpits sometimes have a counterintuitive cause, though: sweat. Your pits can quickly get drenched when you walk into a warm room bundled up in loads of layers. And all that wetness actually zaps moisture from skin, resulting in dry prickles. The fix: Choose antiperspirant—which actively suppresses sweating—over deodorant, and go for a clinical strength formula.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!

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