Sweaty and smelly? Nah!

Sweaty and smelly? Nah!

TV commercials that have models lifting their arms high as they pirouette prettily make many of us wonder, ‘Are they for real?’ When sweaty armpits are the norm in summer, the exception always arouses curiosity and disbelief. Thankfully, itchy underarm patches are treatable with simple home remedies.

Dr Neetu Saini, aesthetic physician, LesCosmedics Skin Clinic, says: “The most common reason for an itchy underarm patch is allergic reaction. Your skin may be reacting to a deodorant, soap, powder or perfume that you are using. Some fabrics or some detergents may cause it. The easy solution to this problem is to isolate the
allergy causing object and restrict its use.”

Another frequent source of armpit patch is folliculitis – the infection of hair follicles. An armpit rash that looks like acne and is red and painful is most likely due to folliculitis. “Treatment includes avoiding any type of hair removal till the rash clears. Change your regular hair removal method if it is the causing the problem and consult a doctor for some topical cream,” Dr Saini suggests.

A fungal infection may also cause flaky, red and itchy underarms. This area is anyway moist with little exposure to light, allowing yeast and other fungi to breed. Further, if sweat and grime accumulates, on a daily basis, fungal infection is bound to set in. “Apply antifungal creams and avoid milk and milk-products to treat this condition,” she advises.

Often, excessive heat and friction (caused from the brushing of the arms against the chest) also causes red rashes. Dr Saini says, “This problem is mostly seen in overweight people, but could happen to anyone. The best way to treat it is to keep the area cool. Avoid nylon and body-hugging clothes and go for loose pure cotton garments that help your skin breathe.”

“Powdered sandalwood combined with rose water serves as a natural bleaching agent. Apply it on the armpit and keep for half an hour before rinsing off. Regular exfoliation followed by the application of a skin soothing lotion has been found to be fairly effective. In case you plan to use any herbal or chemically prepared whitening agent, do remember to check with your physician or dermatologist first,” says
Dr Saini.

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