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What Causes Armpit Blisters?

Armpit blisters can form from infected ingrown hairs when the underarm is shaved often.
The shingles virus causes a painful rash on the skin.
The ingredients in some roll-on deodorants may cause armpit blisters on people with sensitive skin.
Allergic reactions to body sprays may cause armpit blisters.
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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
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Infected ingrown hairs, shingles, and contact dermatitis from an allergic reaction are common causes of armpit blisters. These types of sores can also sometimes result from certain insect bites, particularly those from ticks or mosquitoes. Fungal or bacterial infections on the skin's surface can cause blisters in people who sweat excessively, though these conditions are normally cleared up easily with a topical cream. A severe armpit rash with blisters can be a sign of a more serious illness in some rare cases, so anyone with numerous large blisters is often advised to consult with a medical professional.

Underarm areas that are frequently shaven are sometimes prone to rashes, ingrown hairs, and increased skin sensitivity. A blister can often form from an ingrown hair that becomes infected, and this common problem is treated fairly easily. Many ingrown hairs will resolve themselves with gentle exfoliation and the application of a topical cream containing antibacterial ingredients, such as salicylic acid. Most dermatologists advise against lancing or extracting ingrown armpit hairs because this can often worsen the initial infection. Preventative measures include careful shaving with a sharp single-blade razor and avoiding running the razor over the same skin area more than once.

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Shingles is a skin condition resulting from a viral infection that leads to rashes and itchy, painful blisters over several areas of the body, including the armpits. Treatments for this condition usually include topical medication to help relieve the itching and sometimes corticosteroid injections to shorten the duration of the blister outbreaks. Although these kinds of blisters can be especially bothersome in many cases, dermatologists often warn shingles sufferers not to scratch or shave the area to avoid further infection or scarring.

Allergic reactions can often be responsible for armpit blisters in patients with histories of skin sensitivities, and certain chemicals in roll-on or spray deodorants can frequently cause these kinds of reactions. The same problem can happen from heavy uses of fragrant body sprays, colognes, or perfumes. People who initially suffer from this kind of allergic reaction sometimes need to determine the product responsible by a process of elimination. Blisters from reactions to perfume products are normally relieved by not using those products. Some dermatologists prescribe specialty deodorants formulated for patients with skin allergies, and others recommend all-natural products that can usually be found in health food stores.

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Discuss this Article

serenesurface
Post 7

I have an armpit blister that keeps coming up in the same place. Is it herpes?

fBoyle
Post 6
@StarJo-- I recommend that you use an all natural/organic deodorant.

It actually sounds like you're having an allergic reaction to the chemicals or perfumes in deodorants. How many blisters appear at one time? Are they filled with pus?

If they don't have pus and look more like bumps and occur in large numbers, they might actually be hives and not blisters. I'm not a doctor, so you should check with a dermatologist. But my understanding is that blisters are caused by bacteria and have pus. Hives are different, they're a sign of allergies.

literally45
Post 5

@kylee07drg-- Actually, shaving is a cause of ingrown hairs and consequently armpit blisters. Since shaving removes hairs on top of the skin and not from the roots, it becomes easier for them to get embedded and become ingrown. If bleeding occurs during shaving, this also increases the risk of infection causing blisters.

I think that waxing is better. Regardless of what type of hair removal method is used though, exfoliation is also a must. I have not had any armpit blisters since I've started exfoliating my armpits in the bath regularly.

lighth0se33
Post 4

My friend is in his sixties, and he recently had a bout with shingles. He said that his underarms were covered in blisters, as well as his sides.

His doctor wrote him a prescription for a cream to help with the blisters, but when he heard the pharmacist say that it would cost $100, he told him he just couldn't buy it. However, the pharmacist called his doctor and asked if it was okay to substitute the generic version, so my friend only had to pay $4.

It's crazy that medications containing the exact same ingredients can vary in price so much. I know that shingles blisters are extremely painful, and it's great that there are generic creams available to people who just can't shell out $100 for treatment.

kylee07drg
Post 3

It seems that whenever my razor blade gets dull, armpit blisters start to appear. That's actually how I know it is time to change my blade!

I really hate those blisters, because every time that I put my arms all the way down by my side, I feel sharp pains. I use an antibiotic cream to treat them.

Lately, I've been paying closer attention to when I change my shaving blade. If I put a new one in after two weeks, I can avoid getting the blisters.

shell4life
Post 2

@StarJo – I went through the same thing last year. For several days, I stopped using my deodorant, and instead, I applied aloe vera gel.

I don't know exactly why, but it kept me from developing an odor. It was also very soothing to my blistered skin.

If you want something more powerful, try using a deodorant crystal. My friend is convinced that these are the best, because they are all natural and have the power to prevent underarm odor.

StarJo
Post 1

I need some advice. I have recently developed armpit blisters because of my deodorant, so I can't use it anymore.

I've tried a couple of different kinds, and they all seem to be causing blisters. This is very uncomfortable, but I have to wear some sort of odor and sweat protection. What can I do?

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