Itchy armpits and cancer: Is there a link?

The following six conditions are the most common causes of itchy armpits.


Intertrigo is a rash that develops in the folds of the skin. Intertrigo occurs when heat and moisture are trapped between skin folds, causing yeast, fungus, or bacteria to grow.

Reading: Why are my armpits itchy

The rash itself is usually red or brown and may itch or burn.

Intertrigo commonly develops in the armpits. it can also occur in the following areas:

  • in the crease of the neck
  • under the breasts
  • under the belly
  • in the groin
  • between the toes

A doctor may prescribe a topical steroid cream to relieve itching and irritation. in severe cases, they may prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal cream to clear up the infection.


The term eczema refers to a group of conditions that cause skin irritation. the most common symptoms are itching, color changes and inflammation. these can occur anywhere in the body.

Some people may also find that eczema affects their skin in other ways. other skin symptoms may include:

  • dryness
  • tenderness
  • swelling
  • oozing or crusting
  • dark spots
  • rough, leathery or scaly patches

Although there is no cure for eczema, some treatments and strategies can help relieve symptoms and prevent the condition from getting worse.

Individuals should visit a physician or dermatologist to obtain a diagnosis and discuss possible treatments.

irritant contact dermatitis

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irritant contact dermatitis (icn) is a type of eczema. icd occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant.

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The condition can develop from a single exposure to a toxic substance or repeated exposure to an irritating substance.

Any substance that comes into contact with the underarm area has the potential to irritate. examples include:

  • water
  • soaps
  • razors
  • deodorant
  • fabric detergent
  • fabric softener

itching, burning, and stinging are common symptoms of icd. in severe cases, the skin may crack and bleed.

People who suspect they have an icd should contact a doctor who will likely prescribe treatments to heal the skin and prevent the condition from getting worse.

Learn more about triggers and treatment options for contact dermatitis here.

heat rash

Heat rash, also known as miliaria, is a skin irritation that usually occurs in hot, humid weather.

Heat rash occurs when sweat glands become clogged and cannot release sweat. water trapped inside the glands causes them to swell. this results in a painful itching or prickling sensation.

Heat rash usually appears as a group of small pimples or blisters. clusters commonly occur in the armpits and other places where skin touches skin.

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Areas where a heat rash can occur include:

  • neck
  • under the breasts
  • in the creases of the elbows
  • around the groin

Heat rash usually goes away once the skin has cooled down. applying cold compresses and wearing loose clothing can relieve skin irritation.

In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a lotion to help relieve pain and discomfort.


Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which the sweat glands produce an excessive amount of sweat.

This condition can affect sweat glands throughout the body or in specific areas, such as the armpits.

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Although hyperhidrosis can cause embarrassment and discomfort, it is a relatively harmless condition. however, hyperhidrosis increases the risk of fungal infections, which can cause itchy armpits.

bad hygiene

Armpits are home to many different bacteria. poor hygiene practices can cause a buildup of sweat and dirt on the skin, causing these bacteria to multiply.

excess bacteria causes a bad odor and increases the risk of infection, which can cause itching as a result.

keeping your armpits clean is important to prevent itchy armpits.

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