Rubbing your arms like you’re doing the chicken dance but nothing gives? Heads up: It could be a sign of an allergy, or something else. Here, some of the reasons your armpits itch.

The usual suspects

Fragrances from soap, laundry detergent or dryer sheets are especially irritating on the delicate underarm skin, which often has invisible microtears from shaving. Switch to fragrance-free products and apply a 1% hydrocortisone cream to soothe the discomfort and rawness. If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to look into other potential causes.

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.


Pissed-off armpits sometimes have a counter intuitive 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.

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