Underarm shaving rashes are a common occurrence; shaving the armpits is harsh on the skin. The International Journal of Cosmetic Science reported a study that monitored the contents of debris from underarm shaving. The researchers found that slightly more than 36 percent of the debris was made up of skin. So what you rinse out of your razor is comprised of approximately three-quarters hair to one-quarter skin. With that much skin being removed from your underarms on a regular basis, it's no surprise that rashes are common. Fortunately, most rashes can be treated at home.
Go au naturale and stop shaving your underarms for a few days to avoid irritating the skin so the rash can heal. When you do go back to shaving, reduce the chance of a future rash by using a new razor and shaving in the direction that the hair grows.
Use a gentle fragrance-free soap to cleanse your underarm area. Pat the underarm skin dry after showering.
Skip the antiperspirant or switch to a sensitive skin fragrance-free formula until the rash heals. Antiperspirant products can irritate skin and can even cause rashes. Harsh antiperspirant products are irritating to open skin that's been freshly shaved. Allow your pores to close by waiting 15 minutes before applying any underarm products. If you choose to skip using antiperspirant all together, apply talc-free baby powder to the underarms to keep the skin dry.
Apply a topical over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the underarm skin after shaving and before applying antiperspirant. Hydrocortisone creams soothe the skin and reduce itching.
See a doctor if the rash does not clear up within a week. A rash that does not go away could be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, which is treated with antibacterial or antifungal creams.
- International Journal of Cosmetic Science; Impact of Shaving and Anti-Perspirant Use on the Axillary Vault; G.A. Turner, et al
- Puberty Survival Guide for Girls; Eve Anne Ashby, Richard Stewart