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Underarm Bump: The Causes

author image Stephanie Berger
Currently residing in Livingston, Montana, Stephanie Berger is a Registered Nurse with a passion for preventative health. Since Berger began writing professionally in 2004, her work has appeared in "Women's World" magazine and "Forward in Christ" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a minor in Spanish for the health professions from Marquette University.
Underarm Bump: The Causes
Consult your doctor to identify the cause of your underarm bumps.

Underarm bumps can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Although irritating, they are usually harmless. Typically, you can resolve the problem by modifying your daily self-care regimen. Sometimes, however, underarm bumps can be an indication of something more serious. Identifying the cause of your underarm bumps with the help of your doctor can lead to a swift resolution.

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Shaving improperly under your arms can result in razor burn, little red bumps at the hair follicles. Razors are capable of peeling off the epidermis, the top layer of skin, resulting in chaffed, irritated skin. If you suffer from razor burn, try using an electric razor, which does not shave as close to the skin as a disposable razor, causing less irritation. Some women are more prone to razor burn than others and may need to discontinue shaving altogether and try alternative hair removal methods like hair-dissolving creams or laser hair removal. To prevent razor burn, recommends shaving after you bathe because your skin will be well-hydrated and your hair will be softer. Using a moisturizing shaving cream for sensitive skin might be more effective than using soap. Shave downwards, in the direction that your hair grows. Moisturize your skin after you shave with a moisturizing lotion.


Your deodorant might be the cause of your underarm bumps. Deodorant can cause a skin condition called contact dermatitis, according to Dr. Adrian Morris of the Surrey Allergy Clinic in London. The condition occurs when something touches your skin and irritates it or causes a reaction. Deodorants contain harsh chemicals like formeldehyde and perfumes that can irritate your sensitive underarm skin. Through trial and error, find a deodorant that is less irritating, such as an all-natural, fragrance-free deodorant, or a deodorant for sensitive skin. Give your underarm skin a chance to breathe by washing off your deodorant before you go to bed.


According to, underarm bumps could indicate a condition called folliculitis, or infected hair follicles. Folliculitis can be caused by excessive perspiration, tight-fitting clothing, skin conditions or skin trauma. Symptoms include tiny white-headed pimples around the hair follicles. If the condition does not clear up by itself in a few days, see your doctor because you might require antibiotics. Underarm bumps could indicate swollen lymph nodes. Lymph nodes swell in response to bacterial and viral infections, as well as cancer. MedlinePlus recommends that all underarm bumps be examined by a doctor to rule out such conditions.

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