How to Get Rid of Underarm Bumps

Razor burn on your underarms is the pits. While armpits may not be the most alluring part of the body, they still deserve to look clean and smooth -- not covered in those tiny red bumps that most often occur from shaving irritation or from an allergic reaction to a skin-care product. To rid your underarms of those unsightly and annoying bumps, you have to shake up your shaving routine. It's time to give your pits the pampering they deserve.

When you're razor-burn free, you can raise your arms with confidence. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Ridding Bumps

Step 1

Treat your underarm bumps with a twice-daily application of a cortisone cream containing aloe vera. You can also make your own inflammation-reducer by applying a paste of ground-up aspirin and water.

Step 2

Give your pits a rest and hold off on shaving until the bumps have subsided. Frequent shaving increases your chances of razor burn.

Step 3

Switch to a sensitive-skin and fragrance-free deodorant, if you're not already using one. In a study on antiperspirants and deodorant allergies published in the September 2008 issue of "The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology," Doctors Matthew J. Zirwas and Jessica Moennich found that fragrances were the number one cause of allergic reactions. The ingredient propylene glycol was also found to cause reactions.

Preventing Bumps

Step 1

Wash your underarms with a moisturizing cleanser and ensure you've moistened the skin for at least three minutes before you start shaving. This helps soften the hair so it's easier to remove.

Step 2

Lather up with a shaving oil or gel designed for sensitive skin. Don't use shaving cream, as the cream can clog your skin's pores, leading to more razor bumps.

Step 3

Shave in the direction the hair grows. Shaving against the grain can cut the hairs too deep, increasing the chances of ingrown hairs which can cause bumps.

Step 4

Rinse your underarms with cold water to reduce irritation.

Step 5

Soothe the skin after you dry off with aloe vera, witch hazel or tea tree oil. A cold compress, such as a bag of veggies from the freezer, also helps prevent razor burn.

Step 6

Wait before applying deodorant. Because your underarms are the most sensitive right after a shave, applying a deodorant immediately after may result in bumps. Follow the directions on your deodorant; some of the higher-strength antiperspirants have specific instructions to use only at night, and not after showering or shaving.

Things You'll Need

  • Moisturizing cleanser

  • Shaving gel or oil

  • Sharp razor

  • Aloe vera

  • Cold compress

Tip

If you start your day with a shower, try waiting 20 minutes before shaving, as your skin is more likely to be swollen right after you wake up. Shaving on swollen skin is another cause of irritation.

You probably know dull razors don't cut well, but what you might not know is how quickly razors lose their edge. Swap out your razor blade at least every seven shaves.

Warning

If switching to a sensitive-skin-friendly shaving routine doesn't reduce your underarm bumps, talk to your medical-care professional. Underarm bumps could also be a sign of body lice. If you have underarm lumps, call your doctor right away.

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