What is underarm itch?
An underarm itch is a tickling, irritating sensation accompanied by the persistent need to scratch your underarm. The medical term for itching is pruritus. Redness, swelling, soreness, flaking and scarring may occur in the area of itchiness. Although scratching may temporarily relieve your symptoms, it can cause more irritation or lead to an infection. With most cases of itching, it is best if you can refrain from scratching and leave the area alone to heal.
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Causes of underarm itch are numerous and include insect bites, allergies, infections, and trauma. When wounds are healing they often start to itch, which is a sign of improvement. Chickenpox, an extremely common childhood illness, is accompanied by red, oozing blisters that cause intense itching. Eczema and contact dermatitis are potential causes, as are conditions such as head lice, scabies, and pinworm. An underarm itch may stem from a rash or ingrown hair that is caused by shaving.
Obstructive biliary disease, caused by a blockage of the bile ducts, is condition that causes severe itching. Chronic kidney disease can also cause generalized itching.
Most causes of underarm itch are fairly mild and should not be a cause for concern. However, your health care professional should evaluate itching that is sudden, severe or unusual. Itching caused by a serious food allergy can come on rapidly with a strong need to scratch. This type of itching may be symptomatic of a serious anaphylactic reaction, which impairs breathing and causes swelling, fainting, and vomiting, and is considered a medical emergency.
Sudden itching can be a sign of anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to a food, chemical, or insect sting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if an itch is accompanied by symptoms such as swelling of the face, swelling or constriction of the throat, difficulty breathing, fainting, change in level of consciousness or alertness, or rash.
What other symptoms might occur with underarm itch?
Underarm itch may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Certain conditions that cause underarm itch may also involve other body systems.... Read more about underarm itchsymptoms