The skin on the axilla is known as armpit, and fungal infection in the armpit causes redness, darkening, burning and itching and basically is a ringworm infection. Armpit yeast infection can be quite common, especially due to the high moisture content in the armpit, and because the area does not get exposed to air and light, and is usually covered with clothes. Moreover due to the body heat the infection can remain active.
What Causes Armpit Yeast Infection?
The skin fungi mainly the dermatophytes or skin molds cause yeast infections in the armpit. Moreover breaks in the skin are caused due to the predisposing factors, and the infections can result out of such causing. Armpit yeast infection is mainly targeted due to a number of local factors and conditions which initially contributes in causing rash in the armpit. Some of the causes may include secondary spread of the fungal infection which mainly takes place because the fungal spores, or strands from the previously infected area get transported to various parts of our body, which mainly takes place if we scratch the area with our fingers or use a harsh/rough towel in the infected areas.
Armpit yeast infection is caused by yeast mainly ‘Candida’ which is usually present on our body in the areas where it is damp and moist. Whenever the yeast finds some comfortable environment, the Candida yeast rapidly starts replicating at a much faster rate, which causes the hypersensitivity and discomfort.
A recent study was conducted in the ‘Diabetes Care Journal’, with an objective to study the skin surface pH level in in diabetic patient with Candida yeast infection. The test was conducted on 50 NIDDM patients from the diabetic clinic and 40 healthy control subjects with a pH meter and skin corneometer. It was found that nearly all the Candida yeast infection patients with diabetic had a much higher skin pH level than in non-diabetic patients. This implies the significance of skin pH as a possible factor for detecting Candidal infection. However, it’s advisable to look for other signs and symptoms as well, as our skin ph level can fluctuate even after a meal.
Another study in the ‘Isrn Dermatology Journal’ was carried out using scanning electron microscope to examine the pathogenesis of Candida Infection in a normal healthy human skin model. The skin section consisted of low and high concentration signs of Candida yeasts. The results revealed all the 3 yeast, Candida Albicans, C. tropicalis, C. parapsilosis. This study just goes to show that a range of different Candida species live of the human skin in normal healthy people, so armpit yeast infection can only come about when the conditions on the skin are encouraging its growth, and cause the Candida to flourish and led to an infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Armpit Yeast Infection
Dark discolouration in the under arm’s skin
After scratching we may notice flakes and specks of the skin under the arms, or on the clothing
If the ventilation of our skin is poor and bacteria growth is occurring then we get a musty body odour.
How will you Treat Yeast Infection Armpit?
As you treat other fungal infections around your body, in similar way, you need to treat the armpit’s yeast infection. You should apply gels, tropical creams which are anti-fungal and lotions which can efficiently cure the infection in 4 to 6 weeks, with regular applications at proper intervals. Fungal treatments with oral antifungals are necessary when the condition has become severe. When you notice some type of skin rash with redness, itchiness and inflammation, you need to apply corticosteroid creams so that it can be healed.
If there is any kind of infection in the armpit, it is very important not to use any harsh deodorants or perfume which may have caused the skin rash. It is very important to reduce any kind of sweat production on the area which may lead to bacterial and fungal overgrowth in the area, and for that you may use anti-fungal powders. Ventilation is a major factor in treatment of such infections where the infected area needs to get adequate amount of air to breathe, for that you should wear thin and light coloured cotton clothes. Do not scratch the infected area if it is itchy, that may worsen the armpit yeast infection. The fungal infection will persist if you scratch the infected area as the micro-abrasions are caused.
In women, mainly due to various cosmetic factors discolouration occurs under the arms and causes a dark colour. Long term inflammation in the skin causes such dark colouration and also due to friction and irritation, which may have been exaggerated after scratching. In order to lighten the colour of our skin, we often bleach our skin which may prove harmful in such cases. So avoid using such creams, and try to take frequent baths in the summer season. Eat natural yoghurt and drink apple cider vinegar to prevent the yeast infection armpit, and help it heal faster. The affected area should be kept dry and clean. We should try to avoid sugary foods and mushrooms during such conditions. We should also avoid cheese, foods that have been made after fermentation, wine and beer.
Substances like honey can cure infections if we apply it on the infected area and leave it for 20 minutes. Applying vinegar mixed with water, about 1 tsp in 1 bowl of water in the armpit can also give you relief. But above all, prevention is better than cure, so it is very important for us to maintain a good hygiene to avoid such problems and keep up our immune system.
The Pathogenesis of Candida Infections – ISRN Dermatology Journal – 2011 – By Raz-Pasteur and Y. Ullmann
Skin Surface pH – Possible Correlation to Candidal intertrigo – American Diabetes Association Journal – 1993 – By Gil Yosipovitch and Ethel Tur
All About Yeast Infections and Candida – Book by Sean Mosley – 2013
Pathogenic Yeasts & Yeast Infections – Book by Esther Segal and Gerald L. Baum – 1994