Armpit Fungus

Armpit fungus can be quite persistent because of the high moisture content caused by sweat, warmth because of body heat and low light created by clothing.

Causes of armpit fungus:

Causes of armpit fungus include yeasts or dermatophytes.

i) Yeasts

Yeast is a less common cause of skin fungal infection. However, it usually occurs in a particular area of the body such as folds. It occurs when the skin has a break or graze as a result of excessive scratching of the armpits or hair removal from armpits. Deodorant allergies, chaffing can lead to dermatitis. Individuals with diabetes are also prone to skin yeast infections.

One of the most common types of yeast infection that cause fungal skin infection is Candida albicans. This is the same kind of yeast that causes oral thrush and vaginal thrush. The yeast species usually reside on the surface of the skin as part of the healthy skin flora. It only enters the skin and causes infection after the integrity of the skin is compromised. An overgrowth of yeast on the surface of the skin can also contribute to armpit fungus.

ii) Dermatophytes

Dermatophytes usually cause most fungal infections. They are typically present in the environment and may even be found on the human skin without causing infections. This kind of species has specialized enzymes that digest keratin in the skin and lead to superficial infections.

Dermatophytes are easily transferable from one individual to another through direct and indirect contact. A person can also transfer the infection from scratching an infected area and touching an uninfected one. Other times, dermatophytes can be contracted from contact with animals and soil. However, this is uncommon.

Signs and symptoms of armpit fungus:

The symptoms of armpit fungus are just like those of the other fungal infections and are hard to miss. You, therefore, do not have to fret about it going undiagnosed. Here are the warning signs of armpit fungus infection:

  • Discoloration and darkening of the skin of the armpit skin
  • Itching, inflammation and burning of the skin of the armpit
  • Flaking of the skin in the affected area noticeable after scratching and on clothing
  • Body odor caused by poor ventilation and skin bacteria
  • Ring-like rash where the borders are red and raised, the center can maybe be dry or just normal skin. The characteristic ring lesion may not be seen on the armpits.

Remember that when you notice the presence of the symptoms, you are likely to pass the infection to other people. Ensure that you avoid direct contact with other people if you have touched your armpit.

Who are at risk to armpit fungus?

Skin fungus infection is not a desirable condition to be infected with. You should understand that just like other fungal infections, men, just like women, are prone to develop armpit fungus. It can be worsened by factors such as sweating and wearing tight clothes since it increases humidity in the armpits. Furthermore, poor hygiene is also a significant factor that leads to contracting armpit fungus.

Once you notice that you have contracted armpit fungus, it is vital that you take the required steps to control the spread of the disease. There are numerous methods that you can follow to heal armpit fungus. These methods range from tried and tested home remedies as well as conventional medical treatment.

Treatment of fungal infection:

If you are suffering from an armpit fungus, you need to visit a dermatologist for help. Your physician will likely prescribe topical anti-fungal agents such as miconazole and clotrimazole since they are usually used in the treatment of this condition. The topical anti-fungal agents are typically applied directly on the affected areas. Note that these medications do not act as fast as anticipated. For you to heal from the fungal infection completely, persistent and regular use of the fungal creams is recommended.

Sometimes your armpit condition may not improve because it's not limited to the rashes formation and you may have developed allergies as well as an itching sensation. If you notice such a scenario, then anti-fungal creams will not be sufficient. You'll need a doctor to prescribe antihistamines.

When armpits darken as a result of inflammation, friction and irritation caused by scratching, avoid using bleach creams to lighten the area of the skin. Bleaching creams can also cause further inflammation. You can use a mild corticosteroid to lessen itching and redness thus allowing the infected area to heal.

Home remedies

i) Vinegar

Vinegar is among the excellent remedies for armpit fungus. The acidic nature of vinegar kills the fungus by creating a hostile environment. Furthermore, vinegar helps in controlling the growth of fungus in the armpit considering vinegar controls sweating, therefore, reducing unwanted accumulation of moisture in the armpits.

Armpit itching and rashes can be managed by using vinegar in bathwater. You can also include vinegar in your regular diet because it improves the immune system thus helping in the fight against infections.

ii) Essential oils

Essential oils such as tea tree oil have been used for ages to heal fungal infections since it has anti-fungal properties. You will need to mix a few drops of thyme oil and tea tree oil and apply the mixture to the infected armpit. Do not attempt to use 100% pure tea tree oil because it has a burning sensation on the skin. Also, use a cotton ball dipped in essential oil during application rather than using your fingers. This is to avoid infections and contamination. Use tea tree oil twice every day for a week to get fast and effective results.

iii) Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an active anti-inflammatory agent that has multiple minerals and vitamins such as zine. For this reason, Aloe Vera is an effective cure for any fungal infection.

Apply Aloe Vera gel directly from the leaves of the plant to the affected area. You can also prepare Aloe Vera juice and apply using cotton wool to the affected area.

An unhealthy and unbalanced diet may cause fungal infections. It is vital to have a strict diet rule and reduce sugar intake since it promotes fungal growth. Furthermore, avoid foods or products of cheese and mushrooms because it contains yeast in them. You can also incorporate foods that have anti-fungal properties such as garlic into your diet and drink a lot of water to help fight fungal infections.

You can try the home remedies if you are suffering from armpit fungus. However, ensure that before choosing any mode of treatment, talk to your healthcare provider in case of severe symptoms of fungal infections. Only take the best possible medical advice and treatment.

Prevention of armpit fungus:

Preventative measures have to be done when treating armpit fungus to prevent reoccurrence. These include:

  • Avoid using antiperspirant roll-on deodorants that were used previously since the fungus may still be in the applicator. If you notice that the deodorant irritates your skin, avoid using it until you heal completely.
  • You can use anti-fungal drying powder if you sweat a lot
  • Wear light clothing that will help prevent a build-up of sweat and heat and also give ventilation under the armpits
  • Ensure that you bathe regularly to keep the infected area clean.
  • Avoid removing armpit hair until after you have healed, however, if you notice that the fungi are adhering to the hair, you may need to get rid of it.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels with an individual who has a fungal infection. Note that it is common for family members to contact the fungal infections.
  • While an armpit fungus can be extremely itchy, avoid scratching that localized area as much as you can. Microabrasions caused by scratching will permit the infection to persist.
  • Make sure to wear clean and adequately cleaned clothes because dirty clothes can further promote armpit fungus.