What is Armpit Yeast Infection: Possible Causes and Treatment

Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni


Regarding debates concerning fungal infections, the groin or feet frequently come up more regularly than the armpit area. Infection can be highly uncomfortable and annoying. However, although less common, an armpit yeast infection can cause severe discomfort and distress. Knowledge of its signs, causes, and available treatments is essential for individuals trying to find relief from this frequently ignored ailment. This article will discuss underarm yeast infections, illuminating this perplexing condition and enabling readers to take charge of their health.

What is an Armpit Yeast Infection?

A fungal infection that involves the armpit area is called an armpit yeast infection or axillary candidiasis. It happens when the Candida fungus, primarily Candida albicans, overgrows on the skin’s surface or in the armpit sweat glands. A form of yeast called Candida lives naturally on the skin, but conditions like too much wetness, a weakened immune system, or poor hygiene can upset the balance and cause an overgrowth.

The itchy, red skin of your underarms may be due to yeast infection. Consult a doctor online

What are the Common Symptoms of Armpit Yeast Infections?

Red rashes or yeast on the skin folds in the area are common signs of yeast infection under the armpits. The armpits may truly feel scorching as a result of the rashes. Check out these signs of a yeast infection in the underarms: 

Bright Red Rashes on the Skin Folds

Armpit yeast infections can cause bright red rashes in the skin folds of the armpit. Additionally, the moist and warm environment in the armpit region creates an ideal breeding ground for yeast overgrowth, leading to the formation of these rashes. The redness may be more pronounced in the skin folds due to increased friction and moisture accumulation.

Rashes That Tend to Become Itchy

It may present as an itchy rash under the armpit. The constant urge to scratch the affected area can further irritate the skin and cause small breaks or lesions, increasing the risk of secondary infections.

Burning Sensation in Armpits

You may wonder why your armpits burn. Some individuals with armpit yeast infections may experience a burning sensation in the armpit area. This burning sensation can be caused by the irritation and inflammation of your skin due to the overgrowth of yeast.

Pimple-Like Spots on the Skin

Armpit yeast infections can present as pimple-like spots on the skin surface, i.e., small, raised, and red in appearance. They can resemble acne or small bumps commonly associated with skin infections. It’s important not to confuse these spots with actual acne, as the underlying cause and treatment approaches differ.

Scaling and Swelling

Overall the affected skin in armpit yeast infections may exhibit scaling, where the outer layers of the skin become dry, flaky, and peel off. This can contribute to additional discomfort and itching. Swelling may also occur in the armpit area due to the inflammation triggered by yeast overgrowth.

Yeast infections in the armpits typically don’t have a distinct odor. Intertrigo, a type of skin infection, is the source of yeast infections. The most you might smell is anything musky. A typical type of inflammation called intertrigo produces moisture due to the rubbing of skin creases. 

What Causes Underarm Yeast Infections?

Underarm infections, also known as armpit yeast infections or axillary candidiasis, are typically caused by an overgrowth of the Candida fungus, specifically Candida albicans. While Candida naturally resides on the skin, certain factors can disrupt the balance and lead to a candida armpit rash. The common causes of yeast infections under the arm include:

Excessive Moisture

Moisture, particularly in the warm and moist environment of the armpit, creates an ideal breeding ground for yeast overgrowth. Excessive sweating or prolonged wetness in the underarm area can promote the growth of Candida, leading to an infection.

Compromised Immune System

A weakened immune system can make individuals susceptible to yeast infections, including underarm yeast infections. Conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or undergoing immunosuppressive therapies can impair the immune response, allowing yeast to multiply and cause infection more quickly.

Poor Hygiene

Inadequate hygiene practices, such as infrequent washing or failure to thoroughly dry the underarm area, can accumulate sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria. In addition, this buildup can create an environment conducive to yeast overgrowth and subsequent infection.

Tight or Non-Breathable Clothing

Wearing tightly fitting clothing or fabrics that prevent adequate air circulation can trap moisture and heat, fostering an environment conducive to yeast growth. Also, natural fibers like cotton or linen are more breathable than synthetic materials like polyester or nylon—red rash in the armpit.

Use of Certain Medications or Products

Certain medications, such as antibiotics or corticosteroids, can disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms on the skin and increase the risk of yeast overgrowth. Additionally, using products that contain harsh chemicals or irritants in the underarm area can also contribute to developing underarm yeast infections.

Environmental Factors

Humid climates, high temperatures, or excessive humidity can create conditions that favor yeast growth. Living in such environments may increase the risk of underarm yeast infections.

It is recommended to consult a doctor rather than treating yeast infection on your own

What Does an Armpit Skin Yeast Infection Look Like?

A yeast infection of the armpit area may exhibit some different visible symptoms. Even though appearances can differ from person to person, the following traits are frequently present in an armpit yeast infection:

A Red Rash in Armpits

The affected skin in the armpit area may display a noticeable redness additionally; this redness can vary in intensity and may cover a small or large skin area. Further, this red rash may be under one armpit or both. 

Raised Bumps or Patches

The armpit fungus can consist of raised bumps or patches on the skin’s surface. Moreover, these raised rashes under the armpit may be small or more significant and can cluster or spread across the affected area.

Inflamed Skin

The skin in the armpit may exhibit signs of inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness, or a warm sensation. The rash can contribute to the discomfort experienced.

Itchy and Irritated Skin

A yeast infection can lead to intense itching and irritation in the armpit area. The skin may appear visibly irritated due to scratching or rubbing.

Scaling or Peeling Skin

In some cases, the affected skin may display scaling or peeling, resulting in dry, flaky patches or the shedding of skin layers.

Pimple-like or Acne-like Spots

Armpit yeast infections can cause the formation of small pimple-like or acne-like spots on the skin surface. These spots may appear red and inflamed and may sometimes contain pus.

A recurring yeast infection can spread. Professional advice is necessary.

What are the Treatments for Armpit Yeast Infection?

Armpit yeast infection treatment includes several medical interventions. The treatments for armpit yeast infections typically involve antifungal medications that can be applied topically or orally. Here are the standard treatments:

Topical Antifungal Creams

Over-the-counter or prescription-strength antifungal creams for armpits or ointments containing active ingredients, e.g., clotrimazole, miconazole, or ketoconazole, can be applied directly to the affected armpit area. These medications help to eliminate the yeast and reduce the symptoms.

Topical Antifungal Powders

Antifungal powders containing ingredients such as miconazole or clotrimazole can keep the armpit area dry and prevent moisture accumulation, which aids in combating the infection.

Oral Antifungal Medications

A healthcare professional may prescribe oral antifungal medications in more severe or persistent cases. These medications, such as fluconazole or itraconazole, work from within the body to combat a yeast infection.

Furthermore, it is essential to follow the prescribed dosage and duration of the medication as advised by a healthcare professional. In addition to drugs, doctors may also recommend:

Good Hygiene Practices

Keeping the armpit area clean and dry by regularly washing with mild soap and gently patting it dry can help prevent the growth and spread of yeast.

Avoiding Irritants

It’s advisable to avoid using products that may irritate the armpit area, such as harsh soaps, deodorants, or perfumes.

Managing Excessive Sweating

Taking steps to manage excessive sweating, such as wearing loose and breathable clothing, using absorbent pads or dressings, or applying antiperspirants, as a healthcare professional recommends, can help control moisture in the armpit area.

Self-treating with OTC medications can cost you more. Consult a doctor first!

What are Home Remedies for Underarm Yeast Infections?

While seeing a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment of a fungal armpit rash is crucial, some at-home therapies could promote healing or help with symptom relief. In addition, it’s critical to remember that these treatments are not a replacement for medical care, even though they could offer some comfort. 

Some home remedies that can be tried are listed below:

Warm Salt Water Baths

Warm salt water baths can help cleanse the affected area and temporarily relieve itching and irritation. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of salt in a bathtub filled with warm water and soak the armpit area for 10-15 minutes. Remember to pat the area dry gently afterward.

Natural Yogurt

Plain yogurt that hasn’t been sweetened can be applied to the troublesome area to soothe the skin. Yogurt contains good bacteria and hence can assist in reestablishing the equilibrium of the skin’s microbial population. After leaving the yogurt on for 15 to 20 minutes, wash it and pat the area dry gently.

Tea Tree Oil

The application of diluted tea tree oil topically has antifungal effects. Apply drops of tea tree oil on the armpit fungal infection mixed with carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil, to the armpit region. Before rinsing it off, let it on for 15-20 minutes. It’s crucial to remember that tea tree oil may irritate some people’s skin, so test a small area of skin first.

Aloe Vera Gel

Applying pure aloe vera gel to the affected area can provide soothing relief and help reduce inflammation and itching. Using fresh aloe vera gel or looking for a commercially available gel without added ingredients is advisable.

Clean and Dry Clothing

Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing made of natural fibers like cotton or linen to allow air circulation and minimize moisture accumulation. Avoid tight or synthetic clothing that can trap moisture.

How Can I Prevent an Underarm Skin Yeast Infection?

The doctor gives some tips that you can follow to keep the yeast infection affecting your armpits away, e.g., you can use drying powders and topical antiperspirants to prevent yeast infections.  

  • Reduce your weight and keep symptoms of diabetes in check. 
  • Wash your undergarments regularly and always wear fresh clothes. 
  • Maintaining proper blood sugar levels hence that could aid in controlling hypertension. 
  • Yeast infection in the armpits should be checked by a dermatologist regularly. 
  • Do not scratch your armpits or use any harsh antiperspirant on your body. 
  • Take a bath after coming to your body or armpits are full of sweat; clean your armpits properly with a dry towel to avoid moisture.

Read More: Male Yeast Infection: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Can an Armpit Yeast Infection Cause Complications?

Long-term neglect of an armpit rash might result in dangerous bacterial and fungal infections. Pustules, red bumps on the skin that contain fluid, can develop due to these illnesses. Additionally, pustules itch and become irritated. Too much scratching might produce scars. Additional indications of a bacterial infection consist of the following:

  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling 

Other complications may develop if your rash has any underlying causes.

Armpit fungal infections, tinea corporis, or ringworm can lead to complications if untreated or poorly managed. Some potential complications include:

Spreading to Other Body Parts 

It can spread and involve different body areas, leading to multiple patches of red, itchy skin.

Secondary Bacterial Infection

Continuous scratching of the affected area can break the skin, making it susceptible to secondary bacterial infection. This can cause increased redness, pain, and pus-filled blisters or cellulitis.

Chronic or Recurring Infections

In some cases, armpit fungal infections may become chronic or recur frequently. This can result in persistent discomfort and a longer healing process.

Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation: After the infection resolves, the affected skin may develop changes in pigmentation. It can lead to either darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation) patches compared to the surrounding skin.

Psychological Impact 

Armpit fungal infections can be visually unappealing and cause embarrassment or self-consciousness; hence this can negatively impact an individual’s self-esteem and quality of life.

However, if your rash doesn’t disappear after trying various treatments, speak to your doctor. There may be a need for a skin biopsy precisely or a prescription medication.

Consult a doctor if you need help finding primary care.

Consistent armpit yeast infections can be dangerous. Get professional help before it worsens.


Armpit yeast infections can be uncomfortable and bothersome, impacting our daily lives. The symptoms, such as itching, redness, and inflammation, can disrupt our well-being. However, we can effectively address and manage these infections by seeking timely medical treatment and preventive measures. Yeast on the skin treatment aids with a healthy armpit. 

Maintaining good hygiene practices, managing excessive moisture, and avoiding irritants can also help prevent future armpit yeast infection occurrences. We can strive for comfort, confidence, and a healthier underarm environment by prioritizing our skin health and making informed choices.

Let us empower ourselves with knowledge and take proactive steps towards addressing and preventing armpit yeast infections, ensuring our well-being and peace of mind. Together, we can embrace healthier armpits and live our lives to the fullest.


How long does armpit rash take to heal?

A rash under the armpit can heal quickly or slowly, depending on the underlying cause and individual conditions. With the proper care and treatment, mild occurrences of armpit rash, such as those brought on by irritation or allergies, may go away in days to weeks. However, it can take a few weeks or longer for the rash to completely cure if the underlying cause is a persistent yeast infection or another illness.

Can you use Monistat on skin yeast infections?

Monistat contains the antifungal medication miconazole, primarily designed for vaginal yeast infections. Moreover, it is not explicitly formulated or recommended for skin yeast infections, including armpit yeast infections.

Are yeast infections common in armpits?

While yeast infections are commonly associated with areas like the vagina, mouth, or skin folds, they can also occur in the armpits. Armpit yeast infections, axillary candidiasis, are relatively less common than other yeast infections. However, factors like excessive moisture, compromised immune systems, or poor hygiene practices can contribute to their development in the armpit region.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Merck Manual. Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)
  • Mayo Clinic. Dermatitis
  • MedlinePlus. Candida infection of the skin
  • Mayo Clinic. Heat rash
  • de Oliveira Santos GC, Vasconcelos CC, Lopes AJO, de Sousa Cartágenes MDS, Filho AKDB, do Nascimento FRF, Ramos RM, Pires ERRB, de Andrade MS, Rocha FMG, de Andrade Monteiro C. Candida Infections and Therapeutic Strategies: Mechanisms of Action for Traditional and Alternative Agents. Front Microbiol. 2018 Jul 3;9:1351. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01351. PMID: 30018595; PMCID: PMC6038711.
  • Metin A, Dilek N, Bilgili SG. Recurrent candidal intertrigo: challenges and solutions. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018 Apr 17;11:175-185. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S127841. PMID: 29713190; PMCID: PMC5909782.

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