Yeast infections are uncomfortable, inconvenient and embarrassing. When most people think of yeast infections, they think of it as a women's issue. However, anyone, male or female, can get yeast infections, on genitalia or even skin. One common type of yeast infection occurs under the armpits, or in skin folds around the body. Yeast infections of the armpit are a lot harder to cover up, and result in itchy, painful rashes. In the following article, you will read what causes this type of infection, as well as common treatments.
Many yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans, a fungus that can affect the skin and mucous membranes of the body. Antibiotics can destroy "good" bacteria or microorganisms in the body that fight off fungal infections, leading to a yeast infection. The type of yeast infection that affects skin folds of the body, including armpits, under breasts or on the stomach, is called intertrigo. This can be caused by hot, humid weather, tight clothing, poor hygiene or psoriasis.
Intertrigo under the armpit is typically a red, bumpy, shiny rash with scaling along the edges. The rash can be splotchy to very large, covering the entire area under the armpit and the surrounding skin. The skin is inflamed and itchy, and this produces extreme discomfort, especially on very hot days when there is a lot of friction on the skin because of moisture.
Keeping up hygiene is a good way to avoid intertrigo of the armpit, especially if you are overweight and have a lot of skin folds, or are a profuse sweater. To help relieve the symptoms of an armpit yeast infection, wash the affected area daily with soap and water. Also, keeping the area dry is key. Baby powder or antifungal powder absorbs moisture under the armpits, leaving skin dry and soft.
Antifungal creams such as clotrimazole can be used to help fight the infection. Clotrimazole is also used to treat vaginal yeast infections and jock itch. The cream is applied directly to the affected area; however, results may not be instant since fungal infections take a while to diminish. Miconazole, another antifungal agent, can also be applied to the skin.
Antihistamines are usually used to treat irritants caused by allergies. However, they can also be used to alleviate itching and discomfort caused by intertrigo. Antihistamines are usually prescribed by a doctor. They include ceterizine, diphenhydramine, loratadine and fexofenadine. Corticosteroids are also an anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce itching and redness.