An underarm rash? We know it doesn’t sound pleasant.
However, there is nothing to be ashamed about because people of all ages and cultures suffer from an underarm rash. Your armpits are the hidden areas of your baby, and specific allergens, irritants, or even excessive heat can allow the inflammation to develop there.
It’s not something to worry about because the rash usually subsides in a week or so. But, if it’s incredibly itchy, uncomfortable and isn’t going away – then you should consult a healthcare professional.
Only a doctor, especially a dermatologist, can understand the type of rash you’re suffering from and treat it accordingly. Therefore, if you’re currently suffering from a prolonged underarm rash right now or develop rashes once in a while, be wise and visit a doctor.
But before you do book an appointment, there is no harm in reading about your condition a little. We will tell you the causes of underarm rashes, home remedies to calm them down, and the possible treatment plans.
What Are The Causes Of Underarm Rash?
It’s not easy to figure out the actual cause of underarm rash without medical consultation because there are numerous causes behind this issue. They can either be deodorants, microorganisms or simply your immune system going frenzy. Some of the causes behind underarm rash are:
One of the most common causes of an underarm rash can be eczema. It is also known as atopic dermatitis and begins during childhood.
You can find it affecting the palm, elbows, underarms, and back of the knees in the form of an itchy, red rash. In addition, it can crust over and cause intense irritation.
Treatment: It’s a medical condition that needs to be corrected by a doctor. They will probably prescribe you lotions and creams to soothe the irritation.
The climate is another culprit when it comes to underarm rash, that’s for sure. Armpit rashes are usually prevalent during hot, humid weather because this causes the build-up of excessive sweat in your skin folds. This causes irritation and trapping of bacteria or viruses that may lead to a rash.
Treatment: You should try investing in high-end antiperspirant deodorants to prevent you from sweating excessively hence protecting you from the underarm rash.
3. Contact Dermatitis
It’s one of the types of eczema which is triggered by a specific substance. It could be the new soap you switched to or the recent body perfume that you bought. In contact dermatitis, your skin will be irritated and dry, just like in eczema.
Treatment: Figure out the recent changes in your habits or anything new you just started to use.
4. Tight Clothing
You might want to throw out all the clothing items that don’t fit you. But, wonder, why are we asking you to do this? This is because tight clothing allows the sweat to build up quite quickly in your skin folds, especially your underarms.
Tight clothing may lead to the chaffing of skin which is characterised by red, swollen skin that stings and burns, causing immense discomfort.
Treatment: Evaluate your closet and throw out or donate (if they are in good condition) all those clothes that don’t fit you anymore. You might want to go shopping after a thorough closet-cleansing, though.
Well, this microorganism pops too often, doesn’t it?
Candida can lead to a fungal infection of the armpits. If this happens, your skin will suffer from intense itching. Your skin can also be swollen, scaly, or incredibly red upon inspection. This infection can occur in anyone who is not hygienic or wears very tight clothing.
Treatment: Since it is an infection, you would have to go to a doctor for proper treatment. However, to avoid contracting this disease, you might want to wear clean, loose clothes, take a shower regularly and not wear tight clothing.
Another skin infection is thought to arise when there is a problem with your immune system. Psoriasis can manifest in different ways; however, the most common type is plaque psoriasis which causes the skin to be scaly, red and itchy.
There are many triggers for this infection, such as weather conditions, alcohol consumption, stress, severe burns, etc. Therefore, it is incredibly essential to manage this problem with care and caution. If not, then it can lead to severe complications.
Treatment: There is no cure for psoriasis and can only be managed conservatively. You should consult your doctor if you are suffering from such a rash, and once diagnosed – you should take care of your skin to prevent any problematic events.
How Can I Manage This Problem?
Most of the underarm rashes are not something to be scared of. If you follow the right set of instructions, the rash usually resolves on its own with time.
Here are a few treatment tips that you can go for if you’re currently suffering from an armpit rash:
Use over the counter medications or creams for the rash
Take warm baths to settle the inflammation and itching
Stop yourself from scratching the rash and use a soft cloth gently rub on it
Use cold compresses or put ice on your rash
Try not to sweat and keep yourself cool at all times
Wear loose clothing
Specific skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis and others will require more than this. It can be antibiotics to steroidal creams or even antifungal medications depending upon the aetiology of the disease.
When To Visit The Doctor?
If anything of the following happens, along with your underarm rash, it would be better to visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible:
OTC medications show no response
Rash spreads to the eye area, genitals or anywhere else in the body
Your neck starts to become rigid or stiff
Rash with fever and blisters
Sudden appearance of joint pain after the rash
An underarm rash can go from “it’s really nothing” to “I have a skin problem” in only a few days. It can arise because of the weather, or it can be an immune problem. Whatever the case is, armpit rash is manageable. With the right lifestyle changes and clean habits, you can avoid this problem for sure!
Have you been visiting your gynaecologist regularly?
If your answer is yes, then good job! However, if you’re one of the many women answering this question with a no, you should start regularly visiting your gynaecologist.
You’d be surprised to know that cervical cancer is preventable cancer that exists at this time. Because it takes its sweet time to develop, regular visits to the gynaecologist and having yourself screened religiously can help prevent this cancer from ever affecting you.
Let’s take a look at the risk factors of cervical cancer and how they can increase your chance of developing this problem. We will also go through some symptoms that may point towards an advanced-stage disease requiring immediate medical attention.
Cervical Cancer: How Is It Diagnosed?
Cervical cancer is the abnormal cell growth of the cells lining the cervix —an organ connecting the vagina to the uterus. It takes time to develop; hence precancerous lesions (i.e. lesions that point towards potential cancer) can be detected by your gynaecologist.
Regular visits to your gynaecologist can help prevent this disease once and for all. It is so because your gynaecologist would screen you for HPV and schedule necessary tests, i.e. PAP Smear, that will allow them to know if there’s any cancer or not.
Vaccination against HPV will provide you with the necessary weapons to fight against this microorganism, thereby protecting you from cervical cancer. In addition, the pap smear test can detect abnormal cells (dysplastic cells) and help in the early diagnosis of cervical cancer.
What Are The Risk Factors?
Each and every type of cancer is associated with several risk factors that favour its development. Whether it is a poor lifestyle, the habit of smoking or having multiple sexual partners – all of these play a significant role in increasing your chances to acquire cervical cancer.
Here are the numerous risk factors that can predispose a woman to this cancer:
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women all over the globe. However, the good news is that women can be vaccinated against this virus and continue living a cervical-cancer-free life.
HPV-16 and HPV-18 are the infamous types of the many varieties, which cause cervical cancer in women. It usually affects sexually active women and is killed by our body’s immune system most of the time. But, having a weak immune system or multiple sexual partners can allow this virus to thrive in a woman’s cervix for years.
Smoking does kill, and apart from tuberculosis, it can also cause cervical cancer. Women who are chain-smokers have been reported to develop cervical cancer at more increased rates than women who don’t smoke.
Besides, what do you expect smoking to do to your body when it is loaded with at least 70 cancer-causing chemicals?
It is vital to keep your immune system in check – because if this goes down, you go down.
A weakened immune system attracts deadly microorganisms and infections that can bulldoze your health in just a matter of time. As your immune system fights against the dangerous cancer cells, you’re in deep trouble if it isn’t functioning at its best capacity.
If you’re actually worried about your health and want to stay miles away from cervical cancer, it’s time to bring some changes in your lifestyle. Moreover, having a good diet that contains fruits and keeping your weight in check can also prevent this disease.
Apart from these things, it is also imperative to keep yourself updated with your gynaecologist. Paying timely visits, having yourself vaccinated and screened can help in preventing the development of cervical cancer.
Oral contraceptives are celebrated for many benefits; however, cervical cancer is not one of them.
According to a few studies, women on oral contraceptives (e.g. birth pills) have a higher chance of developing cervical cancer than those who are not. But, if a woman discontinues them, then the probability of acquiring cervical cancer eventually decreases with time.
Women with intrauterine devices like copper IUD don’t seem to have this issue and have a lesser chance of getting cervical cancer.
Maintaining a healthy and clean sexual life is as essential as having a good diet and hygiene. Women who have multiple sexual partners or started with their sexual activities early are more prone to cervical cancer. If you want to keep your distance from this cancer, practising safe sexual habits is very crucial.
Reproductive and Family History
Women who have had more than three children with a difference of fewer than two years have increased their chances of falling prey to cervical cancer. Moreover, women who were 17 at the time of their first full-term pregnancy are also at higher risk for cervical cancer.
Genetics also seem to play an integral role in the prevalence and development of cervical cancer. If your blood relative acquires this problem, you’re automatically at an increased risk.
When To Seek Immediate Help?
There are specific manifestations of cervical cancer that require prompt medical attention by a healthcare professional. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should immediately refer to a doctor:
Bleeding after sexual intercourse
Continuous pain in the pelvic area and legs
Pain during urination or intercourse
Loss of appetite
You shouldn’t turn a blind eye to these issues in such circumstances and let your gynaecologist know about them.
According to WHO, Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. In 2018, an estimated 570,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide, and about 311,000 women died from the disease.
Cervical cancer can be prevented by understanding its risk factors and correcting them. Bringing changes in your lifestyle habits, following a good diet, and having a steady sex life can help you stay healthy and away from this disease for good.
When it comes to cervical cancer – ignorance is not bliss. It is essential to take care of your body and follow up with routine tests recommended for you. Moreover, it is equally important to spread awareness regarding this problem and educate the women around you.
Shoulder blade or scapular pain refers to the discomfort, aching or feeling sore between the shoulder blades. It may get intense during certain daily life activities such as lifting an arm to any object, turning your head sideways, etc.
If it happens to you occasionally, then there is nothing to worry about as it’ll go away on its own. However, if shoulder blade pain is occurring more frequently, it might signal a serious health issue.
To prevent serious health issues, let’s identify the cause of your shoulder pain and look into its relief methods and prevention tips.
There’s a number of reasons that you may experience shoulder pain. But you can identify the leading cause as it gets noticeable while performing certain activities in your daily life. Some of them may include:
1. Heavy Lifting
Sometimes heavy lifting causes certain muscles of your shoulder to feel intense pressure, and your body reacts to it by a spiking pain on your shoulder blade. It may even cost you not lifting a heavy object for a very long time.
It is recommended to see a doctor if the pain prolongs. It’ll help you to avoid worsening your shoulder’s muscle strains or tearing.
2. Poor Posture
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, long working hours while sitting in one place, or sleeping in an uncomfortable position, you are bound to have shoulder pain due to poor posture.
Poor posture makes your muscles static that cause you discomfort, and eventually, you begin to feel pain in your back and shoulder blades. You may also feel pain due to bad posture while sleeping, leading to static muscles.
3. Muscle Overuse, Injury Or Fracture
You might experience shoulder blade pain due to the kind of activities you do. If you are a sporty person or your job requires physical labour, you might feel pain because of the overuse of the rotator cuff.
While other reasons may include any scapular injury or fracture that have caused trauma during some accident, leaving intense pain whenever your shoulder muscles are active.
4. Signs Of Severe Medical Conditions
However, shoulder blade pain may be a warning for severe medical conditions, such as:
Degenerative disc – Related to aged conditions that deteriorate spine.
Herniated disc – A disk in the spine ruptures, slips or cracks.
Scoliosis – Sideways curves in the spine that may happen before reaching puberty.
Osteoarthritis – Arthritis occurs when flexible tissue in your bones wears down, usually in the joints around your neck, spine, or ribs.
Spinal stenosis – Puts pressure on the spinal cord along the nerves within.
Acid reflux – Heartburn, pancreatitis or peptic ulcer.
Fibromyalgia – Pain muscles accompanied by sleep, fatigue, memory loss and mood swing issues.
Shingles – A chickenpox virus, causing painful rashes and shoulder pain.
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) – Muscles pain due to its overuse.
Certain cancers – Such as lung cancer, bone cancer, or other cancers spread to bones and near shoulder blades.
Nerve compression syndrome – Direct pressure on the nerves on or around the shoulder blade.
Heart attack or other diseases – Sudden spike recurrent pain in the shoulder blade, especially among women.
Gallstone – Stones in the gallbladder, often followed by pain in the upper right part of abdomen and nausea.
Thoracic aorta rupture – Aortic dissection due to the blood surges through the inner and middle layers of the aorta, causing it to separate and tear blood vessels near your heart.
Pulmonary embolism – Blood clot breaks free and enters into lungs, causing a decrease in oxygen level and permanent damage.
Other accompanying signs – Such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, swelling in your legs, coughing up blood, fever, sudden vision loss, speaking difficulty, losing conscious or irregular heartbeat may also occur.
All of these signs indicate severe and severe medical conditions that are life-threatening. You must seek emergency treatment from a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Shoulder Blade Pain Relief Options
If your pain is not frequent and bearable, then it might be chronic shoulder blade pain, and you might be able to treat it without getting any emergency treatment.
After making sure that your condition is not one of the warning signs of any serious medical condition, you can follow some of the shoulder blade pain relief techniques, which are:
Exercises can help you strengthen, relax your back muscles, and ultimately relieve you from shoulder blade pain. Physical activity such as stretching improves blood circulation to your muscles and joints, which often provides pain relief.
One of the top and easiest exercises that you perform at home are arm stretches. You may cross one arm over your body, use the other arm to grab and pull your outstretched arm from the elbow toward your chest, then hold this stretch for about five to ten seconds. However, you can also look into other exercises or ask your physician about them.
2. Diet and Routine
Some processed foods, such as high-fructose sugar, artificial trans fats, refined carbohydrates, or processed meat, could cause inflammation, making your symptoms worse. Try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in omega-3 fatty acids to avoid inflammation.
Sometimes all you need is to rest to recover from your shoulder blade pain, especially if you have an injury or a fracture due to some accident.
3. Hot or Cold Compresses
Applying hot or cold compresses on your tight or tense shoulder blade for about ten to fifteen minutes could help you to relieve discomfort and pain. You can keep the compresses till the swelling or pain is reduced.
Compresses are generally good techniques to relax muscles, but be careful as the temperature may vary depending on your applying environment.
4. Massage Or Occupational Therapy
If the pain is caused due to the overuse of muscles or joints, then a massage therapist can work on the problem areas to relax muscle tissue.
However, you might need to see an occupational therapist if you have an injury on your shoulder blade, as it will require certain exercises to relieve you from your shoulder pain.
Medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are prevalent for short time pain relieves. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory or anti-depressants are also recommended by doctors depending on your health conditions.
In some cases, doctors may prescribe pain killer injections or pills to reduce your shoulder blade pain. However, every drug has its limitations, so do not take any medication without consulting your doctor.
If you are experiencing severe pain and no other treatment works for your shoulder blade pain, then there is a chance that your shoulder may be imbalanced and requires surgery to adjust the position of the scapula.
However, most Orthopaedic Surgeons first recommend nonsurgical options for their patients. Also, conducts few tests to confirm the root cause of the pain. Then they proceed with the surgery of your shoulder blade.
Prevention Tips For Shoulder Blade Pain
Aside from knowing the cause and treatment options, few practices can help you avoid or reduce your shoulder blade pain.
A few of them are:
A healthy diet and physical activity – Take a healthy diet that strengthens your bones and doesn’t cause inflammation. Make sure that your diet food must contain the necessary amount of vitamin D and calcium.
Practice proper posture – Avoid slouching, leaning, or uncomfortable posture. Use special pillows for your back to sit tall and straight when working. It will help your neck and spine alignment.
Avoid lifting heavy items – Don’t carry heavy weight with your one shoulder as it may lead to injury and trigger intense pain on your shoulder blades. Still, if you need to do the heavy lifting, then be sure not to put too much pressure on your back and do it with proper posture while using both shoulders and bending knees.
Change positions – Changing your position frequently helps you to avoid getting your muscles stiff. So stretch from time to time when you’re working for long hours in the same position. Also, try to sleep in a comfortable place to change your position with ease while sleeping.
Follow healthy habits – Take complete rest, sleep at least seven to nine hours based on your age requirement. Avoid too much smoking and, if possible, quit it. Maintain a healthy lifestyle as it can help you avoid or manage your shoulder blade pain.
Most of the time, the shoulder blade pain is temporary due to our lifestyle choices. So, there is much we can do to prevent this pain.
Knowing the root cause of your shoulder blade pain will help you diagnose your health’s exact condition and avoid life-threatening medical situations. However, if the pain doesn’t go away with the mild treatment options, you must see a doctor for better health care.
Have you ever noticed your itch getting more intense at night? Did you experience this severe itching after you visited a nursing home? If that’s the case, then chances can be that you are infected with “Sarcoptes scabiei.”
Sarcoptes scabiei is a microscopic mite that is famous for causing scabies. Anyone can contract this contagious disease, but it has a higher prevalence in urban areas and greater frequency during the winter season.
This blog post will cover everything related to scabies and help you understand this medical condition closely — so let’s get into it!
Scabies is a skin infection caused by the burrowing action of a female parasite. The mites burrow and lay eggs into the skin that later mature into adults, and the process repeats.
It is characterised by:
Intense itching (pruritus)
Secondary infection (usually by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus)
Keep in mind that mites are often confused with lice — which is not the case. Lice live on the skin and are often associated with areas that grow hair, i.e., the scalp or pubic area. In comparison, mites dig into the skin (burrowing) and cause infection.
Before discussing further medical aspects of scabies, it would be better to start with the fundamental understanding of how Sarcoptes scabiei wreaks havoc on an individual.
We have tried to summarise its life cycle in a few points that are as follows:
Adult female parasites dig into the skin and lay 2-3 eggs daily.
In about 3-4 days, eggs finally hatch into their larval form.
The larvae then travel to the skin and further dig into the moulting pouches (smaller burrows as compared to adult burrows).
Transformation of the larva into nymphs occurs, which finally transforms into adult mites.
Mating occurs when male mites enter the moulting pouches.
The impregnated female leaves the moulting pouch in search of a permanent burrow.
Once the burrow is decided, she continues to lay eggs, and the process repeats itself.
Causes and Transmission
Scabies is a parasitic infection and can only be caused by Sarcoptes Scabiei. However, certain factors can promote the transmission of this mite and may lead to this disease.
How Does Scabies Occur?
Skin-to-skin contact – establishing a direct connection with someone (touching) who has contracted scabies.
Sexual contact – having a sexual relationship with someone suffering from scabies.
Transfer from bedding, towels, and clothing – using someone’s toiletries.
Exposure to this mite is also most common in nursing homes, daycares, and hospitals. Moreover, it must be considered that transmission only occurs as long as the person is infected and untreated.
There are a few symptoms that are specific to scabies. If an individual is suffering from any of these symptoms, chances are they are a victim of this parasite.
Let’s take a look at the manifestations of this disease for better understanding:
Pimple-like rash or burrows between fingers, wrist, elbows, armpits, female breasts (specifically on the skin of nipples), umbilical area, scrotum, penis, buttocks, beltline and on the inside of legs and ankles.
Erythematous (hot & red) skin.
Severe itching (pruritus), especially at night.
It takes about 2-6 weeks for the symptoms to appear after getting infected with Sarcoptes scabiei for the first time. However, in cases of reinfection, the symptoms may take 1-4 days to appear, and they are usually milder in nature.
Treatment Of Scabies
Want to hear the good news? It is a curable disease.
While we encourage you to seek professional help, we have also found some treatments that work:
The most common treatment, which is safe for babies as young as one-year-old and pregnant women, are topical scabicides. They are available as 5% permethrin cream and are easy to apply and wash off.
Apply a thin layer on your entire body while paying particular attention to the skin folds.
Trim your fingernails and apply under the nails for a maximum of 8 hours. It is preferable to follow the guidelines given on the product.
Wash it off with lukewarm soap water and dry your skin.
Additional Treatment Options
Some other scabies treatment options are centred towards conservative management, and they can also be prescribed to the patient.
Some of them are as follows:
Antihistamines: To control the itch and help you sleep.
Antibiotic: To fight off secondary infection.
Pramoxine lotion: To control the itch.
Steroid cream: To ease the redness, irritation, and swelling.
How To Prevent The Spread Of This Disease?
In order to protect ourselves from this disease, it is essential to know how to control it. There are several beneficial ways to protect ourselves from falling prey to scabies. Some of them include:
Educating the patient about the importance of personal hygiene.
Increasing awareness about the prevalence of this medical problem.
Educating the family members of the patient.
Encouraging the patient to shower frequently.
Instructing the patient to change his clothes regularly.
While scabies is a treatable disease with complete recovery, it is painful. Because it directly affects the quality of your sleep and causes severe itching, it can prove to be a pretty disturbing and uncomfortable medical condition.
In order to protect yourself from scabies, you should maintain personal hygiene at all times. Besides keeping yourself clean, it is also essential to regularly wash your bedding and not share your personal items, such as towels, combs, etc.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from scabies, it is never too late to seek medical help. After all, better late than never, right?