armpit blackhead

Armpit blackheads: How do I get rid of underarm pimples?

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Armpit blackhead what is that? Well turns out blackheads aren’t only a problem for your face or the tip of your nose.

No, these mild acne eruptions can happen across your entire body.

And unfortunately, if you have acne then you’re more prone to getting armpit blackheads.

This is because of the presence of hair follicles and the tendency for sweat and oil to gather in this area.

So where do these come from, and what can you do to remove them?

How do you remove blackheads from your armpits?

Here are 3 of the more common ways to remove and control blackheads.

1. Cleanse

Every good blackhead/acne treatment routine starts with cleansing.

Choose a water-soluble cleanser to protect against breakouts and wash the area daily without making the skin too dry or irritated.

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2. Exfoliate

A good exfoliating routine can make the difference between perpetually unbalanced or clear glowing skin.

The exfoliating process removes dead skin cells and clears clogged pores with a thin layer of chemicals applied to the face.

If you’re looking to clear up blackheads, look for products with beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), most commonly known as salicylic acid. 

BHAs are lipid-soluble which means that they can dissolve in the oil that we secrete and seep into pores.

This not only removes the dead skin cells off your face but also unclogs hair follicles that help form blackheads.

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3. Proper Shaving

A clean razor and hydrating shaving cream are ideal tools to have on hand when looking to achieve a proper shaving technique.

A clean razor keeps acne-causing bacteria from spreading to healthy areas of the skin and leading to breakouts.

A shaving cream without pore-clogging ingredients will ensure that your skin is properly hydrated and prepped for a shave.

Talk to your doctor or dermatologist about the best treatment for folliculitis. They may prescribe an antibiotic or benzoyl peroxide washes to get rid of the bacteria causing the infection. Just be aware that these washes are known for their drying effects on sensitive skin.

Treating boils is important- if not treated, they can grow larger and become quite painful. However, don’t try to pop them because this worsens the infection. 

Rather than trying to pop a boil, it may be more effective to use moist heat (two or three times daily) and wait until the boil ruptures and drains on its own.

After the rupture, you can apply petroleum jelly over the area and wrap it with gauze while it heals. See a doctor if you have a stubborn boil that doesn’t get better, or gets worse. They may have to cut the boil open to drain it.

3 Best Products for Underarm Blackheads

There are a variety of cleansers and exfoliants available, so it can be hard to choose which is right for you.

Here are a few products for combating underarm blackheads that you can add easily to your routine

1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

This cleanser is great for the face and underarms and contains three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II), which provide a gentle and moisturizing cleanse.

Plus it has hyaluronic acid in it to help keep moisture in.

Additionally, niacinamide is anti-inflammatory and works to soothe the skin. Both ingredients effectively hydrate and soothe your skin while washing away oil and bacteria.

Buy it online on Amazon.

2. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

Salicylic acid is an excellent option for those dealing with blackheads on their underarms.

The unique, gentle formula of this exfoliant combined with salicylic acid is perfect for those who want to get rid of clogged pores without the risk of irritation.

Buy it online from Amazon.

3. Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment 4% BHA

This is a more concentrated product than the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, containing a 4% concentration of salicylic acid for more stubborn blackheads.

It can be harsh on your skin if you’re not used to using it, so it’s best to start small & slowly build up.

For best results, apply this product to the affected area every other day and work up to once or twice a day.

To avoid dryness, begin with the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid and upgrade to this product if you need something stronger. Buy it online on Amazon.

Why are there blackheads in my armpits?

There are several reasons for armpit pimples. The most common being:

  • Oil and Impurities – Blackheads occur when oil, skin cells and bacteria clog the openings of hair follicles. Because many of these hair follicles can be found in the armpit area, blackheads often form here. The thin, delicate skin under the arm is more prone to many skin issues. The follicles can fill with excess sebum and other impurities which will make blackheads rise to the surface of the skin.
  • Genetics – Some of the causes of blackheads are under your control, but there are also contributing factors that are pre-determined. Your genetic profile plays a large role in determining if you’re at risk of developing blackheads. Hormonal fluctuations can can also lead to blackheads and breakouts.
  • Friction and Sweating – It doesn’t take a lot of sweat for the skin underneath your armpits to become irritated, the pores to clog and for blackheads to form. Your underarm is also subject to a lot of friction from your arms constantly moving back and forth. This constant friction can lead to inflammation and irritation in the armpits, making it much easier for blackheads to form. The moisture from sweating and friction only exacerbate the problem, leading to a higher chance of blackheads.
  • Comedogenic Deodorant  – It is important to check the ingredients in your skincare products to ensure you’re not using anything that will have bad side effects. For instance, using a comedogenic deodorant will only increase the chance of developing blackheads because it clogs your pores.
  • Shaving and Razor Bumps – Make sure your skin is properly moisturized before shaving. Regular use of a razor on this part of the skin increases irritation and friction. To combat this problem, just be sure your skin is properly prepped before you shave. It’s also essential not to use dull blades when shaving. Dull blades can cause injuries and spread acne causing bacteria making the problem worse.
  • Folliculitis – Folliculitis might appear as a small red bump near a hair strand. This bump could contain either blood or pus, and it is often the result of razor burn or bacteria introduced into the skin in the armpit.
skincare routine for acne

  • Boils – Boils (also known as furuncles), which are similar to pimples under the arm, are often caused by bacterial infections. They may appear after prolonged exposure to infections or they can be caused by friction. Boils will typically become more painful and continue to grow if not treated straight away.

If OTC products aren’t working

If you have a tough time getting rid of stubborn underarm blackheads, there are several professional options available to you that can help.

  • See a Dermatologist – always consult a dermatologist. A dermatologist can be a great resource when it comes to dealing with blackheads. They can suggest different treatments and recommend the best route for you.
  • Extraction – another popular treatment for removing blackheads is an armpit extractor. This process involves a dermatologist or aesthetician using a blackhead removal tool to manually extract the blackheads. Although this is a useful and effective way of getting rid of blackheads all at once, you should practice good preventative practices to stop them coming back.

How do you get rid of blackheads under your arms naturally?

Here’s some good news, changes in your lifestyle and habits help decrease the likelihood of underarm irritation and armpit blackheads. Here are 5 tips

  1. Wear loose clothing to avoid chafing/rubbing
  2. when shaving, consider using a single blade razor or an electric razor and shave in the direction that the hair grows
  3. laser hair removal could also help improve the condition of your skin by reducing or eliminating the need to shave.
  4. another option is to find a good quality razor with several blades. Women’s razors typically have several blades and a moisturizing strip which helps keeps the skin soft and lessens the back and forth between the razor and your skin. This inturn helps to minimize the irritation and inflammation that leads to blackheads.
  5. After exercising, it’s a good idea to shower as soon as possible and use a gentle soap on your underarms and taking care not to share towels with anyone else.

Here are 4 additional tips to ensure your shaving routine doesn’t irritate and spread acne-causing bacteria.

  1. Avoid dry-shaveing
  2. Wait to shave until after you’ve showered or bathed. The heat from your shower will soften the hair follicles making them easier to remove
  3. Replace blades regularly and don’t use a dull one. Clean the blade after each time you use it and swap for a new one after 5-6 uses or when it shows signs of wear.
  4. Press gently and shave with one pass in the direction of the hair growth. This is important because repeated cuts at different angles can worsen irritation and result in even more blackheads under your armpit.

Can I pop armpit pimples?

It may be tempting, but popping an armpit pimple is not recommended.

This can increase the chance of the bacteria from the pimple getting deeper in your skin and spreading.

And that’s not all. Popping pimples can lead to inflammation, passion and scarring, so try not to pop or pick at them.

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