So even though the skin on my face has been pretty much the best it’s ever been in my life (which I think is due to the astaxanthin I’ve been taking), I can’t say the same for my armpits.
One day for no good reason (in my opinion), both of my armpits simply exploded with a bunch of small, red, rashy sort of bumps.
It was not attractive.
And it was not going away.
I’ve never been seriously prone to razor burn, but when I have succumbed to it, it’s gone away within a day or so. This was hanging on bright red for more than a week with no fading in sight!
I was not pleased.
Normally I wouldn’t care a lot… I mean… it’s your armpits. Just wear a shirt with sleeves and call it a day until it goes away.
But with it being summer, and me being an exclusive tank top wearer, and with me going to regular fitness and yoga classes now, in which plenty of arm raising is required… well, I started wanting to do a bit of this:
So I got on the ol’ internet to come up with a solution.
So, I’m Pretty Sure It was Folliculitis
First of all, considering its persistence, I figured that this was not just your run-of-the-mill razor burn irritation. I diagnosed myself with folliculitis.
I wrote about folliculitis on the blog recently, as it’s a condition that is often confused with acne if it occurs on the face or back or chest.
The difference is that folliculitis is caused by a foreign bacteria entering the skin and causing an infection. Acne is your body over-reacting to bacteria that is naturally found in the skin (and a bunch of other things too, but that’s the simple version).
So anyway – due to the rashy appearance, its location, and the fact that it wasn’t going away, I decided this must be folliculitis.
There must have been a sneaky bacteria hanging out on my razor blade that decided to make its home in my pits!
Now for the solutions:
Throw Tea Tree Oil On It (And Lavender)
So, basically, you want to kill that bacteria that has invaded. A natural way to do that is to use essential oils that have strong antibacterial properties.
Now, most essential oils should never be used undiluted (check out my essential oils article for more info), but certain ones can be used straight in order to spot treat things.
A good quality tea tree oil is one of the most antibacterial essential oils, and can be used undiluted.
So grab yourself a bottle of that, and dump 6 to 10 drops on a cotton pad and pat that baby all over your poor little rashy underarms.
I also added a few drops of lavender essential oil as well, because it can also be used undiluted and has antibacterial properties (but it’s not as strong as tea tree, so I wouldn’t use it on its own for this application).
In truth, it was mainly to improve the smell… some people don’t mind the smell of tea tree oil, but I definitely don’t love it. Lavender takes the edge off!
So anyway, do this twice a day.
I can say that after more than a week and a half of no improvement, the bumps started fading the very next day after I started doing the tea tree oil and lavender thing! Hurrah!
Change Your Razor Blade
The next thing you want to so (or perhaps the first), is to change your razor blade.
It was very likely your razor blade who got your into this mess in the first place, so you don’t want to keep introducing the bacteria on it back into your skin.
So chuck that guy out and get a nice, new sharp one!
Reduce the Amount you Shave, and Be Gentle
Shaving every day is unfortunately going to be too much irritation as the skin is healing… I know it might suck, but reduce the amount you shave to every third or fourth day. Or temporarily stop altogether.
I mean, hey… your armpits aren’t looking great anyway.
When you do shave, be as gentle as humanly possible. Use soap or shaving cream and glide the razor over your skin gently in as few passes as possible (that sharp new razor blade will help!)
Also try shaving with the direction of hair growth, instead of against it.
And finally, save shaving your armpits until the very last thing you do before getting out of the shower. A good soaking with warm water helps to open up the follicles and makes hair easier to remove with less irritation.
Stop The Deodorant
If you think your regular deodorant may be irritating your skin too, also stop that for a while.
But don’t panic – your tea tree oil and lavender gig is your new deodorant and it will control the smell for you.
Wear Breathable Shirts
If it’s summer and tank tops are possible, they are the best choice to reduce irritation in the area. The downside is that they show off your rudolph pits in all their glory.
Either way, natural, breathable fabrics like cotton are best.
Don’t Worry – It’ll Clear Up!
As I said, after I started the tea tree and lavender routine, and also adopted these other tactics, the folliculitis started to clear up immediately and it has not returned!
After you feel it’s all gone, be sure to continue the above routine for several days just to make sure! 🙂
Have you ever suffered from underarm folliculitis (or just a terrible case of razor burn)? If so, how did you treat it?