Q: Evening Dr. Please kindly assist. I have a thing under my right armpit. I don’t know whether it’s a folliculitis or a boil. It hurts and it’s affecting my arm. Which home remedy should I use or must I go and see a doctor. Your help you’ll be appreciated!
A: Well the first thing to do is to figure out what this painful lump is.
The more common causes/triggers of painful lumps in the armpits, include:
• Deodorants: These can cause skin irritation which can lead to boils. The delicate and sensitive skin of the underarms and the sweat that can accumulate there making it a rich culture medium for germs are factors that have been implicated. Solution: You may have to try another one…find one without fragrance or perhaps, formulated for sensitive skin. Reading the labels will provide this information
• Shaving: A lot of people can identify with this…bumps in the underarm after shaving. This can happen if you do not shave properly. Shave along the direction of growth of the hair. Try shaving after taking a bath when the hair is moist and the skin hydrated. If this does not suffice, you may have to find alternative means of removing underarm hair eg depilatory cream.
• Infection of the hair follicles from cuts or injuries to the underarm, or from friction caused by wearing tight clothing. So, be careful while shaving and try to wear clothes that are more loose fitting (especially under the arms) and/or focus on fabrics that can ‘breathe’ like cotton
• Dirt or debris from excessive sweating can clog up hair follicles leading to painful lumps. Personal hygiene is key. Don’t be miserly with bathing and be sure to ‘take care’ of the underarms and other areas like the groin that tend to accumulate sweat and raise a stink
• Infections due to viruses or bacteria.
• Cancer of the breast may also present like this.
I hope this helps. Keep checking your breasts and if you notice anything suspicious, please see your doctor.
Have a great night, y’all